Braselton developer Matt Ruppel said groundbreaking for a 30-unit townhome project should begin in the next 30 days, the first move in a series of additions he’s proposing for downtown.
Ruppel, who updated the Braselton Downtown Development Authority (DDA) during its Thursday (Sept. 9) meeting, said the townhome development — located between Hwy. 124 and Davis St. behind the town’s library — will consist of units of between 2,200-2,400 square feet, including patio and garage spaces.
The project, called Sunrise City Living Townhomes, will feature a more contemporary look, according to Ruppel.
“It’s going to be a much-different product than you have traditionally seen kind of out in the suburbs,” he said. “But I think it really contrasts well with some of the buildings.”
A mixed-use building adjacent to the townhomes is also proposed, but Ruppel doesn’t expect that project to begin within the next 12 months.
Ruppel, whose past projects include the renovation of the town’s old cotton gin into the Braselton Brewing Company, also provided the DDA with his plans for other residential and commercial ventures for Braselton’s downtown.
He’s selected a 2.02-acre site along Harrison St. for a proposed commercial development. Civil engineering and architectural plans for the project should be ready by Nov. 1, according materials presented by Ruppel. The site would be anchored by two commercial buildings. Townhomes, which initially appeared on project renderings, are no longer part of the development. Ruppel plans for restaurant space to make up two-thirds of the commercial space. The site is already zoned for retail and office space use.
On the eastern side of downtown, Ruppel looks to build 30 townhomes on a 7.02-acre tract behind Braselton Brewing Company that ties into the new Braselton Townside subdivision. The property was approved for townhomes under a rezoning for the Townside development. At 30 feet wide, these units would offer larger floor plans than Ruppel’s townhome project on the other side of town. Ruppel said he’s looking to offer a “higher-end townhome” with these units.
Ruppel hopes for finalized site plans and layout in 90 days, according to materials he presented.
Also on that side of town, Ruppel proposes an entertainment spot — described as a whiskey bar and jazz club — on 1.54 acres adjacent to the Braselton Brewing Company. Preliminary layout and design could come in the next six months, according to materials presented by Ruppel. The project fits the existing zoning for the property.
Plans within this project include finishing the brewery’s gravel parking lot and landscaping improvements.
“We would just improve all of that land and make it all really walkable and kind of have it for an event space or a music venue, outdoor kind of thing that might just go Friday and Saturday or something like that,” Ruppel said.
Ruppel’s vision for that area also includes a two-mile walking trail that would ideally follow along Indian Creek, according to Ruppel. He is working with Lennar Homes — developer of Braselton Townside — in hopes of a donation of four acres to the town for the project.
Another potential project discussed by Ruppel is a package store on a 2.3-acre tract on Hwy. 124. Braselton limits the number of package stores in town based the town’s population, but Ruppel believes the new census data will allow for another package store license. Other factors considered by the town when awarding a granting a license are proximity to other package stores and infrastructure.
Ruppel is already well established in downtown Braselton. A portion of land he purchased in 2014 was donated to the town and used for Braselton’s Town Green and parking deck. Ruppel’s other ventures, in addition to the renovation of the Braselton Brewing Company, include founding the Cotton Calf Kitchen and Braselton Fine Bakery.
In 2019, Ruppel was named a “Main Street Hero” by the Georgia Downtown Association.