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Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce accepts nominations for beautification awards
Neighbors and friends may submit nominations of private homes and businesses by June 1
The Oxley Group purchased the former Lee’s Pure Oil Service Station at 131 Green St. SE in downtown Gainesville. The company reconstructed and renovated it to fill the needs of an office space. Because of its efforts, The Oxley Group won the 2015 Spring Business Beautification Award. This is the building after renovations.

To submit a nomination, send the name and address of the business or private home to Robin Halstead at or 770-532-6206.

For the past 25 years, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce has been commending private homeowners and businesses with an award for their efforts of maintaining their properties and making them looking beautiful.

“The main goal is to recognize people (for) the work that they do to their gardens, yards and home,” said Robin Halstead, vice president of community development for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

Last year the award, known as the Spring Business Beautification Award, went to The Oxley Group at 131 Green St. SE in downtown Gainesville.

The building used to be a gas station — Lee’s Pure Oil Service Station — back in the day, but the company reconstructed and renovated it to fill the needs of an office space.

“We wanted to honor the historic heritage of the building,” Andrew Oxley said.

When they first bought the place, it had been unoccupied for years and was rundown after a long period of disuse, he said.

However, Oxley and his wife, Tracy, saw the historic building as a structure with promise.

Tracy Oxley helped design the new space, as did local architect Jeff Crocker.

They bricked the outside of the building and refurbished the portico, adding flowers and plants to the areas surrounding the space.

By the end of 2014, the building was ready after a year of remodeling.

“We wanted to make it look more in line with what you want to see so close to downtown,” Andrew Oxley said.

The most noteworthy piece of the building, in his opinion, are the three massive carriage doors. Features like these distinguish some buildings from others.

Other businesses that have won in the past include Sullivan & Schlieman on Spring Street, Lakeshore Mall, Independence Bank of Georgia, the downtown square and the pedestrian bridge.

The residential winner for 2015 was Betty Shott with her home at 725 Candler St. However, she has sold the property.

Volunteer gardeners and residents at the Village at Deaton Creek won the 2014 award. The garden at the residence included a butterfly demonstration garden and native and non-native species of plants.

2013 winners were Jim and Mary Beth Tharp, whose house at 3427 Talking Leaves Trail in Gainesville is a registered wildlife habitat. It provides food, water and shelter to creatures such as birds, butterflies and other critters.

Tasked with selecting the business and residential winners is the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Beautification Committee. This group of people sits down and looks at the nominations each year.

Halstead has been part of the team for the past 10 years. She loves finding places she deems “hidden treasures.”

The Chamber is accepting nominations for this year’s award until June 1. Nominations should be sent to Halstead’s via email at or calling her at 770-532-6206. The name of the business or the address should be given to Halstead.

Businesses or homes nominated should be located in Gainesville and Hall County, but there are no other restrictions.

In years past, nominations usually are submitted by neighbors or friends, but Halstead welcomes all nominations.

Winners will be featured in the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Business Link and may place a sign in the yard indicating the award.