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Retail center expected to break ground soon
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Construction is expected to begin on a new retail center along Ga. 400 next month.

In his annual state of the county address, Dawson County Commission Chairman Mike Berg said both retail developments planned on Dawson Forest Road should break ground in the coming months.

"I expect probably...that you'll see some construction activity in March," he said during the Jan. 27 Dawson County Republican Party meeting.

Retail centers are planned to go up along Dawson Forest Road, on the east and west sides of Ga. 400.

Several chain restaurants and national retailers have signed on to open new stores in one of two developments.

At least six retail shops, including three restaurants, have contracts or commitments in place to be among the first to open in the new Blanchard Real Estate Capital development, just south of North Georgia Premium Outlets.

Dawson Marketplace is a 350,000 square feet retail "power center" that will bring national retail and restaurants to Dawson County.

There are also plans for a second retail center that includes a major grocery store chain at the southeast intersection of Ga. 400 and Dawson Forest Road.

While Berg said he could not officially name them, he said they would be similar to stores found in Cumming on Market Place Boulevard.

The developments would bring "about 450 jobs and about $90 million worth of construction and expansion. That's a great thing for our tax base," he said.

Housing permits have also increased in recent months, according to Berg.

"Right now we have about a 15 percent increase in building permits, which is kind of nice. We have some residential going on in the county, not a lot of it. It's still in South Forsyth, but it's moving this way," he said.