Residents react to huge new development in South Forsyth County

Kimberly Bond

(Forsyth County, GA) Vernon Krause of Krause Auto Group stunned Forsyth County residents this week with his plan to build a massive new development in the southern part of the county. Called The Gathering at South Forsyth, the mixed-use project could cost more than $2 billion and will include commercial, retail, and residential space.
The Gathering at South Forsyth will be built on property previously set aside for a mall that was never constructed.Photo bySCI Architects

The part of the plan that attracted the most attention in initial reports is the 750,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art indoor arena. At that size, it will be bigger than State Farm Arena and will be able to accommodate 18,000 seats. Several media outlets have speculated that the arena was designed to attract an NHL hockey team back to the Atlanta area.
An arena that can seat up to 18,000 is one of the highlights of The Gathering at South Forsyth's plans.Photo bySCI Architects

The project’s scale has also drawn comparisons to The Battery, the new home of the Atlanta Braves. However, The Gathering at Forsyth will develop 100 acres compared to only 60 acres at The Battery. The Gathering, with 2.4 million square feet of space, will also outpace The Battery’s 2.25 million square feet.

The Gathering will boast 1.6 million square feet of commercial and retail space, a 7,500-square-foot fire station, a 100,000-square-foot community center, two hotels, and residential units. Located near the Halcyon mixed-use development, the project will completely transform the area near Union Hill Road and Ronald Reagan Boulevard.
Will The Gathering at South Forsyth host concerts, graduations, or even a new hockey team? Only time will tell.Photo bySCI Architects

Mixed resident reactions

Like with other new projects like Passport Springs and Winners Circle, Forsyth County residents were quick to react to the project’s announcement with both delight and dismay. On social media, some commenters expressed confusion about why Forsyth County is the right place for such a project. The county’s rapid growth has made it challenging for some long-term residents to adapt to so much change in a short amount of time. Others expressed concerns about taxes or traffic.

“Forsyth County better keep out of paying for anything!! On that 100 acres there should be zero tax dollars spent,” said resident Almir Delanovic in a Facebook post about the development.

“Traffic is bad enough as it is,” chimed in Dennis Martin.

However, several residents shared their excitement instead.

“We need it and we want it. This would be huge for the economy,” said Brian Wood.

“This looks amazing!” added Jennifer Schaubroeck-Ware.

What’s Next for The Gathering

The Gathering at South Forsyth isn't going to appear overnight. Plans suggest it will take three to four years to complete once the project breaks ground.

However, in contrast with other major sports arena projects, The Gathering appears to be mostly privately funded. Right now, Forsyth County has only agreed to infrastructure updates to support the project such as extending Ronald Reagan Blvd, widening McGinnis Ferry Road, and building a new exit ramp off Georgia 400.

The next step for The Gathering is for the project to be introduced at a Forsyth County Commission work session on April 25 at 2 p.m. Developers plan to file a request for an overlay district at the work session. Following that, there will be public listening sessions scheduled for May.

Love it? Hate it? What do you think about The Gathering at South Forsyth? Comment below or email to let us know.

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I'm a writer, editor, and journalist with a background in law and science. I love writing about interesting local places and events in Forsyth County, especially new businesses or family-friendly experiences.

Cumming, GA

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