Development of Gateway Village, a 522-acre industrial park off Ga. 365 in northeast Hall County, could begin by late spring.
“We plan to start the grading and putting in the infrastructure for the project (by then),” said Jonathan Collins of Gainesville-based Capstone Property Group, which is developing Gateway, on Wednesday, Dec. 19.
The project can move forward now that the Hall County Board of Commissioners gave its rezoning approval Thursday, Dec. 13, for all but about 4 acres. The remaining acres are expected to come up for approval in early 2019.
Some residents expressed some concerns at the commission meeting, including potential lighting, noise and traffic issues caused by the development.
“I can’t say this development would be bad for Hall County, but it will be bad for us,” Simpson Road resident David Edwards told the commission. “We’ll have to leave.”
The property was rezoned from “fairly intense” planned residential development and planned commercial development to planned industrial development, said Brian Rochester, a Gainesville engineer representing the developer.
The development at 3240 Chiplan Drive could consist of up to 130,000 square feet of retail at the front of the property, which is north of White Sulphur Road and across from Gateway Industrial Centre.
Industrial development on the site could be up to 2 million square feet, Rochester said.
“On the back side of the property, we have a research and development center that would be developed between 100,000 and 500,000 square feet,” he said.
The total developable space on the property is 2.6 million square feet, Rochester said.
“We’ve got some prospects, nothing finalized yet, but there’s certainly a lot of activity,” Collins said. “I definitely believe the announcement about the inland port is driving some momentum at the moment.”
State officials, including Gov. Nathan Deal, touted the inland port during a Dec. 3 gathering of area business and government officials.
The Northeast Georgia Inland Port, which will be in Gateway Industrial Centre, will serve as a regional terminal for cargo heading from the Port of Savannah to area companies. It could open in 2021.
Collins said in an earlier interview he believed “there is a lot of activity for larger industrial space — certainly, you’re seeing that in Jackson County, Jefferson and North Gwinnett County.”
“Hall County has been extremely successful in recruiting large industrial companies … and available properties are at a real premium,” he added. “There’s not a lot of those, if any, at this point.”
A 1 million-square-foot single user “would be nothing like (what is in) Hall County today, but we feel like that with the economy and the market, there’s a potential for that in the next few years,” Collins said.