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The Gainesville City School System will not hold in-person classes on Thursday, Oct. 29, as Hall County prepares strong winds and heavy rain expected from Hurricane Zeta. Class is still in session but will be hosted virtually, the school system says.
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Golden Arches await as Rite Aid turns to rubble in Flowery Branch
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The former Rite Aid building off Spout Springs Road in Flowery Branch was being torn down Wednesday, Feb. 26, to make room for a new McDonald’s restaurant. - photo by Jeff Gill

The former Rite Aid building off Spout Springs Road in Flowery Branch was being torn down Wednesday, Feb. 26, to make room for a new McDonald’s restaurant.

Crews were busy tearing away at the brick structure, which is also off Hog Mountain Road and across from Walgreens.

The fast-food hamburger restaurant is planning to open before Memorial Day “if weather permits for our construction schedule,” said Kimberly Dobbs Scott, vice president of operations for McDonald’s of Northeast Georgia Inc., in a January interview.

“We are ready to go and look forward to growing in the Flowery Branch area,” she said.

Scott couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

The project not only means a heavier presence of McDonald’s in the area, with restaurants in neighboring Oakwood, Buford and Braselton, it also serves as a reminder of Rite Aid’s fading presence in Hall.

By February, the surviving Rite Aids in Hall County were to have transformed into Walgreens stores. Since the summer of 2018, the Rite Aids in the area have either become different businesses, shut down completely or have started changing into a Walgreens.

Overall, Walgreens bought 1,932 Rite Aid stores. The drug store chain announced its plans in October 2017 to close around 600 store locations.

The new McDonald’s also is part of a development wave in Flowery Branch, including proposed apartments and retail across Hog Mountain behind Walgreens and planned apartments farther north on Hog Mountain next to Flowery Branch High School.


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