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Publix submits plans for Dawson store
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Publix Supermarkets has submitted building plans for a new grocery store in Dawson County.

Dawson County Planning Director Rachel Burton confirmed the updated plans, which include a rendering that shows "Publix Food & Pharmacy" on the store front, were presented to her office last week.

The 48,500 square feet store will anchor Dawson Crossings shopping center, a massive mixed-use development going in at the southeastern intersection of Dawson Forest Road and Ga. 400.

Calls to the Publix corporate communication center for comment were not immediately returned.

Several restaurants and retail shops have already announced new locations will open in Dawson Crossings, including Chili's, which after last week's planning commission meeting is one step closer to opening a restaurant in Dawson County.

The Dawson County Planning Commission approved a variance request Oct. 20 that allows Chili's to have 80 parking spaces rather than the required 45, a measure corporate management claims to be necessary to accompany the crowds expected to frequent the restaurant.

"Having operated over 900 Chili's restaurants across the nation, Chili's understands the issues involved with not having an appropriate number of parking spaces," JJ Jamadar, a representative with Chili's said in the restaurant's variance application. "To help alleviate the issues, we have found 85-90 ... spaces for a Chili's of this size to serve the restaurant without impacting the neighboring businesses."

The 4,511 square feet eatery will sit on the southeastern corner of Dawson Forest Road and Ga. 400 on an out-parcel lot of the Dawson Crossings shopping center, which will also include retail shops, additional restaurants and in time, a 300-unit apartment complex in phase two.

Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the Development Authority of Dawson County, was first approached by Brinker International, Chili's parent company, nearly a decade ago.

"Chili's has been a highly desired business since around 2006," he said. "Prior to the recession I was working closely with their regional development team, but our county just did not have a high enough roof top count to justify placing the restaurant here. That is no longer the case, and I am personally very excited to have them locate in Dawson County.

"Brinker International is the parent company for a number of very high quality restaurants, so we are working now to see if more of their establishments can be opened in Dawson County."