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New fitness center could be coming to Dawsonville Highway
The eastbound outside lane on Dawsonville Highway has recently been converted into a through/turn lane to improve traffic flow in that area. - photo by Jeff Gill

A fitness center and other retail and restaurants may be coming to Dawsonville Highway near the intersection with Beechwood Boulevard and the North Lake Square shopping center.

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board will consider the proposal by LLJ Development LLC, a Cordele-based company, at its Aug. 14 meeting. The board’s recommendation will then go to the Gainesville City Council on Sept. 18.

The almost 7-acre property would have a 22,000-square-foot fitness center, as well as 6,800 square feet of restaurants and retail and 260 parking spaces. The currently vacant lot was previously developed as a medical facility, but the pre-existing structures have been demolished. The businesses are expected to be built in 2019.

Proposed hours for the fitness center are 5 a.m. to midnight. Gainesville Planning Manager Matt Tate said in an email that the applicant cannot yet disclose the name of the fitness center.

The site is next to the offices for Jackson EMC and the North Lake Square shopping center, which houses Academy Sports + Outdoors, Hobby Lobby and Burlington. The development would also be adjacent to some single-family homes in the Lakeshore Heights subdivision, which is off of Dawsonville Highway.

Another proposed development on Dawsonville Highway, a commercial development at the intersection of Lakeshore Drive, would also be next to homes in Lakeshore Heights. Residents expressed concerns about that development at a July 10 planning board meeting, citing traffic, noise and safety as reasons to limit development in the area.

The board approved that development at Lakeshore Drive, and that proposal is scheduled to be considered by the Gainesville City Council on Aug. 7.

In an effort to address traffic on Dawsonville Highway, the city of Gainesville and the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization are collaborating on a study to find an alternate route to connect Dawsonville Highway and McEver Road. The results of that study will likely be available later this summer.

Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board

When: 5:30 p.m. Aug. 14

Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway

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