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When pre-leasing could start at new downtown Flowery Branch retail-apartment building
City manager: 'This is the biggest thing the city has ever done'
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New development The Crest rises above Main Street in downtown Flowery Branch Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, as construction continues. The development will feature retail and residential space. - photo by Scott Rogers

Pre-leasing could start in October for Flowery Branch’s new apartments being built as part of a two-story retail/residential building on Main Street downtown. 

“Things are going well,” Kurt Alexander, principal with Atlanta-based The Residential Group, said of the project in an email Friday, Sept. 25. “We are projecting to complete the downtown building in late spring.” 

The second floor of the building will be reserved for about 15 apartments, while the first floor will feature nearly 6,000 square feet of retail space. It will be “divided into four bays, all with power, grease traps and potential ventilation for restaurant use,” according to a slide presentation at the Flowery Branch City Council meeting on Sept. 17. 

At that meeting, officials talked about hiring a company, Oakhurst Realty Partners of Scottdale, to manage leasing operations for the retail space in the city-owned site between Church Street and Railroad Avenue. 

“We’re getting to the point where we want to start showing these spaces as they begin to build out,” City Manager Bill Andrew said. 

Flowery Branch has a stake in the project. In 2018, the city approved $5 million in tax allocation district money to offset demolition and construction costs. Demolition of downtown buildings — including the former City Hall — took place in the summer of 2019 to make way for the project. 

Under Georgia law, cities can designate certain “blighted” areas as TADs, using cumulative property tax increments resulting from new growth for public projects to help attract growth and increase the increments. 

“This is the biggest thing the city has ever done, and we need to get it right,” Andrew said at one point. 

“It’s not the end (of downtown redevelopment),” Alexander has said. “It’s the first step.” 

The project is part of a larger development, Crest at Flowery Branch, with grading taking place now for 324 apartments and retail outparcels on Phil Niekro Boulevard at Thurmon Tanner Parkway. 

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New development The Crest rises above Main Street in downtown Flowery Branch Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, as construction continues. The development will feature retail and residential space. - photo by Scott Rogers
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