Development Continues Along I-85 Corridor in Lavonia

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

The City of Lavonia is gearing up for another ground breaking.

Next month, developers will break ground for a new Hampton Inn across from the Holiday Inn Express at Exit 173 off of Interstate 85 on Georgia Highway 17.

The new motel is being built by OM Ventures2, LLC developers.

Lavonia City Manager Gary Fesperman said that plans for the new motel have been in the works for about a year.

“There were several hurdles that had to be crossed both with the Environmental Protection Divsion and some redesign of the new motel,”  Fesperman said. “But those issues have been overcome.”

He went on to say the motel is part of an overall development plan of acreage behind Hill’s Exxon by Jay Pearson, that calls for the Hampton Inn, the J Peters Restaurant, which was the first to open, and a strip mall.

“This is a multi-phased development that will take place over four to five years,” Fesperman said. “J. Peters and Hampton are the first two components. The third is a seven-suite office strip that will go directly behind J. Peters.”

According to Fesperman, plans are for construction to take about 13-15 months.

A ground breaking ceremony is scheduled now for early September.

In the meantime, Fesperman said a Dairy Queen will be going in where the former Wendy’s was located at the corner of SR17 and I-85 southbound.

“We have received all of the signage for the Dairy Queen and have sent it back to the Dairy Queen home office,” he said. “We are waiting for the reconstruction plans for the building at this present time.” – See more at:

However, Fesperman said there have been no solid offers on the four-acre property across the Interstate on Ross Road where the Café Risque’ topless bar once stood.

That property is still for sale.