I received this in my inbox this evening and I thought that I would share it with y'all ...
City negotiating with Pizza Hut to buy battlefield land
By CLINT CONFEHR / Review Appeal Senior Staff Reporter
Franklin is negotiating to buy a pizzeria on Columbia Avenue in hopes of combining it with other land to create a Civil War landmark park, Mayor Tom Miller has announced.
Subject to city board approval, the city has made an offer to Pizza Hut, Miller said Thursday night to an audience of about 65 people at Moore Elementary School. It's a dollars and sense issue.
Pizza Hut's asking price was $390,000, Miller said after his constituent meeting for residents of Franklin's 3rd Ward.
Nearby, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County owns a blue house occupied by the law firm of Brasfield and Milazo on Cleburne Street.
Dubbed the "Cotton Gin House", the building is where the Carter family processed cotton. It was the bloodiest place of the Battle of Franklin.
"They could reconstruct the cotton gin which was there originally," Alderwoman Pam Lewis said.
Miller said if the city bought the Pizza Hut, it would tear it down and create open green space on land seen as a good place for one of a series of battlefield parks to give visitors a better understanding of the battle.
"The Heritage Foundation bought the cotton gin property in the mid-1990s," said Mary Pearce, executive director of the foundation. "It's always been the vision of the Carter House Association and the foundation that these parcels could be combined for an interpretive presentation of what was an integral part of the Battle of Franklin."
Part of its significance is that location is where Gen. Patrick Cleburne, a very popular Irish Confederate general, died.
"We are presently paying for the property with rent we are receiving," Pearce said. "It's a win-win, and we anticipate several years will pass before it would not be available."
Dick Sammer of Vision Real Estate is the intermediary for Franklin in its negotiations with Pizza Hut's Dallas office, Miller said. Pizza Hut is headquartered in Wichita, Kan.
Combining the Heritage Foundation property with city-owned land assuming acquisition of the pizzeria is accomplished is the theory behind a National Battlefield Park," Miller said.
Combining the pizzeria property with other land could be one of several sites throughout Franklin which, on their own, couldn't be a national park, but together they could provide visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the Battle of Franklin, Miller explained.
Winstead Hill and Fort Granger are city parks which could be provided for the National Park Service toward that larger idea, the mayor has explained.
"There is no guarantee this will happen," he said. "The National Park Service has been told not to add other parks, but we know two were added in the last four years, although they were fairly small."
Franklin's negotiations with Pizza Hut started about three weeks ago, he said.