Hilton Franklin

Street view of the Hilton Hotel in Franklin Tennessee.
  • Full-service hotel
  • 244 rooms, 8 stories
  • 2-story, 228-space parking garage

Developer: Chartwell Hospitality

Architect: Rabun Architects

Contractor: Crain Construction

MEP: I.C. Thomasson Associates, Inc.

Tight Site Makes Room for Full Service Hilton Hotel

We took ownership early and diligently worked with the master developer, the design team and subcontractors, to meet stringent requirements and build a full-service hotel for developer Chartwell Hospitality that now serves as a prototype for full-service Hilton hotels.

Chartwell Hospitality and Crain Construction have a long history of teaming up on projects, from hotels to mixed-use structures. When Chartwell Hospitality decided to build a prototype Hilton in Franklin, TN, they knew they could trust us to fill in the gaps of constructability in the field and keep the master developer of the existing office/retail community happy.


Sited in a 60-acre, mixed-use office and retail community, the hotel was built between two occupied Class A office towers, one of those just 75 feet away. The project was built in phases as the master developer released limited space with strict noise and delivery restrictions to minimize the inconvenience to neighboring office tenants. Design delays required flexibility.


Keeping the client’s best interests in mind, we assumed direction for all subs, not just our own. We conducted detailed planning with the master developer and coordinated with the office tenants to give a week’s advance notice of potential disruptive construction activities.

The team did due diligence and vetted everything before it got to the owner’s level so change orders were clean. We also found solutions to doing things more cost effectively that would still achieve the look the client wanted.

To minimize disruption to area tenants, construction crews worked early mornings, nights and weekends, while adhering to noise restrictions. Our Crain team did advanced planning to gain City of Franklin approval for crane use and concrete pours.

Necessary power disruptions to the office towers were scheduled during the Thanksgiving weekend. Crain coordinated with the power company to energize a secondary feed to assure there would be no power disruption to the tenant with 24-hour operations.

The tight site required innovative and detailed scheduling including just-in-time delivery for most materials. With limited storage space, the precast concrete panels and other large shipments were staged off-site and delivered to the worksite during low office traffic.

Following a design review with the design team, some details on the hotel tower were simplified to make it more efficient and cost effective. The eyebrow, originally designed with two separate roofs and drainage systems, was changed to make it part of the main roof system and allow access for constructability. This value engineering saved the owner $300,000.

Design delays would have cost the project two months, but that time was recovered with efficiency of construction. Since the hotel was a prototype with unique finishes, the design team was constantly modifying. Subcontractors did modeling and close coordination with the design team to expedite the shop drawing review process and allow materials to get to production quicker.

Associated Builders and Contractors of Tennessee recognized the Hilton prototype with an Excellence in Construction Award. The Crain project team and 50 percent of the subcontractors also built Chartwell’s next Hilton Hotel in Alpharetta, GA, based on this protype.

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