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Olive Garden, Holiday Inn in the works in Dawson County
Businesses slowly filling in at Kroger, Publix shopping centers

The Dawson County Planning Commission will hear a request Nov. 20 for a variance for additional parking at an Olive Garden planned at the corner of Dawson Forest Road East and Ga. 400.

The property where the Olive Garden will be built is the current home of the vacant Huck’s Apple Barn. The restaurant is the first of several potential businesses to be developed on the approximately 9.4 acres next to the Dawson Marketplace shopping center.

Dawson County Planning and Development Director Jameson Kinley said Friday that Olive Garden has submitted building plans for the county to review, and that the two groups met the morning of Oct. 25 to go over civil plans.

“As of now, we haven’t heard of anything else going there for sure, just prospects,” Kinley said in an email.

Olive Garden Holdings has requested 152 parking spaces as opposed to the maximum 86, stating in the variance application that “if parking is inadequate it will negatively impact the new restaurant’s success.” The application also refers to the development site as “Dawson Forest Square.”

The planning commission could vote to approve the variance at the November meeting.

All meetings of the Dawson County Planning Commission are held at 6 p.m. in the second floor assembly room of the Dawson County Government Center and are open to the public.

Also on the pipeline is a 70-80 room Holiday Inn Express, slated to go in behind the Applebee’s off Ga. 400 and Carlisle Road.

Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Moore said that weather permitting, the hotel could be open the fall of 2019.

“For the past five years, attracting additional hotel rooms has been a priority of the Dawson County Chamber and Development Authority of Dawson County. Since tourism is a strong driver of our local economy, adding hotel rooms, particularly along our Highway 400 corridor, gives the opportunity for increased tourism investment,” Moore said. "We are thrilled that Holiday Inn Express has announced that they are building in ourOther developments in the Ga. 400 corridor include Wendy’s, which is still slated to move into a new building between the Kroger Fuel Center the Panda Express. And according to site plans from the developer, Hendon Properties, an Extreme Car Wash is being built in an outparcel behind the Verizon store in the same shopping center.

Two dozen spaces are still available in the Kroger shopping center, and stores that have recently opened include Torrid, Shopaholic Boutique and Dawson Nails and Beyond.

Seven spaces are available across Ga. 400 in the Publix shopping center. Crave Hot Dogs and BBQ will be the latest addition, set to go in on the corner next to Brooklyn Joe’s, and have requested an alcohol serving license from the county that could be approved by the board of commissioners on Thursday.