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Rezoning to bring grocer
Retail, apartments in mixed-use plans
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Commissioners last week approved a rezoning that will make way for a new grocery store and retail center at the intersection of Ga. 400 and Dawson Forest Road.

While developers have said they were not ready to disclose the name of the 45,600 square foot grocery supermarket that is planned for the area, local officials in the past have said it will be Publix.

"We are close to getting the lease documents signed, and hopefully, we'll be able to make that announcement very soon," said Charlie Worthen, with The Halpern Development Company.

The site plan also shows a large retail anchor and numerous smaller shops or restaurants.

Rezoning the 53.6 acres from commercial highway business to commercial planned comprehensive will allow Dawson Forest Developer, LLC to create a major mixed-use center, which also includes a 300-unit apartment complex in phase two.

Officials with the Development Authority of Dawson County have spent several years talking to developers interested in the location.

"This has been the longest operation the development authority has been involved in that has yet to come to fruition. This particular property, I've worked on four separate projects," said Charlie Auvermann, director.

Among the proposed projects were an indoor ski resort and a big box retailer that wanted to cut down a portion of the property to build on site.

With retail on the front and multi-family housing in the back, Auvermann said the project is "the best solution that has come forth since 2006 on how to balance this property."