The owner of a South Hall strip shopping center hopes to revive the property with a connection to Flowery Branch sewer.
“There’s a couple of prospects (interested),” said Mohammed Arif, who owns the center across from Hall County Fire Station 8 on Gaines Ferry Road.
To get the sewer, Arif is seeking annexation of the Pure Gas center into Flowery Branch and rezoning from Hall County’s suburban shopping to the city’s highway business. The requests are set to go before the Flowery Branch City Council at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Rich Atkinson, Flowery Branch’s city planner, said that the Hall County Health Department has said the center, which sits on 1 acre, does not have adequate septic tank capacity “to open anything.”
Arif confirmed as much, saying he was told he would either have to connect to sewer or install a larger septic system.
County officials “came (to the property) and said there wasn’t enough space to do the septic,” he said. “My only option was to connect to sewer.”
Over the last few years, Flowery Branch has expanded sewer to that area, with a line extending to Cinnamon Cove condominiums at 6500 Gaines Ferry Road, west of McEver Road and close to Lake Lanier. Arif’s center is east of McEver Road.
Connecting to sewer will cost Arif $28,000, but “then I can open up any business here,” he said.
The center now features a convenience store and a hair salon, but other suites are vacant.
“By annexing into Flowery Branch and connecting to the city sewer, the owner intends to lease one of the spaces to a pizza restaurant,” a city document states.
Also, Arif said, “There’s somebody looking (to start) a Mexican restaurant (at the location).”
Overall, “there are a lot of improvements I have done,” he said, adding that before he took over, the property had gotten rundown.
Other improvements are on the way.
“I’m working right now on a driveway so (delivery) trucks can get behind the building instead of blocking the front of the building,” Arif said.