With its blurred county lines and mix of investors from Hall County to Atlanta, the Braselton area is becoming a “next generation city,” Frank Norton Jr., CEO of The Norton Agency, said.
“This is a really unique, emerging area,” he said, addressing the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s South Hall Business Coalition on Thursday, April 19.
“Some (next generation cities) are faster growth and some are slower growth, and this (area) is superfast growth.”
Norton addressed a crowd in the new Highpoint Medical Center, developed by his Gainesville-based real estate firm and housing the Braselton offices of The Longstreet Clinic and Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic.
The two-story, 40,000-square-foot building is the first phase in a mixed-use development featuring medical offices, retail and restaurants off Friendship Road/Ga. 347, Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 and Thompson Mill Road.
The complex straddles Hall and Gwinnett counties but is firmly in Braselton. The city itself straddles those counties along with Barrow and Jackson counties.
Norton described “next generation cities” as areas that quickly grow because of a particular development or investment. In Braselton’s case, he said, the initial spark was Don Panoz’s founding of Chateau Elan Winery in the mid-1980s.
Most observers have said a recent catalyst for the area’s growth has been Gainesville-based Northeast Georgia Health System’s opening of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton campus off Friendship Road in 2015.
Since then, medical offices have sprung up, including Highpoint. And more developments are proposed, including a mixed-use one behind the Publix-anchored shopping center off Ga. 211 near Interstate 85.