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South Hall shopping center makeover starts
Dakota Contractors Superintendent Danny Lyons looks at plans for the new Aldi Foods, which will be located inside the College Square Shopping Center in Oakwood when renovations are complete in the fall.

A major makeover of one of South Hall County’s oldest shopping centers is well underway.

Crews are busy replacing College Square Shopping Center’s facade and tearing into the building to make room for an Aldi grocery store.

The 104,000-square-foot shopping center is off Mundy Mill and Frontage roads, near Interstate 985, in Oakwood. Opened in 1975, it has featured numerous tenants over the years, including restaurants, and was, at one time, home for Hall County’s South Hall tag office.

Improvements in the $1.5 million project also include new landscaping and repaving the parking lot. The center will feature a new brick-and-stone exterior, as well as awnings and planters.

Traffic now pours in from Frontage and Mundy Mill roads. However, the center’s owner, Atlanta-based Selig Enterprises, wants to emphasize the Mundy Mill access as its main entrance, as a traffic light sits at that intersection, said Adam McDowell, construction manager for Selig, which owns the center.

Aldi has plans for a 19,000-square-foot store. Company officials have said the store is slated to open late this year.

“We’re going to be under construction with the Aldi portion through late summer,” McDowell said.

The store is going into the old Bodyplex location. Bodyplex moved to a location off Mundy Mill near McEver Road.

“We are looking at a lot of other tenants to come into the center,” said Bill Stogner, the company’s senior vice president. “There’s a lot of activity.”

He said he wouldn’t announce until those deals are done.

Stogner said he’s excited about how renovations will turn out.

“We’ve done painting and stuff, but it’s never gotten a face-lift like this,” he said. “The last time we did anything was when we expanded (the center to) put in Food Lion.”

Food Lion closed in February 2010. Tractor Supply Co. opened later, taking half of the old Food Lion space, Stogner said.

Oakwood is going through a revitalization of sorts in that part of town, including construction of a new Hardee’s restaurant, hotel renovations, the opening of Captain D’s and Steak ‘n Shake restaurants, and the makeover of another older shopping center, Merchants Crossing.

Also, the Northeast Georgia Health System is planning to turn the old Sam’s Club building on Frontage Road, across from College Square, into corporate support service offices.