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Downtown Food Lion expected to open by December
-A-City Progress pic 1
Workers began construction on Food Lion in downtown Dawsonville, next to the Dawsonville Municipal Complex, earlier this month. The grocery store, which will feature Food Lion's new prototypical layout, which is similar to a farmer's market, is expected to be open by December. - photo by Michele Hester

If all goes as planned, Dawson County residents will have a new place to purchase all the trimmings for a Christmas dinner as Food Lion in downtown Dawsonville is set to be open in December.

Construction began on the 34,000 square feet grocery store, adjacent to the Dawsonville Municipal Complex, earlier this month.

Lee Teague, of JDH Capital, the North Carolina-based retail developer overseeing the project, said the development will feature Food Lion's new prototypical store, which is open and warm, much like a farmer's market.

"You will be able to find the freshest produce and meats there, a great variety of prepared meals and low prices you have come to expect from Food Lion," he said.

Food Lion spokeswoman Karen Peterson said Food Lion does not have a specific date set for the opening, but looks "forward to serving the customers in the area and being a part of the community."

Family Dollar has also announced it will open a new store next door to Food Lion. There is an additional 10,800 square feet for potential small retail shops, restaurants and businesses.

"Domino's Pizza is a possibility for one of 10 possible retail suites," said Dawsonville Zoning Administrator Bonnie Warne.

The new development is on track with the city's downtown revitalization plan to create "a city within a city" atmosphere and attract quality development with the Dawsonville Municipal Complex as the centerpiece.

Dawsonville Mayor Joe Lane Cox said his vision is to create a central location in the city limits that everyone can enjoy.

In addition to the grocery store, retail shops and restaurants, the central location will include parks and private residences, according to the Downtown Dawsonville Urban Redevelopment Plan.

In the last year, other major partners have also enlisted in Dawsonville's downtown revitalization. Appalachian Community Bank opened its first permanent branch and community center in Dawson County last year on land adjacent to city hall property.

Dawsonville Planning Director Steve Holder said that for the city of Dawsonville to survive, "it needs to grow" with local conveniences, like those along Ga. 400 in the county.

"The city is very excited about having the local conveniences downtown," said Holder. "There was a time when our residents had to drive to Gainesville, and now we'll have a full-service grocery store inside the city limits."

E-mail Michele Hester at