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Kroger confirms move to new shopping center on Ga. 400
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A new Kroger Marketplace will soon be the anchor store for a major retail development in Dawsonville.

"Kroger has received approval from the developer and Dawson County Development Authority to construct a Marketplace store in Dawsonville," said Glynn Jenkins, public relations director of Kroger's Atlanta Division. "Kroger is in the preliminary process and validation of other criteria is necessary."

The Ga. 400 site, which sits on the southbound side of the highway, between Whitmire and Dawson Forest roads, was recently approved by Kroger, which plans to open one of Georgia's largest grocery stores at approximately 123,000 square feet, featuring a nine pump Kroger Fuel Center.

"This has been a year-long process," said County Commission Chairman Mike Berg. "We would really like to thank [the Georgia Department of Transportation] for working with this and [Dawson County Development Authority Executive Director] Charlie Auvermann for all the hard work he's put into this, as well. We are looking forward to Kroger and all of the other businesses coming into this center."

Previously, it had been rumored that Kroger was looking for a new location due to the Ga. 400 continuous flow intersection construction that could potentially block off the grocer's entryway.

In addition to the Kroger Marketplace, Blanchard has secured national retailer commitments exceeding 200,000 square feet.

"This has been a critical effort for the Development Authority," said Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the Dawson County Development Authority. "This power center will be vital to the economic growth of our county."

According to Auvermann, Dawson County was in direct competition with surrounding counties for this project and for Kroger in particular.

"We wanted the location in Dawson for the convenience it will bring to our citizens and because it will bolster our overall commercial tax base," he said.

The completed development is expected to give the Dawson County area a "wide array of choices for food and shopping" for the greater Dawsonville community and visitors to the county, according to Blanchard.

The Blanchard power center worked with the development authority and both county and state officials on planning new state-of-the-art traffic signalization now set for Ga. 400.

A sequence of computerized fiber optically controlled signals will coordinate traffic and will work in connection with the Continuous Flow Intersection now under construction at Hwy. 53 and Ga. 400.

"Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry, State Senator Steve Gooch [and Berg] all worked very hard to make sure this aspect of the project was in place and this was a key component for the retailers including Kroger," Auvermann said. "The system is modeled after those found at Perimeter Mall and as part of the Cumberland Community Improvement District, both located in Atlanta."

According to Auvermann, the project has also been planned by Blanchard to make sure the power center operates in conjunction with the North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall and other pending projects set for the Ga. 400 corridor through combined traffic studies and planned adjustments to new power transmission lines scheduled by Georgia Transmission Company.

Blanchard and Kroger expect to break ground on the new power center anchor later this summer with a goal of opening in the fall of 2016.