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3 things to know from Mayor Danny Dunagan's last chamber address: Downtown, streetscaping and The Coop
Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan addresses the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Nov. 18, 2021, at the Gainesville Civic Center. - photo by Conner Evans

Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan addressed the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce for the last time Thursday, Nov. 18, before Councilman Sam Couvillon takes his seat. Dunagan shared several construction and economic development updates from around the city. 

Downtown construction

Some downtown projects are wrapping up, adding more parking and retail space to the increasingly busy downtown square. 

The new Gainesville parking deck at 130 Main St. has sprung up quickly in recent weeks. But, Dunagan said, the slow part of construction is yet to come. 

Finishing details on the inside of the deck and other construction is expected to be complete in March, he said. The deck will also have a pavilion area on Brenau Avenue, permanently closing a section of road between Bradford and Main streets. The pavilion area will include a water feature, Dunagan said.  

Gainesville Renaissance is nearing completion on the square, Dunagan said. The mixed-use development will include restaurants and retail on the first floor, Brenau University’s  Lynn J. Darby School of Psychology and Adolescent Counseling on the second floor and eight condominium units on the third floor.

Brenau is expected to move in this January, Dunagan said, and the east corner of the property is planned for restaurants, though final details are still being worked out.

Downtown streetscaping

Downtown Gainesville is getting a little more walkable and drivable. 

Gainesville recently completed new sidewalks on Bradford Street and is nearing completion on repaving the street between Washington and Academy streets. The road is now open to motorists. 

The city tore up part of Washington Street between Bradford and Green streets this week, and Dunagan said the repaving will be the final phase of its $2.9 million downtown streetscaping projects.

The work also involves improvements to water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure, as well as putting overhead utility lines underground. 

The Coop sports complex

Gainesville could be getting more ball fields and a place to hold sports tournaments soon.

Long-awaited “The Coop” sports complex is set to start construction on Jan. 1, Dunagan said.

“It’s going to bring a lot of people to Gainesville and Hall County,” he said. 

The 89-acre project at 2490 Old Cornelia Highway will include five baseball fields and a multi-purpose rectangular field. The city purchased property to make way for the project back in November 2019. The project is expected to take about 18 months to complete.