You Asked: Project abandoned

Published 9:51 am Saturday, February 19, 2011

Construction materials for a shopping center remain at College and Stewart drives in Franklin. The developer has abandoned the project. -- EMILY COLLINS | TIDEWATER NEWS

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FRANKLIN—The construction site for a shopping center at North College and Stewart drives has been deserted, said Franklin Community Developer Director Donald Goodwin.

“They pretty much have abandoned that project,” Goodwin said.

Activity began in September 2007. However, construction materials lay dormant and untouched at the site. A turning lane next to the site was completed, Goodwin said.

He said he saw workers there about a week ago, and they appeared to be taking inventory of the materials.

The Sewell Corp. was listed as the developer. Owner Chris Sewell said he decided about four months ago to give up on the project and relinquished control to the Bank of the Commonwealth.

Sewell said there was some hesitation to push the project because Franklin’s economy “has somewhat deteriorated.”

Al Woods, a special assets officer at the Bank of the Commonwealth, said the bank plans to move the materials from the site to a different location.

First, Woods said they have to find a contractor who is able to move the materials.

For the time being, the project has been postponed until the bank can find a developer interested in building on the property.

“The materials are beginning to get under some people’s skin, I think,” Goodwin said.

“We know that it’s an eyesore,” Woods said. “It’s on our list; it’s high on our list.”