One company’s plans to expand its business could mean that Braselton will extend a sewer line along Ga. Hwy. 53 — creating the possibility of more commercial development along the corridor.
Atlantic Engineering Group plans to add 50 jobs with its existing 60 positions and move into a vacant office building on Ga. Hwy. 53, next to Hometown Community Bank. The Braselton-based company is currently located on Lewis Braselton Blvd. (Ga. Hwy. 124).
“It’s high-paying jobs,” town manager Jennifer Dees told the Braselton Town Council on Thursday, Aug. 9.
But to move those 110 jobs to the three-story building, Atlantic Engineering is asking Braselton to extend a sewer line to the facility.
Braselton currently has a sewer line that ends on Ga. Hwy. 53 at the Shops at the Vineyards shopping center, which includes El Centinela Mexican Restaurant, Stonewall’s BBQ and Subway.
The plan is to extend the sewer line north along Ga. Hwy. 53 and to LaGree Duck Road. It would end just shy of New Cut Road. Businesses along the route — including those in the Hometown Walk shopping center — could also tap onto the sewer line.
“This would expand the sewer possibility for a lot of those properties,” Dees said.
The new sewer line would also potentially allow the Hometown Walk shopping center to expand, she added. It can’t build more space now because of its existing septic tank in the area.
Extending the sewer line to the area will cost an estimated $579,000. The Braselton Town Council agreed Monday to seek a 50 percent grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), with sewer tap fees funding the remaining half of the project.
“(The) ARC has grants available for job creation,” Dees said.
However, the town must submit its application for the ARC grant by Wednesday, Aug. 15.
Atlantic Engineering is expected to pay more than $5 million annually in payroll once it fills all 110 positions at the office building, according to documents submitted to the town.
The brick building the company will occupy is located next to another planned office building that wasn’t completed. That building simply has a metal frame on a foundation with an elevator shaft.
Dees said there is space for two more buildings on the property.
The 3.7-acre property was purchased earlier this year by Winder Commons, LLC, following a foreclosure. The property is now known as the Braselton Business Center, and plans include finishing the incomplete steel structure and adding two more buildings.
The property isn’t located in the Braselton town limits, but the sewer line would end behind Hometown Walk — which is located in the town limits.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The print version of this story says the property is owned by Wendell Butler. The property is now owned by Winder Commons, LLC. We apologize for the error.
In other business, the Braselton Town Council:
•met in a closed-door meeting for 46 minutes to discuss real estate acquisition and personnel. When the meeting was opened to the public, the council accepted a donation of 0.4 acres from Madison Ventures. That piece of land is located on the far end of the Braselton Town Green, where the old Ga. Hwy. 124 and new alignment of Davis Street meet. The additional property will allow Braselton to slightly extend its town green. Dees said developer Wayne Mason is transferring ownership of the land to the town.
•renewed the contract of town manager Jennifer Dees. The council approved the measure after the closed-door meeting.
•approved a standard utility agreement for preliminary engineering with the Georgia Department of Transportation for state aid to relocate water, sewer and reuse lines in the path of widening and re-alignment of Ga. Hwy. 347 (Thompson Mill Road). The GDOT recently named a contractor for the project, which will widen and re-align the state route from Ga. Hwy. 211 in Braselton to Interstate 985 in Flowery Branch. The state is expected to reimburse Braselton $436,916 for preliminary engineering work to move its utility lines, mostly around the area of Reunion subdivision.
•approved an alcoholic beverage license for Key West Bar and Grill, located on Ga. Hwy. 53. The restaurant is under new management and it will continue to offer beer, wine and distilled spirits, including Sunday sales. The license will held by Big Tuna Holdings, which also holds the license for Bottom of the Cup in Braselton.