The old Best Buy store in Flowery Branch is going through another extreme makeover.
Heavy renovation is underway on what will be a 4,000-square-foot convenience store, set to open in late April or early May, said Ike Taher, whose company owns the property.
Best Buy Food Mart will feature Chevron gas pumps out front and a completely rebuilt front entrance. The new store also will have a kitchen serving breakfast and items such as pizza and hot dogs, Taher said.
In one form or another, Best Buy has a lengthy history at the corner of Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 and Phil Niekro Boulevard.
For decades, Best Buy Quality Foods was one of the area’s few grocery stores. It continued to operate even as growth sprang up in South Hall County and major grocery chains came to the area.
But then a July 2007 fire caused about $500,000 in damage to the store. After a major renovation, the store reopened in February 2009, retaining much of the old look, as well as the name.
The new store later closed, and the property was basically abandoned.
“They were not cleaning up the property, there were overgrown weeds, and there was a canopy that was hit by a trucker, which (the city) had to remove,” said John McHenry, Flowery Branch’s community development director.
“We had to place liens against the property because we were unable to locate the previous owner.”
After ownership changed hands, “we tried to (restart the business), but there were a lot of problems with the roof leaking and the floor having (issues),” Taher said. “We decided to fix the roof and the floor.”
McHenry said city officials “are very pleased to see someone investing time and money into turning that back into a viable business.”
The store is at a “gateway intersection,” McHenry added. “It is one of the premier entrances to the downtown, so we’re really pleased to see it get redeveloped.”
The intersection will connect to the Lights Ferry Connector, giving motorists a straight shot from Atlanta Highway to McEver Road, two major South Hall traffic arteries. Also, Phil Niekro flows into Spout Springs Road and intersects with Interstate 985.
The connector, which features a roundabout, could open later this month or early April, officials have said.