City Focus: Braselton

City Focus: Braselton

Over the last 20 years, the population of the Town of Braselton has tripled to more than 12,000 residents. To this day, people flock to become part of this bustling North Georgia hamlet, located 43 miles northeast of Atlanta at the convergence of Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall and Jackson counties. At the same time, the town has seen an exceptional level of economic development, a flourishing job market, a rise in outstanding residential opportunities and the emergence of a distinct quality of life that’s second to none. So, what came first? Did the people come to historic Braselton because of its impressive revival? Or did the town grow because so many people made their way to Braselton? It’s actually both.

An Economic Upswing

“There has been a reemergence of residential and commercial development in Braselton over the past decade due to its small-town attributes, proximity to Atlanta and interstate access,” notes Jennifer Scott, Town Manager. “Braselton is at the crossroads of several transportation corridors that lead to Atlanta, Athens and Greenville, which has proven to be a logistical advantage for industrial warehouses and major companies. This has provided thousands of jobs for Braselton and the surrounding area.”

In terms of major brands and businesses, Braselton is home to names like Amazon, Havertys, Whole Foods, Metabo, and more. It also has become a mecca for the healthcare sector with the completion of Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s hospital. And the hospitality and tourism arena is well-represented by the renowned Château Élan Winery & Resort and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, two of the state’s most visited attractions.

All of this development has been complemented by even more small business growth, particularly in downtown Braselton, which was prompted by the rehabilitation of the landmark Braselton Bros. Department Store building. “The store was a commercial crossroads for the farming community in the early 1900s,” Scott explains. “The furniture sections of the building were transformed to house restaurants, boutiques, a salon and the town Welcome Center. Currently, the largest section, the original mercantile store from 1904, is being renovated to hold more shopping and dining.” Subsequent development of the adjacent Town Green includes an old cotton gin that was turned into a brewpub, the construction of a new civic center and more. And all of this has not only provided jobs for longtime residents, but also attracted local citizens to the area for new opportunities.

“Currently, there are about 8,000 jobs located within the town of Braselton, a number that is projected to increase by 40 percent by 2040,” Scott says.

A Residential Renaissance

With so many people wanting to take advantage of everything Braselton has to offer, it’s no wonder that residential development has surged in recent years. And the options are now geared towards a variety of demographics.

“The town is encouraging the development of more housing options that appeal to younger workers and retirees, such as higher density homes that are withing walking distance of shopping and dining,” Scott reveals. For instance, in 2020, the first traditional apartment complex in Braselton was completed; that led the town to consider requests for more multifamily housing options. Additionally, a new residential development located adjacent to the downtown area is currently underway, and a second development comprising 500 lots near the historic core of town has been approved. What’s more, a large single-family residential neighborhood is in the permitting process and will be built off of State Route 211 just across from Château Élan. And every day, local housing professionals are discussing innovation infill residential options, including condos and townhomes.

For active adults, Braselton has become one of the metro area’s biggest draws. “Metro Atlanta ranks in the top 60 communities in the country on Gallup’s Well-Being Index, and retirement communities have been popping up all over the region,” Scott notes. “Nestled between I-85 and I-985, Braselton is the perfect location for retirees who want to be close to the North Georgia Mountains, as well as grandchildren in metro Atlanta.” Communities like The Village at Deaton Creek by Del Webb and Del Webb Château Élan give older adults access to everything from a host of shopping, dining and recreation options to a thriving medical community that continues to grow along the GA 347 corridor. Combined, these amenities create an unparalleled quality of life that has become synonymous with Braselton.

An Unsurpassed Quality of Life

For many years, Braselton has been known as the home of Château Élan Winery & Resort and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Yet, these spots are not only appealing to the thousands of visitors who come to the area each year. They also provide exceptional recreational opportunites for residents. Château Élan, which recently completed a $25 million renovation, gives locals access to a spectacular winery, award-winning golf facilities and a European spa mere miles from home. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta is a great weekend spot as well, and its new event space, Michelin Tower, is just one more great asset for the town.

Of course, there’s so much more. According to Braselton Tourism Director Nikki Perry, Lake Lanier is only a 15-minute drive away, allowing residents to enjoy a waterpark, the beach, boating and even more golf. And within the town itself, there is much to see and do. In addition to downtown Braselton’s shopping and dining options, the Town Green hosts to festivals, concerts and movies throughout the year. Braselton officials also are focusing on increasing the availability and connectivity of multi-use trails that traverse the area. One initiative is the renovation of Braselton’s beloved Mulberry Riverwalk.

“The Mulberry Riverwalk is a 2.3-mile natural trail that the town constructed along the Mulberry River in 2001. The path winds through a hardwood forest, located close to shops, restaurants and neighborhoods on GA 211,” Perry explains. “Currently, the trail is getting a facelift. In 2021, the Riverwalk will be widened and extended another mile to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center. And a second trailhead will be close to restaurants, retail and the LifePath multi-use sidewalk.”

For Braselton, it’s all about connecting the dots—and helping residents make connections with all of the town’s remarkable attributes. As the town grows, more people undoubtedly will choose to call it home. And as more people do, the town will continue to blossom. Because in Braselton, one amazing thing always leads to another.


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