One of the most prolific builders for developments in the historic elements of Franklin is preserving a postbellum plantation in the form of 10 luxury homes.
D9 Development LLC. is now building a community in the Boyd Mill Avenue Historic District on the 12-acre estate known as Magnolia Hall and its natural surroundings at 600 Boyd Mill Avenue between Glass Lane and Culberson Blvd. Components of the property to be preserved include a freshwater pond habitat according to the National Wetlands Inventory and the estate proper — a 7,000 sq. ft. Greek revival house, a detached accessory dwelling unit and expansive green space.
The property owner, Julia A. Inman, raised four children there and lived in the home since the spring of 1977, buying the home the year before and divorcing in 1988 before she eventually listed the property for sale in 2014 at $5.5 million, one of several times the property was listed at increasingly aggressive prices. After years of difficulty to sell, the family ultimately consented to enlist developer Bernie G. Butler when he approached them about his D9 team preserving it as a subdivision of 15 homes, which is now down five units to parallel the Arlington at West Main Street development.
Butler is known for embedding Historic Downtown with high-end communities like the Brownstones of Franklin and the Arlington at West Main Street. The latter has yet to be completed but has already sold nearly all of its units.
In compliance with city code for parkland impact fees, D9 Development opted to pay parkland dedication in lieu of some of said fees in the amount of $156,800 for sidewalks along Boyd Mill, Glass Lane, 96 West and the new street being constructed onsite. In tandem with parkland fees that the company is still expected to remit, the company will pay about $200,000 to the city in total for compliance.
Envision Franklin designates the project as a conservation subdivision design concept, which is mainly used for building single-family homes in lots clustered together to preserve as much of the surrounding property — including at least 50 percent of all open space — as possible is preserved, especially to protect wildlife habitats, greenways, woodlands and pastures among other geologic features.
Recently, Glass Lane residents voiced objections to sidewalk-related proposals to the site plan where it borders Highway 96, but even critics emphasize that they are proponents of the project as a whole.
D9 Development is known for several contributions to Historic Franklin, including the former First Tennessee Bank Building at 231 Public Square, 131 First Avenue North and another Boyd Avenue build known as the Boyd Mill House.