Downtown Flowery Branch’s makeover continues this week as workers are ripping up part of Main Street to make room for trees, benches and new, wider sidewalks.
“Seeing those new sidewalks down will be like we’re actually getting somewhere” with overall improvements, said Renee Carden, downtown events coordinator.
Main Street is still open to one-way traffic in the project area between Railroad Avenue and Church Street. But drivers will have to watch for the work that’s happening in front of a new apartment-retail building.
Outside dining at new building
The new sidewalks will allow outside dining for restaurants in the city-owned building. The city has leased two of four spaces to restaurants, 4 Elephants Catering and El Sabor Costeno Taqueria. A third space will be occupied by a boutique, and a fourth one hasn’t been leased yet.
“I know (the new tenants) are meeting with contractors to get things going,” Carden said.
The wider sidewalks, roomy enough to allow for new trees and pedestrian and customer seating, should be finished by the end of next week, she said.
“They haven’t been able to get the concrete this week, but they’re getting a heavy load next week to be able to get it all finished,” Carden said.
Streetlights also will be moved closer to the street as part of the work.
The outdoor seating will be added and trees planted later, Carden said.
Pedestrian connection to pavilion
Plans also call for more seating in an open-air, pedestrian alley between the apartment-retail building and the historic depot on Main. The alley will connect Main Street to a pavilion that will house the city’s popular farmer’s market and other outdoor events.
Downtown traffic improvements
Flowery Branch also plans to repave and restripe Main Street, add new parking and sidewalks on Railroad Avenue, and convert part of Church Street into a pedestrian-friendly area with lower speed limits and “traffic-calming” devices such as speed humps.
What’s next for downtown Flowery Branch
Construction now underway on an amphitheater off Church Street is also part of the first wave of downtown improvements. A second phase is being planned, including a multi-use trail and new park off Church between Spring and West Chestnut streets.