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McHugh Construction Starts Work on Southall, a Luxury Resort in Franklin, Tenn.

November 13, 2020

James McHugh Construction Co., one of the country’s largest commercial contractors with a concentration in high-end hospitality, announces it has started work on Southall, a 325-acre farm-based resort in Franklin, Tenn. Located in the rolling hills just south of Nashville, Southall is scheduled to open in Spring 2022 with an inn, spa and signature restaurant dedicated to sustainability.

“The development team at Southall brings extensive experience from some of the top hotels in the world and has been working for years to establish this world-class retreat completely immersed in nature,” said Ryan Keane, vice president of Nashville operations for McHugh Construction. “We’re proud to have been selected to help translate their dreams into reality – a luxury resort that will honor the agricultural legacy of Middle Tennessee and will bring joy and wonder for generations to come. This project is a real testament to our solid reputation as a construction leader in high-end hospitality and in the Nashville market.”

Designed by Franklin, Tenn.-based 906 Studio Architects with interior design by Los Angeles-based Indidesign, the approximately 95,000-square-foot inn and spa at Southall will feature 62 guestrooms, an executive boardroom, breakfast and bourbon bar, and a 3,700-square-foot signature farm-to-table restaurant featuring items grown on-site. A harmony of lush interior space in conjunction with flowing outdoor space provides an ‘inside-out’ natural sensation throughout the property. Sustainable wood materials from managed forests, including heavy timber and cross-laminated timber, will be used to construct most of the resort’s four inter-connected buildings. Retractable roofs over an outdoor whirlpool will provide on-demand cover for guests, rain or shine.

The spa will offer holistic treatments, hiking and hilltop yoga, among other amenities. According to Keane, McHugh Construction is well-suited to managing construction of this resort thanks to the firm’s long track record of building luxury hotels.

“For decades, McHugh has been the go-to general contractor for the construction and renovation of five-star hotels for brands including Park Hyatt, Waldorf Astoria, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons and Peninsula,” Keane said. “That gives us a first-hand understanding of some of the unique challenges and intricate craftsmanship required in high-end hotel construction.”

Conceived five years ago as a biodynamic working farm, focused on agricultural innovation and sustainable, responsible and productive use of the land, Southall includes orchards, greenhouses for hydroponic production and a seasonal farm stand. The working farm at Southall currently employs both advanced farming technologies and heritage farming techniques – from hydroponics and aquaculture to rotational grazing, permaculture and terracing – to create a farm of the future, with an old-world reverence. Upon completion, Southall will also include an event center, cottages and luxury treehouses. Outside of the sustainable working farm and luxury resort, 97% of the property will be maintained as greenspace.

Approximately 130 to 160 construction workers will be on-site each day, and McHugh Construction will be hiring approximately 30 subcontractors for the project.

Other notable Nashville projects completed by McHugh include The SoBro, a 32-story luxury apartment tower, and FieldHouse Jones, a 93-room boutique hotel. McHugh is also currently building West End Residential, a 20-story 358-unit apartment building near the Vanderbilt campus; and Kenect Nashville, a 20-story 420-unit mixed-use development located on famous Music Row. 

About McHugh Construction:

Since its founding in 1897, James McHugh Construction Co. has earned its reputation as a builder of landmark, one-of-a-kind structures in Chicago and other areas of the country. The company specializes in managing multimillion-dollar projects, from ground-up new construction to complex renovations and high-end interiors. As a multi-faceted general contractor, McHugh constructs high-rise concrete towers; steel structures; and buildings using alternative materials such as cold-formed steel, heavy timber and cross-laminated timber. McHugh has built and renovated iconic structures such as Chicago’s Marina City, Vista Tower, Trump Tower, Aqua Tower, Blackstone Hotel, Navy Pier (including the 200-foot-tall Centennial Wheel) and the Westin Cupples Station in St. Louis. The company’s mission has always been to promote a seamless and positive project experience with excellence and innovation. It is known for its unwavering commitment to its clients, its ability to deliver exceptional results on time and within budget, and its dedication to growing and developing its partnerships with subcontractors. For more information on the company, visit

About Southall:

Located in historic Franklin, Tenn., less than 20 miles from Nashville, Southall encompasses over 325 acres, set across rolling Tennessee hills, and includes a working farm featuring orchards; crops; gardens; an apiary; chicken coop; rotational grazing for livestock; innovative greenhouses; active aquaculture and seed-saving programs, and a recreational lake. Set to open in spring 2022, a luxury inn, spa and signature restaurant will offer an escape where guests will enjoy an array of experiences based on the property’s core principles of exploration, discovery and connection. For more information, visit


McHugh Construction has begun construction on Southall in Franklin, Tenn. Upon completion, the luxury resort set on a 325-acre destination farm, will feature 62 guestrooms, an executive boardroom, breakfast and bourbon bar, and a 3,700-square-foot signature farm-to-table restaurant.


McHugh Construction is using sustainable wood materials from managed forests, including heavy timber and cross-laminated timber, to construct most of the resort’s four inter-connected buildings that will be the hub of activity at Southall in Franklin, Tenn.