A former South Hall farm may get new life as a retail/housing development in Flowery Branch.
Property owner Robi Sarkar is planning to develop “The Farm,” a 17-acre tract off McEver and Gaines Ferry roads, across from the Four Seasons neighborhood.
Sarkar envisions the development will have a general store, hardware store, “community barn” with brew pub and event space, farmers market and food truck areas, breakfast and farm-to-table restaurants, taqueria or the like, and 20 small boutique shops.
The retail area will surround about 3 acres “where families can enjoy live music, take-out food, the farmers market or just hanging out,” Sarkar said in an email.
Also planned are 27 "farm homes" that “keep with that agrarian aesthetic and feel of the whole development,” he said.
Overall, it will be “a small mixed-use community that steers away from conventional ideas of big box strip centers and embraces a smaller, locally owned, more authentic sense of the local community,” Sarkar said.
“The development seeks to honor what was already here, the farm, fundamental to life, and paying respect to what we value here — nature, family, food, music, hanging out with our community.”
Flowery Branch has issued a land disturbance permit to Sarkar for the project.
“It is a true mixed-use (project) with restaurant/retail and townhomes, with great connectivity and site layout,” city planner Rich Atkinson said. “The city is extremely excited to see this project begin.”
Sarkar isn’t sure of a timetable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My crystal ball is pretty foggy,” he said. “I don’t have the resources of a development company, so it will happen in bite-size phases. And I think that's OK. I've been really comfortable with the organic nature of how this is all unfolding.”