GAINESVILLE — Plans are moving forward for a large development on Dawsonville Highway, where Hobby Lobby, Chipotle and Academy Sports + Outdoors are all slated to open this fall or winter.
The developer for North Lake Square — a planned 200,000-square-foot shopping center near Ahaluna Drive — said there will be other stores coming as well.
“We are currently working with additional national retailers at this time, and I hope to have some announcements about those later this summer,” said Tim Knight, president of Knight Commercial Real Estate.
Chipotle spokeswoman Danielle Winslow confirmed that a Gainesville location was in fact opening in the fourth quarter of 2015, but didn’t give a specific date.
Site plans call for Chipotle to occupy a 2,450-square-foot building. Three additional shops, each 1,400 square feet, will adjoin the restaurant.
Hobby Lobby made its own announcement earlier this week. The release stated that the store is expected to bring between 35 and 50 jobs, paying $15.24 per hour for full-time employees and $10.16 per hour for part-time associates.
Hobby Lobby spokesman Zack Higbee said the pay levels are a way of showing workers that the chain values them.
"Our employees are the backbone of our company, and we believe that giving them the opportunity to share in our success is the right thing to do,” Higbee said.
The new location will be the 35th in Georgia for Hobby Lobby, a privately held national retail chain of craft and home decor stores. The North Lake Square store will be 55,000 square feet.
Site plans state the $4 billion sports retailer Academy Sports + Outdoors will occupy a 62,000-square-foot space.
Knight said he chose the site in Gainesville because “you’ve got stable employment here, and it’s a growing area of Hall County. It’s a good, healthy market.”
Knight added, “We’re excited to be underway and excited about the announcements we’ll have for the public later this summer.”