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GAINESVILLE, GA-Mundy Mill, an estimated $513-million, 1.2-million-sf mixed-use venture, has been reduced in size after the Georgia Mountains Regional Development Center reviewed the developer’s conceptual plans and decided the project was too large for this rural area where the permanent population is only 25,000. The city is 40 miles northeast of Downtown Atlanta.

REL Properties of Decatur then filed a new development application with City of Gainesville, reducing the controversial 607-acre development to 2,186 shelter units, down from 2,594 units. But the developer increased the office space component by 100,000 sf to 687,000 sf and raised the retail component to 510,000 sf.

Area brokers tell GlobeSt.com the project is the first of its kind proposed for this rural area which only recently has been discovered by Atlanta area developers seeking large tracts for new developments at prices below metro levels. The Mundy Mill site is between Mundy Mill and Mountain View roads and Meeks and Old Oakwood roads.REL Properties is requesting a rezoning and annexation of the site by the city.

The REL proposal follows another controversial project long-planned for the Gainesville area–New York developer R. Eric Castro’s 750,000-sf, 34 story and 36-story condominium and hotel towers on the shores of Lake Lanier. That $325-million venture also drew criticism from residents as being too large for the immediate area’s population to support. David Umberson of Coldwell Banker tells GlobeSt.com Castro has withdrawn his rezoning application and “the land is back on the market.”

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