By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Old Gainesville church now rubble as this new development will take its place
12012022 CHURCH 1.jpg
A former Gainesville church building has been torn down to make way for 70 townhomes. Completion is expected in December 2023. - photo by Jeff Gill

A once-flourishing Gainesville church now lies in rubble as a developer gets set to build 70 townhomes.

Flowerwood, developed by Peachtree Corners-based McKinley Homes, will take the place of what was once Woodlawn Baptist Church. The new development will consist of two-story townhomes at 2920 Florence Drive, south of Browns Bridge Road and behind the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

The 8-acre development will feature a small park with a children’s play area and a dog walk, according to Gainesville planning documents.

Homes will be priced in the low $300,000s, Bill Schmidt, McKinley’s vice president of land acquisition, said earlier this year.

“I am so sad to see it go,” said Brittany Shaffer, who shared memories of attending the church in an earlier interview.

“I was baptized in that church. My parents were baptized in that church. My grandparents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in that church. I watched my family members build a part of it from scratch and so, it’s really sad to see it reduced to a pile of rubble.”

Shaffer added: “It’s a sign of the times in Hall County right now, though. So much growth.”

Hall County records show the property changing hands in 1998 from Woodlawn Baptist Church to New Life Christian Fellowship, and then a foreclosure taking place on the property in 2003. In what appears to be the last transaction, America’s Home Place Inc. bought the property from Futurus Bank in 2004 for $1 million.

Even though long abandoned, signs of the old church were still evident — such as a steeple with paint chipping away and a still upright playground — as McKinley took its townhomes proposal to city officials earlier this year. Plans were approved by Gainesville City Council in April.

Townhomes do fit the area, however, as the surrounding area is largely residential, including condominiums and other townhomes.

“We believe the proposed townhome community and location provides for the housing needs of a growing, diverse population,” McKinley Homes said at the time.

The project is scheduled for a December 2023 completion.

01282022 townhomes
A 70-townhome development will be built south of Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville at the site of a former church.