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Dilapidated buildings on Tannery St. in Franklin to be turned into business complex 

  • The expansion and restoration of a former excavation site at 15 Tannery Street is bringing new businesses to Franklin. Photos by LEAH WILLINGHAM / Monitor staff

  • Crews work on the expansion and restoration of a former excavation business at 15 Tannery St. in Franklin. The buildings will become a business-complex housing an underground tank maintenance business, a vehicle service center and company that makes sustainable oils. LEAH WILLINGHAM / Monitor staff

  • Crews work on the expansion and restoration of a former excavation business at 15 Tannery St. in Franklin. The buildings will become a business-complex housing an underground tank maintenance business, a vehicle service center and company that makes sustainable oils. LEAH WILLINGHAM / Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Sunday, September 09, 2018

A national development company with an office in Plymouth is breathing new life into a group of old, dilapidated buildings in Franklin.

General Properties, LLC, which owns commercial and industrial properties throughout New England, Arkansas and Florida, purchased a former excavation business at 15 Tannery St. in late August with plans to turn it into a business complex, city officials said.

The new three-building complex will house several companies, including an underground tank maintenance business, a vehicle service center and a company that makes sustainable oils, General Properties representative Jeff Colner said. Construction is underway, and Colner said General Properties hopes to finish two of the buildings this year and one next year.

“I think the project will bring a lot of business and life into the city, and make great use out of the space,” he said.

The property – a red brick building and large industrial garage overlooking the Pemigewasset River – was formerly an arsenal well business and later, an excavation business, Colner said. It had been out of use for a number of years.

Colner said the property’s history made it an attractive purchase for General Properties.

“We like taking older properties and making them into something new and getting a good use out of them,” Colner said. “We sometimes like to say that, ‘We see a fork that would be better as a spoon so we make it into the spoon.’ ”

Colner declined to say how much the company paid for the buildings.

The complex will house FBG Tank Services, a branch of First Business Group, Sustainable Refining, Poly Lining Systems Inc., Online Motor Deals, LLC and a vehicle service maintenance center. The complex will be managed by General Property Property Management, a division of General Properties, LLC.

General Properties owns a number of properties in Franklin, including space in the Industrial Park. Colner said a draw for the company has been a stable tax rate ensured by the city’s tax cap.

“The tax cap creates some issues, but in the big picture it raises a rising tide for the whole town,” he said. “We like working in towns that like to have us there. We hope to do more in Franklin.”

Franklin’s Mayor Tony Giunta said the deal with General Properties is representative of why he has fought so hard for the city to maintain its tax cap. The Franklin city council voted to raise the cap earlier this year to help fund Franklin’s schools – which were $1 million short for the third year in a row due to a loss of adequacy and stabilization funding from the state – but later decided to rethink that decision.

“One meeting with the planning board and they were approved – the permitting process is so streamlined in the city,” Giunta said of the deal with General Properties. “Developers are constantly frustrated with the amount of red tape they face, and they don’t feel welcome. We want the opposite message coming from this city.”