The pair of Franklin developers knew they couldn’t save much of the collapsing Hazelett building beyond the walls shared with neighbors and concrete second floor.
The historic downtown building that started as a carriage shop before becoming an auto dealer, then a department store and finally a fabric shop had become a downtown eyesore. The 15,000-square-foot building directly across from the courthouse sat empty since 1997. The front walls were collapsing under their own weight and bowing out toward the street. The inside continued to deteriorate.