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BRASELTON, GA-This once rural community (Pop. 3,192), that won international recognition in 1990 when actress Kim Basinger and partner Ameritech pension fund bought the town for $20 million, is being recognized today by local developers as metro Atlanta’s next potential hot spot. The town is 50 miles northeast of Downtown Atlanta.

Distribution centers and industrial parks are either planned or cropping up along highways leading to Braselton, local real estate records show. The latest developer to spot Braselton’s potential is Ruby Forest Ltd. of Suwanee, GA. Ruby has filed plans for 157,000 sf of new commercial and 338 residences at River Walk in Braselton. The site is off GA 211 and Thompson Mill Road.

The developer also plans 399 homes on Browns Bridge Road near McEver Road in a 124-acre subdivision in Gainesville, GA, about 60 miles north of Downtown Atlanta.

Ruby’s projects in Braselton will follow other developers who have scouted the area in the past several years. As GlobeSt.com previously reported, Trammell Crow Co. plans a $70 million, 2.6 million-sf industrial park on 160 acres near Zion Church Road and GA 53.

Atlanta-based Haverty Furniture Cos. Inc. has contracted with John J. Rooker and Associates of Atlanta to develop a 511,000-sf distribution center that could be expanded later to 932,000 sf. The Braselton site is off Interstate 85.

And Atlanta developers Eben Hardie and Mal Hill, principals in Solution Property Group, plan a one-million-sf, $22 million distribution on 63 acres located on part of Basinger’s former 1,800-acre domain, as GlobeSt.com also previously reported.

Basinger had planned to develop music and recording studios on the property, but an economic recession almost immediately after purchased the town’s acreage killed the plan.

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