Large crowd attends Dawson Village Partners information meeting

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Representatives from Dawson Village Partners LLC met with a very engaged group of approximately 100 stakeholders to provide details and answer questions about the massive 770-acre, 2,175 resident, mixed village development known as Etowah Village at Fire Station No. 2 yesterday.

The scope of the project — which will span the northwest corner of Lumpkin Campground Road and Ga. 400 westward, crossing the Etowah River and reaching Etowah River Road – has been reduced from 974 acres and 2,700 residences.

The project was expected to go before the Dawson County Planning Commission next week, but the developer has asked for a postponement until either April or May.

Plans call for approximately 300,000 square feet of residential space, 200,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space, a 12,000 square foot fire station, 300-room hotel with conference center, a performing arts center for concerts. About 30 percent of the project will be green space, including a 40-acre park with canoe launch on the Etowah River.

There will also be 171 single-family residences and, 400 multi-family residences. 319 of those will be above retail space. The rest will be age targeted or age restricted. Within that will be a continuous care retirement community with an assisted living, nursing center with about 450 beds.

Project Engineer Corey Gutherie said there is still a lot of work to be done before ground can be broken.

Following the planning commission meeting, the project will have to go before the Board of Commissioners at least twice, first to get approval for the project then again to get approval of the architectural design.

“It will be at least nine months to a year after that before we can begin moving dirt,” Gutherie said Wednesday.

The project is expected to take 10-15 years to complete. Phase 1 consists of building the fire station, hotel and retail along Ga. 400.

Phase 2 calls for construction of office buildings, apartments, a performing arts center and museum. Phase 3 will be the addition of continuous care retirement center. Phase 4 would include a 400-unit active adult community. The final phase calls for the addition of 171-single family units.

Reaction from the stakeholders was mostly positive.

Bill Minor who lives in the Gates of Etowah subdivision said, “Overall it’s as good as were going to get for that area. It’s a well thought out project that I can support. The only negative I heard was access from Hwy. 53. The state and county will have to work that out.”

Ty Hudson, who grew up in Roswell, but lives in the Savannah Trace subdivision, said, “I can definitely support this. It will be a great thing for Dawson County. I just don’t want it to turn the rest of Dawsonville into a ghost town. We have three small children and once they are a little older my wife may want to go back to work. If she doesn’t want to work in retail, she would have to work outside Dawson County. But with the offices that will become a part of the development, she may be able to find a job locally.”

Jerry Gordon was a little more reserved. “I haven’t totally decided yet,” he said. “It’s quite a large project to take in all at once. It will mean a lot of growth and a lot of things will have to change. I tend to think they are headed in the right direction. A lot of us are trying to figure out if it will mean an increase or decrease in our property values.”

 

 

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