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Academy Sports opening Friday at North Lake
HomeGoods also coming to shopping complex
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Jay Strickland, left, and Miguel Rivera put bicycles up on racks Thursday afternoon at the new Academy Sports + Outdoors store on Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville. Employees were busy making final arrangements before Friday morning's grand opening.

The developer of a large shopping complex on Dawsonville Highway announced Thursday the most recent business to sign on at the 200,000-square-foot site.

Home fashion department store HomeGoods will open a 20,000-square-foot location at North Lake Square, according to Tim Knight, developer and president of Knight Commercial Real Estate.

On the heels of the announcement is the grand opening Friday of North Lake’s Academy Sports + Outdoors. Store director Russ Hilsher said the the 62,000-square-foot Gainesville store “will be a great location for us. It was one of the first cities in Georgia where we wanted to break ground.”

Hilsher said Gainesville is the No. 1 city in Georgia with regard to the number of hunting and fishing licenses sold.

The business sells sports and outdoor gear, including firearms and fishing, camping, grilling and sports equipment.

“This is a location we’ve been wanting to open for nearly eight years now,” Hilsher said.

Friday’s grand opening event features a $150 “mystery gift card” giveaway to the first 150 customers in line at the store, located at 1140 Dawsonville Highway, Gainesville.

There will also be games and giveaways throughout the morning beginning at 8 a.m., as well as an opportunity to meet former Atlanta Brave Terry Pendleton from noon to 1 p.m.

Another grand opening at North Lake Square could be coming over the next several weeks for Chipotle — which was originally slated for a November opening.

Knight said HomeGoods will likely open in late spring of 2016.

Billing itself as “an off-price retailer,” the chain store features home furnishings such as furniture, rugs, china, linens and more. The store is owned by TJX Companies, which also owns apparel and home fashion stores T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.

Hobby Lobby was the first store to open at North Lake Square. The chain opened its 35th Georgia location on Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville, a 62,000-square-foot store that went into business in early October.

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