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Sterling on the Lake adding commercial element
Focus has been homes, but retail could be on way in 2018
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Sterling on the Lake is clearing more land inside the community for future development. - photo by For The Times

With 1,100 of its nearly 2,000 planned homes sold, Sterling on the Lake in Flowery Branch may look like strictly a bedroom community.

But there’s a commercial/retail side that’s starting to emerge.

Grading is underway for such a site on 7½ acres at the well-traveled corner of Spout Springs and Capitola Farm roads. Another 4.17 acres at Spout Springs and Lake Sterling Boulevard also is being marketed for commercial purposes.

“It’s exciting,” said Jennifer Landers, vice president of operations for the developer, Newland Communities. “We’ve been waiting on the commercial (piece) for quite a few years.

“With the recession, it was hard to market the commercial site. We’ve been waiting for the right time. We feel like the market’s ready.”

She said Sterling “has received inquiries regarding the commercial sites … but there are no current agreements in place with commercial developers.”

The land could be in a developer’s hands in 2018, Landers said.

The commercial sites are zoned for a mix of office and retail spaces and will feature similar architectural elements as Sterling’s homes.

“We feel like it’s something that’s going to be unique — something that would appeal to residents,” Landers said. “We’re very fortunate we have retail in both directions on Spout Springs Road.”

Both Flowery Branch and Braselton have bustling retail scenes.

Land also is being cleared along Capitola Farm Road for a future Sterling neighborhood by D.R. Horton Homes, consisting of 104 home sites, Landers said.

“This neighborhood with stunning ridge views will include walking trails as part of the communitywide trail system,” she said.

Additional details regarding home plans and pricing will be available in early 2018.

Sterling traces its history to 2001, when Newland Communities was given the approval to build up to 1,788 homes on 900 acres. In 2008, Sterling was given the OK to add about 100 more acres and 200 more homes.

Over the years, South Hall has continued to grow along with Sterling, with a traffic light eventually placed at Spout Springs and Lake Sterling Boulevard.

Right of way acquisition is underway to widen Spout Springs Road in a first phase from Interstate 985 to Union Circle — or past Sterling. The second phase of the $64 million project would run between Union Circle and south of Thompson Mill Road in Braselton.

“Hall County hasn’t approached us with the right of way acquisition at this time,” Landers said. “We do know there is a portion of the commercial (site) that will be a part of the right of way acquisition. We don’t know the extent of it just yet.”

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