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Construction of new Flowery Branch City Hall well underway
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Workers make progress at the construction site of the new Flowery Branch City Hall in downtown Flowery Branch on Tuesday. - photo by David Barnes

The new Flowery Branch City Hall is beginning to take shape.

Construction is well underway on the 18,000-square-foot building, which will house administrative and planning offices, the Flowery Branch Police Department, Flowery Branch Municipal Court and a meeting room for the Flowery Branch City Council.

“It’s coming along,” City Manager Bill Andrew said.

The building’s completion, as well as move-in, is being targeted for December.

Steel is being erected on the building, something that had been a concern.

“We’ve had to wait on some deliveries of steel to go vertical,” Andrew said. “It’s a difficult market right now in terms of getting steel made and delivered.”

He said he was told “things (would) be moving quickly once that happens.”

Weather also has been a factor in construction.

“We’ve had quite a few rain days,” Andrew said. “Minimally, it’s been 12-17 rain days a month  for the last three months.”

The building, which also will be able to house community events for up to 200 people, is off Railroad Avenue and West Chestnut Street downtown.

Extension of West Pine Street from Church Street to Railroad Avenue also is part of the city hall project.

“The road should be done (before) the building,” Andrew said.

When all’s said and done, the area “is going to look a lot different,” he said.

The project has been a longtime goal for the South Hall city. Currently, city offices and police are in several buildings on Main Street, including City Hall, which has cramped work spaces and a council meeting room.

By freeing up space on Main, “we really think this (project) is going to bring in some more  businesses and get (city offices) more organized and the city set for moving forward,” Andrew has said.

Downtown Flowery Branch has had a sort of business revival in the past few years, and the hope is the project’s completion will spark further growth.

In March, the city sent out a request for proposals “to create a walkable mixed-use community in  Old Town.”

“Flowery Branch is not just seeking to sell land and buildings,” Mayor Mike Miller said in the request. “We are offering marketable sites in a desirable location, within walking distance to Lake Lanier.

“The city is also prepared to provide significant financial incentives and has already made major public investments to enhance the success of this important project for our community.”

The area covers 8.7 acres and 13,100 square feet of city-owned space.

One company “turned in a proposal that we’re continuing to evaluate with them,” Andrew said. “Vaguely, I think we’re probably trying to come to a conclusion by the end of August in what we’re going to do moving forward — whether we’ll continue to work with them.

“Barring that, we may look to re-advertise it. We just don’t know.”

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