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Need a new gym? One could be built on Dawsonville Highway
Planners give approval to retail, restaurant development
The fitness center approved last year for Dawsonville Highway near the Jackson EMC offices and the North Lake Square shopping center will no longer be built. - photo by Megan Reed

A fitness center, retail and restaurants may be coming to Dawsonville Highway near the intersection with Beechwood Boulevard and the North Lake Square shopping center, after the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board voted to approve the development Tuesday.

The planning board’s recommendation will now go to the Gainesville City Council for a vote on Sept. 18.

No one spoke in opposition of the development at Tuesday’s meeting.

The almost 7-acre property near the offices for Jackson EMC would be home to a 22,000-square-foot fitness center and a 6,800-square-foot building for retail and restaurants. The lot is currently empty and previously housed the Northeast Georgia Health System’s New Horizons West nursing home, which was demolished in 2013.

Skylar Long of Cordele-based LLJ Development, the applicant for the property, said the fitness center would be operated by a nationally known company, although he said after the meeting he could not yet name the company.

Planning board chairman Doug Carter recused himself from the meeting because he is the realtor for the property. He said before leaving the meeting that he would normally pass the authority during the meeting to Vice Chair Jane Fleming. Because Fleming could not attend on Tuesday, board member Rich White presided over the meeting.

All the board members in attendance voted in favor of the development.

Gainesville City Council

When: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 18

Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway