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What’s being built next to contested warehouse project in Flowery Branch
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Land is cleared Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, along Thurmond Tanner Parkway across from Tree Park apartments in Flowery Branch for a warehouse development. - photo by Photo illustration by SCOTT ROGERS

A new warehouse project has started in Flowery Branch by the same developer who is proposing neighboring warehouses that have drawn huge opposition from residents.

Grading is underway on a 447,120-square-foot warehouse across from TreePark Apartments off Thurmon Tanner Parkway in Flowery Branch.

The 35-acre site is between Phil Niekro Boulevard and Cantrell Road. A map of the project shows two entrances at the property — one across from the apartment complex and one closer to Cantrell.

“There’s not much we are ready to say (about the project) at this point because we are still in the design phase,” said Mark Clegg, spokesman for Hines Acquisitions LLC, the project’s developer. “We look forward to sharing more about the project once that is all settled.”

Meanwhile, Hines is trying to get Flowery Branch’s approval for a proposed $30 million warehouse project at the corner of Phil Niekro and Thurmon Tanner, near Interstate 985 and Exit 12.

The 38-acre project, calling for two industrial buildings with a combined 336,960 square feet, was approved on first reading on Sept. 16 by Flowery Branch City Council. A final vote is set for Oct. 21.

Speaker after speaker railed against the project at the council’s Sept. 16 meeting. Residents said they didn’t believe warehouses were the right fit for the property, which sits off a main entry into Flowery Branch, with one speaker saying it would be an “eyesore.”

website also has been created in opposition to “warehouses in historic Flowery Branch.”

“The biggest problem is how visible these 38 acres are from I-985 and Spout Springs,” the website states.

Hines Acquisitions LLC has defended its rezoning request — from highway business to light industrial — by saying in a letter to the city, “The property has been marketed as a retail development for many years and has not seen any development take place as currently zoned, suggesting there is not a reasonable economic use as currently zoned.”

The warehouse project under construction is on property that’s currently zoned to allow warehouses, city planner Rich Atkinson said.