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Plans stall for Audi dealership at Ingles on Bethelview Road
Renderings displayed for a new Audi dealership during a public meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, at the Fowler Park Recreational Center. - photo by Brian Paglia

After previously holding meetings with the community and getting initial approval from Forsyth County Commissioners, it appears a project to convert a south Forsyth grocery store into an Audi dealership will not go forward. 

Last year, a project to convert the Ingles grocery store at 6055 Bethelview Road into a dealership with 506 parking spaces on 12.12 acres was proposed by JBE Realty Holdings, LLC. But this week, Ethan Underwood, a zoning attorney representing the project, told Forsyth County News it was his understanding that the developer is no longer pursuing the project.

In December, commissioners approved alternate design and a request to build a 79,000-square-foot vehicle sales dealership using the existing building and 502 parking spaces on 12 acres at the intersection of Bethelview and Atlanta roads.

Several variances, including those related to delivery hours, landscaping and allowing more cars to front the road, were needed for the project.

Documents submitted to the Forsyth County Department of Planning & Community Development showed that the Ingles building would be converted into a 42,000-square-foot showroom and 37,000-square-foot repair center.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group, which had planned to operate the dealership, has 18 dealerships in Buford, Chamblee, Kennesaw, Marietta and McDonough. The group sells a variety of makes, from Kia to Maserati. It has Audi dealerships in Atlanta and Marietta.

Though the Bethelview project will not be going forward, it does not appear there have been any changes to plans for a proposed project at the Buford Highway Ingles that would include building a new Cadillac dealership, converting the existing grocery store to office or warehouse space and building a third building to be used as a restaurant, retail, hotel or office building. 

Part of an annexation request, the project would not include an adjacent building used by several local companies, including Tam’s Tupelo restaurant and Socks’ Love Barbecue.

Documents from the county indicate the property would be used by Cadillac of Lake Lanier, which announced plans last summer to move into Forsyth County from Gainesville albeit at another location, on Buford Highway. According to online planning documents, a request to rezone land for the previous location was withdrawn last summer.