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Gas station coming to Gainesville intersection
Neighbors had earlier opposed RaceTrac site at Browns Bridge and McEver
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A project that once elicited contentious debate is now under way at the corner of Browns Bridge and McEver roads.

Crews have begun grading land for a RaceTrac gas station and accompanying shopping at the intersection, according to an official with the developer, Easland Capital of Atlanta Inc.

In 2008, residents of the retirement community then called Seasons on Lanier opposed the project due to concerns over noise and sound pollution.

Many said when they bought their homes, a gas station was not what they expected from the "commercial-retail" part of their community. But after the community's developer had filed for bankruptcy in 2007, many promised amenities were left incomplete. The development was later bought by Kolter Signature Homes and renamed Cresswind at Lake Lanier.

Homeowners said they were happy with the RaceTrac plans after they were revised.

Now work to ready the property has started, with crews widening the intersection, adding turn lanes and changing the stop lights. Intersection improvements are mandated by the Department of Transportation for any development on a state route.

Those improvements should be complete by early June, Easlan President Kent Levenson said.

Once the site work is done, RaceTrac will begin construction of a 5,000-square-foot convenience store and nine fueling stations, according to a company project manager. Construction is expected to begin in late June and take about four months. The company has not yet awarded the construction contract and is now securing permits.

The area being developed is just fewer than 4 acres. In addition to the gas station, Easlan is considering building either four large out-parcel buildings or a 17,000-square-foot multitenant building with one separate out parcel.

"As soon as we get the RaceTrac done and get it graded then we're going to be looking at how much tenant interest we can get and complete the rest of the project," Levenson said.