Plans for a big housing development on Ahaluna Drive and heavily traveled Dawsonville Highway have not been scrapped and are moving forward with a new developer and builder.
The Times reported last week the project was not happening after developer Oak Hall Companies LLC of Atlanta failed to meet a deadline to sign a contract with the property owner.
Keith Brown, a spokesman for West Ahaluna LLC that owns approximately 186 acres where the project will go, said groundbreaking is projected for the second quarter of 2018.
“I can’t discuss the contract, but we are working with another developer and builder and we hope to have everything worked out in the next few months,” Brown told The Times. “We anticipate breaking ground probably in April, if everything goes as planned.”
Brown said 770 homes would be built on the 186 acres owned by Ahaluna West LLC.
Oak Hall Companies was interested in buying the property but failed to close on a contract by a Sept. 1 deadline, according to Brown.
“We’d already given them a couple of extensions,” Brown said. “They just were unable to close in a timely manner.”
William “Tad” Braswell, a principal with Oak Hall Companies, told The Times the company is now looking to close on a 26-acre tract east of Dawsonville Highway and on the north side of Strickland Drive and Sportsman Club Road.
“We’re going to close on that in December and we’re planning on holding that for a year and then developing that,” Braswell said. “Our plans are to break ground probably in the fall of 2018 and have homes to sell in the spring of 2019.”
Braswell said some 90 age-restricted homes would be built on the 26 acres.
Together with the West Ahaluna project, a total of 860 homes would bring additional traffic to the busy Dawsonville corridor.
Brown said all the conditions and agreements approved by Gainesville planning officials for the 186-acre site will go unchanged.
“It’s a planned unit development, so that stays with the property,” Brown said.
As part of the PUD, West Ahaluna will contribute $425,000 over time for improvement on Dawsonville Highway.
“There will be some improvements that will help along the way as far as getting more of that Dawsonville Highway area more additional lanes that the city is planning to do,” Brown said.