Ms. Kim, owner of Winchester Antique Mall on Bridge Street, eagerly awaits a big change coming to downtown Franklin. Though the pending opening of a boutique hotel in our historic core means that she’ll have to relocate her business, Kim says that she fully supports the addition and the advantages it will bring.
“I’ve been here for 26 years, so it is a bit bittersweet — but I’m also excited,” Kim says. “This has encouraged us to expand and we’ll be closer to the heart of downtown, within easy walking distance.”
Winchester Antique Mall will soon be moving right around the corner to the old Tennessean building on Second Avenue, which is owned by the hotel’s developers Rod Heller and Jay Franks. The current building on Bridge Street will be torn down to make room for the hotel, but Kim says she knows it will ultimately be worth it. As a business owner and member of the Downtown Franklin Association, she views the hotel as a valuable partner and addition for local businesses.
“We get people in here all the time asking for places to stay downtown. I think that it will be a great addition to Franklin. I’ve seen the drawings, and they’re beautiful,” she says. “I also think it’s wonderful that they are only hiring local people and local retailers. The hotel compliments us. The new hotel will face our location, so we’ll be able to help each other out.”
Kim, who is also a member of the Heritage Foundation, credits the organization for working hard to make the hotel a reality and an asset to the Franklin community.
“The Heritage Foundation has a huge, positive impact on the Franklin community. I can’t tell you how much I sing Mary Pearce’s praises, because she does so much for this town. She and Rudy Jordan both,” she says. “They’re an easy target when there is change, and what they do can be a thankless job. But they handle the challenge really well.”
Kim is excited about everything that her new space has to offer, including 7,700 square feet to fill and having everything conveniently located on one floor. She also says that she is looking forward to having additional parking, which will be invaluable for her customers.
The expansion, she says, will also allow both new and old vendors to have an eclectic mix of quality antique merchandise, while still staying cozy and intimate.
“Although we are relocating to a larger space, one thing will always remain, and that is our loyalty and love for our customers. They are the best and have always been our family! We are looking forward to building on that,” Kim says.