“As a family, we are proud to descend from some of the earliest residents of Franklin, and for generations we have enjoyed living in harmony with the Earth which sustains and nourishes us. As we look to the future, we have decided to transition from a legacy of dairy farming to a farming operation that can become a community of its own for residents and visitors,” said Bill Short, who along with his sister Mary Anne Warren and nearly a legion of their nieces and nephews, is charting a path for the family’s legacy. “We have come to a point where growing crops no longer makes sense for us, but we didn’t want to just sell the farm to a developer.” Instead, they have selected Brian Wright, founding principal of Franklin-based Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative LLC, and Craige Hoover—who led Southall in Franklin from conception through construction and opening earlier this year—as their development partners to help them create a farm-based village.
The public was invited to join the family and design team in a multi-day series of workshops, known as a Charrette. The purpose was to offer a forum for open and meaningful dialogue where interested citizens, the design team, city staff, and public officials can come together to collaborate directly with the Short family and the development team at the beginning of the planning process.
Wright, an 18-year resident of Westhaven, has become nationally renowned for creating authentic mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly environments and memorable places that stand the test of time. He moved to Franklin with his family to serve as director of planning and design for Southern Land Company as Westhaven was being developed, and more recently worked with the City of Franklin to write the City’s new Zoning Ordinance and Historic District Guidelines. His company, Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative, LLC, has been instrumental in shaping smart rural growth and development not just here, but around the country.
Hoover, a Middle Tennessee native, has built a career creating transformational mixed-use places throughout North America, beginning in Seaside, Florida, and most recently right here in Franklin. As a consultant, he was selected to evaluate key assets and opportunities for the Nashville Next 25-year master plan, and then oversaw the development of Franklin’s globally recognized Southall resort from 2018 through its opening in early 2023. The luxury farm resort was recognized with Travel + Leisure’s Global Vision Award in late 2022, and was just named to the magazine’s It List of the top 100 new hotels in the world for 2023.
Short family matriarch Mary Anne Warren says not only will her descendants be able to enjoy that land for generations, but so will residents and visitors.
“We envision a community built around the legacy of agriculture, with the best land dedicated to agricultural production and other areas featuring a diversity of housing, great places to taste and experience and learn about where our food comes from, and why it’s so important to care for the land,” she said. “It takes a village to operate a farm, and this is the next evolution of the ecosystem that has supported so many since the 1880s. We want to shape what this farmland will be for the next 135 years.”