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Atlanta developer discusses big plans for downtown Flowery Branch
Downtown Flowery Branch - photo by Scott Rogers

An Atlanta developer’s ambitious plans for Flowery Branch are going public this week.

The Residential Group is proposing to turn property now occupied by the former City Hall and police station on Main Street between Railroad Avenue and Church Street into a multi-use development featuring 15 apartments and 7,700 square feet of ground-level retail.

And it is seeking to rezone a long-vacant 37-acre site off Phil Niekro Boulevard for a proposed 324-unit apartment complex — plans that go before Flowery Branch City Council on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Both projects were discussed in an open house at the old City Hall Wednesday, Dec. 5.

Next open house

What: Downtown redevelopment project proposed by Atlanta-based The Residential Group

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 19

Where: 5517 Main St., Flowery Branch
More info: 770-967-6371

Proposed rezoning

What: The Residential Group, an Atlanta-based developer, is seeking a rezoning to allow for a 324-unit apartment complex on Phil Niekro Boulevard

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6

Where: Flowery Branch City Hall, 5410 Pine St.

More info: 770-967-6371 or

Kurt R. Alexander, principal for The Residential Group, spoke to and fielded questions from about 15 residents, with renderings of the projects serving as a backdrop.

Residents asked about demolition work, whether a train mural painted on one of the buildings would remain — it won’t, according to City Manager Bill Andrew — and the length of construction.

Alexander said work on the projects could begin by June 2019 and completed in 2021.

The projects have been in discussion for several months.

Flowery Branch City Council voted Nov. 15 to approve $5 million from tax allocation district money to offset demolition and construction costs on the project.

Under Georgia law, cities are allowed to designate certain “blighted” areas as TADs, using property tax increments resulting from new growth on public projects to help attract growth and increase the increments.

By law, the money can be used for public utilities improvements, such as stormwater systems.

The downtown area is part of a TAD in the South Hall city.

The apartment complex, Crest Flowery Branch, would be built off Phil Niekro Boulevard at Thurmon Tanner Parkway, just west of Interstate 985. The complex would feature a clubhouse and swimming pool.

The Residential Group is seeking to rezone the site from highway business to multifamily residential.

The front portion of the property would remain as highway business, a move that would “create a mixed-use environment,” according to a document from the developer.

“This will be in line with the comprehensive plan by creating an urban, pedestrian-friendly environment,” the document states. “By providing a Class A market-rate project, this new project will raise the property value of the surrounding parcels to the benefit of all property owners in the area.”

The Residential Group has developed fashionable apartment complexes in other cities, including One Metrocenter in Nashville, Tenn.

Also, “the additional residential density will act as a catalyst for the future commercial development to the benefit of the community.”