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Development rising near Exit 14 could have 6 retail buildings
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Development continues Wednesday, July 29, 2020, along Martin Road where apartments and retail are planned across from Martin Technology Academy. - photo by Scott Rogers

More details are emerging about what will be the first major development off Exit 14 in South Hall since the interchange fully opened Jan. 30

Grading began in earnest earlier this year, with a few details known about the project off Martin Road. 

Flowery Branch City Council 

What: Proposed rezoning for retail building as part of project near Exit 14
When: 6 p.m. Aug. 6 
Where:  Flowery Branch City Hall, 5410 W. Pine St.

Specifically, Oakwood City Council had approved 15 acres of allowable commercial development, including a drive-in restaurant, banks, medical offices and car washes, in September 2019. Hotels would be excluded on the site. Also, 360,000 square feet of housing, or 312 apartments, are planned on 31.5 acres.

As part of a rezoning application going before Flowery Branch City Council on Aug. 6, maps show nearly 40,000 square feet of retail space spread out among six buildings, along with the apartment complex.

Blanchard is seeking rezoning of a 7.3-acre tract off Falcon Parkway/Ga. 13 just north of Martin Road, for a 6,900-square foot retail building that’s part of the overall development.

“At the current time, we believe that the market can only support the small retail space identified on the site plan,” Blanchard’s application states. “Further, there are several natural features on the parcel that limit the developable area.

“However, the site is being designed in such a way to allow for future connectivity to the adjacent projects, should that become a necessity.”

The adjacent projects are the remaining retail buildings and the apartments. Otherwise, the map doesn’t indicate any potential tenants. 

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Development continues Wednesday, July 29, 2020, along Martin Road where apartments and retail are planned across from Martin Technology Academy. - photo by Scott Rogers

The map shows a road connecting the development to Martin Road across from Martin Technology Academy, which is in the Hall County School System. The project is across the road from Hall County Fire Station 5, which is also off Ga. 13.

When reached Wednesday, July 29, Shawn Gleason of Blanchard declined to comment about the development.

The project has drawn both opposition and support.

“We are excited about the presence of more people close to us,” said Brian Evans, Oakwood Baptist’s senior pastor, in an earlier interview. “What we’re about is reaching people.”

Gary McClung, who is part of a group of Martin Road residents who have been vocal particularly about local traffic issues, has said, “They should put commercial enterprises on the other side of 985 where the industries are, not belly up to two residential areas,” Gary McClung said at the time.

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