First settled in 1876 and incorporated as a town on August 21, 1916, Braselton is rich in history and culture. It is named for its founder, William Harrison Braselton, whose son, William Henry Braselton, was the town’s first mayor.
Braselton’s historic center is located near the intersection of Georgia 53 and 124 about one mile south of Interstate 85, forty-five minutes north of Atlanta. It is home to several corporate facilities including Haverty’s Regional Distribution Center, Mizuno, Carters, Whole Foods, FedEx and Panoz Automotive Development Company. In addition, the famous Chateau Élan Winery and Resort, with its magnificent chateau-style main building and excellent golf and residential areas is located within the city limits about one mile from the historic center.
This small community is growing at a tremendous rate. Because of this growth, Braselton has commissioned the development of a downtown master plan to guide its future and protect the historic features that have defined its character and has also refined and implemented that plan to this date.
Braselton Town Projects
The Block that generated the entire downtown revitalization
Downtown District listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001
In 2003 a group of Braselton citizens, business and land owners came together to formulate a plan to revitalize the downtown, which had been suffering from empty neglected buildings and no development even as the remainder of the town thrived. The first project to be identified was the relocation of State Highway 124 in order to eliminate offset interchange and create space for the future Town Green. This was funded through a combination of GDOT State Aid and URA Redevelopment bonds and partially through a Jackson County TAD.
During acquisition of property for the new road, the owner of the Braselton Brothers Store donated the building to the town as he didn’t feel it could be renovated effectively. The town wanted to save one of its most iconic buildings and also add leasable space to create a more palatable view of the building from Davis Street. Funded with a $500,000 CDBG EIP grant and town funds, the building is now owned by the Braselton Urban Redevelopment Agency. Before: Braselton Brothers Store housed 3 tenants. Today: Braselton Brothers Store houses 8 tenants and the Mainstreet/DDA office.
Braselton Town Green
One of the priorities that came out of the Downtown Revitalization Plan was a gathering place in downtown to host festivals and movies and events. Funded through the Braselton URA Redevelopment Bonds funded partially through a Jackson County TAD and a GDOT Transportation Enhancement grant, this new park opened in time for Braselton’s Centennial celebration in 2016.
braselton downtown parking deck
As the downtown began to thrive and new businesses moved in, lack of parking became an issue. Not just during events, but daily. To provide free parking in downtown for businesses, court, festivals, movies and events a parking deck was constructed and opened in October 2018. Funded through the Braselton URA Redevelopment Bonds funded partially through the Town’s portion of Jackson County SPLOST.
What’s coming next?
Braselton plans to fund a Civic Center in 2019 that will go into construction in 2020. As with all of Braselton’s projects, it will follow the downtown architectural standards, this time mimicking the original Cotton Gin that is under redevelopment as a brew pub in downtown.