New luxury housing selling well in downtown Franklin

Two new high-end housing developments have hit the market in downtown Franklin.

Local developers have brought two new luxury owner-occupied housing types to the market with 150 South Main Condos and Newkirk Square.

Both developers said the excitement of the downtown square is what brought them there. Youngs Creek Park, the Amphitheater and the growing popularity of shopping, dining and exploring downtown Franklin is building more interest in living in the city, developers said.

The companies behind 150 South Main and Newkirk Square saw a need for high-end and luxury options among Franklin’s housing stock. Both of the housing options offer a view of downtown and relieve stresses of homeownership such as mowing grass and landscaping.

With the housing-types novel for Franklin, people around the city have been wondering how the developments are selling, so the Daily Journal asked.

Newkirk Square

With three townhomes sold and five left on the market, Greenwood-based Bemis Group, owned by Billy and Todd Bemis, has had a lot of interest in Newkirk Square. The first phase of the project is largely complete, with the townhomes at Wayne Street and Water Street up for sale.

Two more phases of the project are still to come. Next will be a new multi-use building to include 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, 14 condos on the second floor and an underground parking garage. The final phase will include two more townhomes. The phasing was initially supposed to go in a different order, but supply chain issues called for a switch up, Billy Bemis said.

So far, the development is attracting people who want to simplify and have less maintenance or want to “lock and leave,” or be able to vacation or have other homes elsewhere.

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Each of the townhomes includes an attached 2-car garage, three-to-four bedrooms, approximately three bathrooms and a private rooftop deck. Townhomes prices range from $629,000 to $735,000, according to a pamphlet on the property.

The goal for the Bemis Group was to bring a new product downtown and to complement the company’s investment in The Garment Factory Events, an event venue that includes a bar and restaurant and the only distillery in Franklin — Haberdasher Distillery. Billy Bemis said the townhomes are for people who appreciate the quality of life they can get in downtown Franklin.

“The secret’s out about Franklin,” he said. “I mean, the amenities, the walkability, the parks, the trails, the amphitheater, the revitalization of downtown over the last several years. People are attracted to that where they just want to park the car and go walk. They want to walk to dinner, they want to walk and get coffee or whatever.”

The townhomes went on a multiple listing service earlier this year. The units have sold well and the hope is to sell one or two more before breaking ground on phase two, Bemis said. There are already holds in place for condos for phase two, he said.

For the retail portion of phase two, the Bemis Group is hoping to see something that is “something that’s new or invigorating to the area,” he said.

For more information on Newkirk Square, prospective buyers can call 317-412-3612 or go to

150 South Main Condos

The modern condo building, dubbed 150 South Main Condos, is sandwiched between a single-family home and a row of businesses just a block south of the Johnson County Courthouse. The $8 million, 40,000-square-foot building has retail space and a secure parking garage on the ground floor with three floors of condos above.

A dozen condos priced at $595,000 to $750,000 are for sale in the former site of a two-bed, two-bath home. Units with two bathrooms and two to three bedrooms all include luxury finishes, appliances, a fireplace and a private covered patio.

Two Franklin couples — Harry and Krista Sherman and Terry and Jen Lancer — built the condos under the name “Jenrista.” They sought to bring a new low-maintenance and high-end housing option to the city.

The property is the perfect location for the condos because Franklin is an exciting place to live with new venues, the amphitheater and other recent renovations. That’s what spurred Jenrista to pursue the project. Franklin “really needed condominium living right in the heart of downtown,” Terry Lancer said.

“We felt that there was a desire for luxury condominiums in downtown Franklin,” he said, “and our target group we believe that will be purchasing will be empty-nesters that want to downsize, get the maintenance-free living and live (in) downtown Franklin with the walkability to the amphitheater that’s next door, the pickleball courts, local restaurants … and then also maybe young professionals.”

With the modern look of the building, some residents have said it doesn’t blend well with the surroundings. But Lancer says he’s heard good feedback about the architecture. The red brick on the Main Street facade is a nod to the surrounding brick storefronts, while the rest of the building is designed to have a modern feel to it, he said.

The units went on the market a few weeks ago and are listed on Zillow. None of the dozen units have sold yet, Lancer said. Two of the units are finished and move-in ready, while the other 10 are unfinished with buyers able to choose the finishing touches, he said.

As for the ground floor retail space, it’s also open for lease right now. Lancer envisions the site being leased by small business offering unique products or services, he said.

For more information on 150 South Main, prospective buyers can call Lancer at 317-797-6595.