Developing new properties in old places.

National Historic District – Infield Development Specialists

For the last 35 years, I personally developed various properties in over ten southern states – the last 19 years my focus has been on creating the kinds of properties which will never be torn down.

Properties that are scrutinized by the masses in the creation, entitlement, execution, delivery and management process because all of them are built right in and around some of the most important and strategically located historic structures in Franklin, TN.

Imagine trying to paint a masterpiece mural the size of a building right on your historic town square. Imagine working on it meticulously as hundreds even thousands of people walk by, look and comment day to day to day on what you are doing.

Although we don’t paint pictures, in that public fishbowl we do our very best work. We develop new, very special properties in very old places.

I am inspired to create a new architectural and lifestyle vision for tired, non-contributing real estate that currently lives in and among some very thoughtful, historic and protected architecture. Every National Historic District in America has properties that were built before they scrutinized the development plans the way they do now or slipped by the care takers at the time they were built. Many times, these properties have non-standard lot configurations or are logistically very difficult to build. They still demand the kind of inspiration, care and resources that my team has consistently brought to the table.

The result of these efforts are the kinds of properties we get to work on and deliver to the people of Franklin, TN and the many millions who visit over the years. All are Historic Preservation Award Winners. Most importantly, they are timeless properties people want to work and live in while enjoying this special place called Historic Franklin.

So, Where does D9 come from?

Many people ask: “What’s the significance of D9?”

In case you are wondering, here’s the story and why it matters.

When I started this company and phase of my real estate/development life it was 2002. I finished a three-year stint as the VP of Marketing, Development and Technology at the National Federation of Independent Business. Prior to that, I spent six years helping to grow two different regionally relevant advertising agencies and was fortunate to be quite successful. When I decided it was time to get back into the real estate development business, I knew I needed to do that under the mantle of a company. So, I needed a name.

When I started in the development business in the late 80’s, every company was a combination of my personal name. The Butler Companies. Butler Development. Butler Management—This time I didn’t want it to be about me. I wanted the company name to be about the projects I was doing. The spirit of how I was going about it.

One day, I was wandering around a very public and enormous site in Nashville with a great and incredibly talented friend. He tells me the story about the site development phase of this important project. It turns out that the physical site was basically a wet bog. Because the scale of the project was so very big, they had to bring in Caterpillar D9 Bulldozers to move the dirt and mud around. Keep in mind, these bulldozers are about the size of a house. As it turns out, one of the D9’s got stuck in the bog. It sunk so deep they couldn’t get it out.

The construction company brought in expert engineers from South America who were working in the rain forests to figure it out. After much deliberation and study, their recommendation was to simply leave it down there and build the building over it. That is exactly what they did. As crazy as it sounds, this amazing very public structure is built over a Caterpillar D9 Bulldozer the size of a house.

I told my friend the moment he finished that story I was going to call my new company D9 Development. He obviously asked me: “Why?” Here’s exactly what I told him.

I named my company D9 Development because I always want to be reminded that no matter how smart you are or how much money you have—invariably the D9 is going to get stuck in the bog and sink. So, don’t be surprised by it. More importantly, it is a reminder to me personally that I’m not in control, but I know Who is. I do my very best to remember that as I envision and we build incredible projects.

Current Project

The Arlington

The Arlington on West Main is about living where you want, how you want, and when you want in Downtown Franklin. All residences are one level and all unit plans are completely custom. This is your home.