What will happen to Holly Springs Plaza?
The Town of Franklin Planning Department has performed a site inspection of the new Super Wal-Mart site, and found it to be in compliance with the zoning regulations of the district, assuring that the store is on track to open its doors on Oct. 26.
The new plaza, which is expected to be a new destination for economic growth along the 441 highway corridor, according to Town Planner Derek Roland, already has five businesses ready to relocate to the new plaza. “Thus far the following businesses have submitted sign permit applications: Dollar Tree, Shoe Show, Cato, G2K Games and U.S. Cellular,” said Roland. “A Subway restaurant will also be located inside the Wal-Mart main building.”
What does that mean for the Holly Springs Plaza which currently houses the Wal-mart, Dollar Tree, Shoe Show, and Cato? Roland is confident that although a bulk of the businesses are moving to the new plaza, the shopping center won't become abandoned. Instead, the move gives more businesses the unique opportunity to move to Franklin.
“The re-location of the tenants currently located in the Holly Springs Plaza to the new Wal-Mart site will free up commercial space, allowing new businesses to position themselves in a prime location on a major highway corridor,” said Roland. “The Holly Springs Plaza as it is zoned Highway Commercial, holds numerous possibilities for businesses wishing to locate there. Furthermore, the plaza is situated on a highly traveled thoroughfare on the Sylva Road, which serves as the primary route for those travelers passing through Franklin from Georgia into Asheville or Cherokee.”
Roland cited the amount of traffic that travels the highway to visit the casino as a prime example of the business opportunities that could result in the creation of an additional shopping plaza.
“To give an illustration of how heavily traveled this corridor is; it has been estimated that as many as 760,000 of those visiting Harrah’s Cherokee Casino annually travel from Georgia, many of which use this corridor,” said Roland. “The Sylva Road will continue to be a heavily traveled route in Franklin and for this reason the Holly Springs Plaza will continue to remain a very attractive location for economic development within the city limits of Franklin.”
The additional shopping plaza and the relocations will not leave the Holly Springs Plaza completely empty. The plaza still houses KFC, Ingles, Sally's Beauty Supply, and several other businesses.
According to Roland, no businesses have expressed interest in locating in the Holly Springs Plaza, but he anticipates that after the transition is made to the new shopping center, business owners will see the economic opportunity and move to capitalize on the vacant space.