It was a banner year for new commercial and residential development in Gainesville.
For the second straight year, the city broke records for the number of permits issued and revenue generated from fees on new construction in 2015.
“And we don’t see that slowing down in 2016,” Community Development Director Rusty Ligon said.
Gainesville has benefited from a resurgence in the appeal of urban living, with many young families and professionals desiring to live close to work and nightlife rather than out in the suburbs.
“Urban redevelopment will continue in Hall County’s vibrant city centers in downtown Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Oakwood and Lula,” said Tim Evans, vice president of economic development at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “Smaller development projects have been steppingstones to a bigger trend of development concentrating in walkable urban centers, including residential, retail, office and institutional uses.”
New commercial development, such as the Hobby Lobby and Academy Sports + Outdoors on Dawsonville Highway, has followed the traditional pattern of retail after rooftops. Ligon said he expects that trend to continue in 2016 as the city’s west corridor fills in even more.
“Also, we believe the timing is right and the demand exists for new mixed-use development in the downtown area,” Ligon said.
Gainesville is also benefiting from new development planned for the Ga. 365 corridor north of Jesse Jewell Parkway, including in the New Holland Market area, Lanier Technical College’s new campus and Kubota’s expansion into the Gateway Industrial Centre.
“The economic development pipeline for additional project activity from new and expanding firms is at an encouraging level with 75 active projects and several additional project expansions pending in the first months of 2016,” Evans said.