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Gwinnett Commissioners approve demolition of 1996 Olympic Tennis Venue

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a contract to demolish the 1996 Olympic Tennis Center in Stone Mountain and prepare it for future redevelopment.

The 24-acre site, located at 5525 Bermuda Road just off U.S. 78, was acquired by Gwinnett County in October in a land exchange with the tennis venue’s owners, Stone Mountain Memorial Association Board of Directors. To obtain the aging venue for redevelopment, the County traded a 35-acre tract bordering the existing golf course at Stone Mountain Park.

The land will be cleared and grassed to make it attractive to potential developers, who will submit proposals for the County to consider through a competitive process.

Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash said that clearing the property reflects the Board’s commitment to economic development in Gwinnett County.

“This project fits with the Board of Commissioners’ stated goal to encourage development – or redevelopment – in strategic locations,” Nash said. “This site is on a potentially high-profile location on U.S. 78, the southern gateway into Gwinnett County from metro Atlanta. It could fit any number of uses. We think it will be a very attractive option for investment.”

District 2 Commissioner Lynette Howard said she believes the property could be a catalyst for redevelopment in this part of her district.

“This is such an exciting opportunity. I’m hopeful that the site, once demolished, will inspire developers to come up with amazing ideas that will add to the significant investments that businesses like Heatcraft and SpaceMax Storage, plus the Evermore CID led by Executive Director Jim Brooks, have already made,” Howard said. “The right project could spur broader interest in this area and help set the tone for future projects. We wanted to secure this location to help revitalize this part of Gwinnett County.”

District 3 Commissioner Tommy Hunter, whose district is across the street from the tennis center, said the location offers several advantages to draw developers.

“It’s connected to a controlled-access highway in U.S. 78, has a ready connection to the interstate highway system, and it’s a stone’s throw to Stone Mountain Park,” Hunter said. “The site has good infrastructure. I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of ideas come out of the private sector for this site.”

The center, which has been in disuse for years, includes a concrete stadium with approximately 7,200 seats, 16 hard surface outdoor tennis courts, a 50,000-square-foot plaza, parking for 200 vehicles, and a small clubhouse.

Demolition of the tennis venue will cost about $1.075 million and should begin by late June and take about 6 months. TOA LLC was the low bidder.