For one Braselton restaurant, the recent winter storm wasn’t a bust for business but a boom — thanks to those folks who walked to the neighborhood eatery.
When the snow and ice on roadways made it too dangerous for motorists to drive, Jeffrey’s Sports Bar and Grill — located in the Mulberry Walk shopping center, off Ga. Hwy. 211 — opened its doors to those who could walk to the establishment.
Lorri Cabe, an owner of the restaurant, said business was strong for two days during the winter storm.
And if plans move forward for Braselton’s first Community Improvement District (CID), other area businesses are hoping customers using alternative forms of transportation — such as walking, riding bikes or driving golf carts — will help boost their sales, too.
“It’s going to be a great place to live and when word gets out, it’s going to be phenomenal for this project,” said Scott Snedecor, co-owner of ACE Hardware in Braselton and development partner of Liberty Village, a commercial development located on Ga. Hwy. 211 at Liberty Church Road.
That project is a proposed multi-use “LifePath” of connecting paths along Braselton’s heavily populated Ga. Hwy. 211 corridor — which also includes a number of retail establishments with plans for other big commercial projects.
Anchored largely by Chateau Elan, the area features several restaurants, shops and medical offices. It also has some of the largest residential developments in the area — such as The Village at Deaton Creek and the Mulberry Park subdivision. Northeast Georgia Medical Center plans to build a new hospital in the area, too.
To get those residents to area businesses, a group of property owners have started a CID along a large portion of Ga. Hwy. 211 with plans to potentially build a “LifePath.”
On Monday, an election was held in an office above ACE Hardware to name five members to its inaugural board of directors.
Those directors will include Denzil Wasson, an owner of Discovery Point Child Development Center; Dana Dow of Mulberry Walk Properties; Phil Christian, who is developing medical offices along Ga. Hwy. 211; and Cabe and Snedecor.
The Braselton Town Council also recently appointed council member Tony Funari and town manager Jennifer Dees to the CID, but they were attending a conference in Atlanta on Monday and were unable to be at the election.
In a CID, non-residential property owners agree to a self-imposed tax to fund projects in the district and elect a board of directors. Braselton’s CID includes 24 parcels along Ga. Hwy. 211 in Barrow, Gwinnett and Hall counties.
If approved by the CID, its first project may be the “LifePath” along 1.7 miles within existing rights-of-way.
Snedecor — who has been pitching for the proposed “LifePath” with Guy Herring of McFarland-Dyer and Associates — said the “lifestyle concept” project would link residents to businesses via alternative transportation.
Cities and counties in the region — from Athens to Gainesville — don’t have a similar large-scale project, Snedecor said.
“There’s nothing in those communities that have this transportation project,” he said.
The Braselton Town Council also recently agreed to install a sidewalk along Thompson Mill Road (Ga. Hwy. 347) from the intersection of Ga. Hwy. 211 and possibly up to an entrance of Chateau Elan, depending on available funding through Gwinnett County sales tax revenue.
The Georgia Department of Transportation further plans to install sidewalks along its new realignment and widening of Thompson Mill Road — which will serve the new hospital that will possibly open sometime around 2014-2015.
Snedecor asked his newly-elected board members to consider him as a candidate for chairperson when the group meets again — and decides its officers, administrator and other technical details. A meeting is expected to be held in about two weeks.
Lynn Rainey — a Marietta-based attorney who represents most of Georgia’s other dozen-or-so CIDs — conducted the election and advised the group about its inaugural moves.