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Publix eyes Dawson
QuikTrip chain also on radar
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Officials confirmed last week that representatives with Publix Super Markets want to open a store in Dawson County.

"It's definitely happening. They've definitely been looking," said Dawson County Commission Chairman Mike Berg. "They have been out for two years now trying to figure out a spot where they want to be."

QuikTrip convenience store chain also has an interest in Dawson County, according to Berg.

"They have both poured over the area to see where they want to be. They'll be here. It's just a matter of when they come and what spot they pick. It's not a secret that they're looking. It's not a secret that QuikTrip has been looking," Berg said.

Looking ahead, Berg predicts seeing "some very interesting developments" along the Ga. 400 corridor in the next few years.

"[Ga.] 400 in the next three years is going to be a happening place," he said.

Among the most notable changes in the area is the Blanchard Real Estate Capital commercial "power center" between Carlisle and Dawson Forest roads.

The Atlanta-based group is expected to break ground in early 2014 on the retail project on the 102-acre lot off Ga. 400 just south of North Georgia Premium Outlets.

Originally intended as a massive retail development that fell through when the economy tanked, Blanchard purchased the foreclosed Sembler property to build a nearly 350,000-square-foot center that will include both national retailers and popular eateries.

While specific tenants have not been revealed, Blanchard reps have said to anticipate retailers that are new and needed locally.

Berg said it may be another couple months before the group starts releasing any additional information about the project.

"And when they do, there's going to be a lot to it," he said.

Blanchard is currently conducting environmental work on the property, according to county planning and zoning director David McKee.

He also said activity at his office has increased in recent months with development inquiries.

"Our phones have been ringing, I can tell you that. It's been three or four years since we've had the volume of calls that we've had in the last month," he said.