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Flowery Branch subdivision abandoned after recession may be revived
Park Walk off Jim Crow Road includes 134 lots on 53 acres
An Arizona-based developer is looking to revive Park Walk, a 53-acre Flowery Branch subdivision abandoned by a previous developer during the Great Recession.

Public hearing

What: Flowery Branch City Council to consider residential rezoning of 53 acres off Jim Crow Road

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: City Hall, 5517 Main St.

A Flowery Branch subdivision that went the way of the weeds during the Great Recession may be coming back to life.

Arizona-based Meritage Homes is looking to revive Park Walk, a subdivision approved for up to 134 lots by the South Hall city in 2005, with a rezoning hearing set for Thursday before the Flowery Branch City Council.

Park Walk is a 53-acre site off Jim Crow Road between Lakeside Water Treatment Plant and Stephens Road.

High Pointe Capital was the original developer but never got the project beyond putting in basic infrastructure such as roads and streetlights. In what has been a common sight nationally after the 2007-09 economic meltdown, brush and weeds have taken over grassy areas and locked gates mark the entrance.

“From a development standpoint, we obviously want to see this (property) developed,” said John McHenry, Flowery Branch’s community development director.

The property was originally rezoned to planned unit development — a designation that won’t change. However, conditions of that rezoning and High Pointe’s plans for the property were unique to that action.

“We want to see single-family (housing), landscaping and good connections, but we respect that (Meritage) is the developer and they have an understanding of what the market is interested in,” McHenry said.

Meritage’s plans for the property aren’t fully known at this point.

“We’re measuring what makes sense for the local market as well as for our needs,” said Stephen Haines, Atlanta division president for Meritage. “Right now, we’re doing some analysis to see what make sense.”

One of the draws for Meritage to the property is that Hall County “is one of the larger employment bases in the greater Atlanta metro area,” he said.

“It’s a little bit unsung,” Haines added.

He touted Meritage’s home construction practices.

“We have cleaner air, lower energy and water usage, and lower toxic fumes,” Haines said. “Overall, we have a healthier home that uses less energy and less water than anybody in the market.”

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