At the January 7th Murfreesboro City Council meeting, the council approved the proposed acquisition of the 1.87 acre lot of the old Franklin United Methodist Church at the corner of College and East Church streets.
We think there is tremendous potential for the City to influence the proper development of this property for a mixed use project,” said City Manager Rob Lyons. “The City is uniquely positioned because it owns a 0.62 acre, 60-space parking lot, adjacent to the bank property and could add that significant piece to attract a potential developer.”
The price tag: $1.55 million. The property, presently owned by Franklin Synergy Bank, was the home of the FUMC from 1888 to 2003. Franklin Synergy is presently building a new location in the Gateway District on Medical Parkway. The construction of the new office building is expected to be completed this year.
The church, known for it’s historic bell tower, would be an important acquisition for the city’s developmental plans of Lytle Street. As a part of the Murfreesboro 2035 plan, city officials would have greater input into the Lytle Street re-development and Downtown as a whole. Lytle Street re-development includes a new roundabout with pedestrian and parking improvements.
Main Street Murfreesboro and Rutherford County Historian spoke in favor of the acquisition as city officials try to find a balance in greater investment in the downtown area to leverage its full potential for mixed use, residential and office space, and entertainment. Preserving historic elements of downtown is seen as a lucrative aspect of future redevelopment and maintaining Murfreesboro’s character, according to murfreesborotn.gov.