One of the 10 largest employers in Williamson County, and one of that county's biggest corporate brand names, is hunting for a new headquarters.
Mars Petcare U.S. Inc. is pursuing about 200,000 square feet of office space, according to multiple real estate sources. Such a move would mark major growth for a company that already employs 1,000 people in what is this region's longtime corporate hub and the fastest-growing county in Tennessee. Expansion by Mars Petcare, known for pet brands such as Pedigree and Sheba, would be another jolt of economic development for Williamson County, which has been adding jobs faster than any other in the nation, according to the latest federal data.
Though it remains to be seen where the company will land, the prospects identified by several sources are all located within Williamson County, where Mars Petcare is currently headquartered. That county's private-sector growth has sapped almost all of its top-grade Class A office space. Just 0.9 percent of all the space in Franklin/Cool Springs, for example, is available to rent, according to market stats from real estate brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield.
The upshot: Should Mars Petcare commit to this expansion, they'd be moving into a building that doesn't exist today, given the relatively large amount of space the company is seeking.
Messages for Mars Petcare officials were not immediately returned Wednesday.
A decade ago, the company relocated its headquarters to Franklin from the Los Angeles area. Two years ago this month, Mars Petcare opened a $110 million Global Innovation Center in the town of Thompson's Station. (A slideshow of that facility is included with this story.) That campus, where about 140 people work, is 15 minutes south of the Cool Springs headquarters.
Mars Petcare and its parent, the McLean, Va.-based candy conglomerate Mars Inc., employ about 1,700 people statewide — including at facilities in Lebanon, as well as those in Chattanooga and Cleveland.
For its current headquarters, Mars Petcare leases the office building at 315 Cool Springs Blvd., which contains about 126,000 square feet of space. It was not immediately clear whether Mars Petcare would vacate that building or keep some or all of that space as it pursues this potential new headquarters. When Mars Petcare opened the Thompson's Station building in 2014, company officials said publicly that they had a few years remaining on their Cool Springs lease.
For more on the projects that may be in play to land Mars, our subscribers can check out this analysis.
Article from Nashville Business Journal. Original article below: