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This well-known chain could occupy corner of Jesse Jewell, Queen City parkways
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Traffic passes through the intersection of Jesse Jewell and Queen City parkways in Gainesville during the demolition of the historic Pierce House on Tuesday. - photo by David Barnes

QuikTrip is planning a store on the corner of Jesse Jewell and Queen City parkways on property where a century-old historic home was torn down in 2017.

The Gainesville property is currently zoned to allow for the store, but the Oklahoma-based gas station chain is asking the city to abandon a 310-foot portion of Gordon Avenue so it can redevelop both sides of Gordon, said Matt Tate, deputy director of the city’s Community & Economic Development department.

A deserted motel and abandoned office/paint store site also would be demolished as part of the redevelopment, Tate said in an email on Monday, July 15.

“The site would also be lowered to the elevation of Jesse Jewell Parkway,” he said.

Access to the QuikTrip is proposed from Jesse Jewell Parkway, Queen City Parkway, East Avenue and the remaining portion of Gordon Avenue, Tate said.

Mike Thornbrugh, QuikTrip spokesman, confirmed efforts to build on the site, creating what would be the chain’s third location in Gainesville. Other stores are off West Ridge Road and Jesse Jewell Parkway.

Thornbrugh wouldn’t speculate on a timeline if the project gets approved.

“One step at a time,” he said in an email.

The road closure request is set to go before the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board on Aug. 13, Tate said.

The board can only recommend approval or denial. The final decision would rest with the Gainesville City Council, which is set to hear the request Sept. 17.

Thornbrugh did say the chain was asked to conduct a transportation impact analysis of the intersections in the area.

“The results are minimal impact,” he said.

Queen City at Jesse Jewell is one of Gainesville’s busiest intersections, with traffic officials having studied for years how to make it flow more smoothly.

Officials said at a March transportation forum that turn lanes would be built at the crossing and that the $3.6 million project could be awarded this summer. 

The property being eyed by QuikTrip was once occupied by what was known as the Pierce House. John A. Pierce, a prominent builder in North Georgia, was involved in projects at Riverside Military Academy, Brenau University and Shorter College, as well as the city hall in Gainesville.

In later years, the house was occupied by Catherine Gibbs, who had lived with her grandparents in the house since she was 5 months old — after her mother’s death in 1920.

She continued to live in the house until her death in 2012.

Finally, the property fell into the hands of longtime Hall County businessman Milton Robson.

“I would like to just find somebody who wants me to build them something — build to lease,” he said as the house was razed in August 2017. “It’s a good corner. We just have to wait and see what interest we get in it.”