Amid tall walnut trees and remains of bygone horse stables, a water tower and an earthen road, Frank Norton Jr. Is carving out a housing development that seeks to preserve the New Holland community’s past while looking to serve a growing medical community.
Liberty Lakeview is taking shape in woods off Quarry Street between Highland Street and Lakeview Drive, the northwestern edge of the historic mill community.
“These (homes) will feel like old mill village houses rather than something that’s multi-colorful or bungalows,” Norton said. “They will have historic character.”
Norton’s Ncredible Properties, a residential development and investment arm of Gainesville-based The Norton Agency, plans to build 30 cottages in the area and restore several original mill houses as part of the project.
Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board
What: Annexation request for Liberty Lakeview, a rental housing development off Quarry Street in New Holland
When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8
Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway
The 16.6-acre rental community will feature a gated entrance and new road off Quarry, running by the cottages, which will feature a farmhouse design, complete with tin roofs. A playground and fire pit have been built in a stand of tall trees next to an old, abandoned road that empties onto Highland. Walking trails and a dog park also are planned.
The development is being targeted particularly to residents in Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s graduate medical education program, which began in 2019.
“The project is specifically designed with medical residents in mind: deliberate room arrangements and master bedroom sound proofing, high-speed internet connectivity, study carrel/ studio with built-in desks and bookcases,” Norton’s website says. “The site plan allows distance and privacy between homes and a sense of quiet solitude and security.”
NGMC, which is about a mile away from Liberty Lakeview, has 64 residents representing internal medicine, family medicine and general surgery, and the hospital is working to expand to more than 200 residents by 2023, spokeswoman Marie Krueger said.
Dr. John E. Delzell Jr., vice president of medical education for the Northeast Georgia Health System, said the hospital is excited about any project that provides “attractive and affordable housing options” for Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s resident physicians and the rest of the hospital’s workforce.
“The more we can do as a community to provide a welcoming and inviting environment for our resident physicians to live, work and play, the more likely we are to keep the best and brightest right here in Hall County,” Delzell said.
Norton still has government hoops to jump through in the project. His group is set to go before the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board on Tuesday, Sept. 8, with an annexation request that would bring five mill properties into the city and add 12 new townhome-style rental houses.
“We want to clean up (the development) so we have a blanket (residential zoning category) over the entire development and so we’ll have consistency in product, and consistency in appearance and feel,” Norton said. “My investors felt we needed to start improving Quarry Street. We started buying houses and converting them … with the intent of improving the approach and visualization of our (overall) development.”
If he succeeds, the development will end up with a mix of two- and three-bedroom cottages, duplexes and townhomes for a total of 49 residential units. Rents would range from $1,200 to $1,400 for duplexes to $1,800 for three-bedroom cottages.
Leasing is already underway, with the entire project set for completion in 2022, Norton said.
And he hopes the development will do more than attract future doctors.
“Hopefully, it will stimulate other people to improve New Holland,” he said.