But newer developments and increased competition took their toll, and the mall declined despite its prime location.
After waiting years for the private sector to act, the County in 2020 bought most of the 39-acre site for $23 million. Three anchor tenants own their buildings and parking lots, while a fourth anchor site – formerly Sears – is still owned by a real estate investment firm.
Our vision is “to create a dynamic and innovative destination that celebrates Gwinnett’s diverse communities, reflects community needs, and creates economic opportunity for the surrounding community.”
So last year we began gathering input on how the community wants to use this land. Feedback and ideas from an open house, a series of group conversations called “Meetings-in-a-Box,” many one-on-one interviews, a questionnaire, and the Reclaim Gwinnett Place Mall Block Party helped shape the redevelopment plan.
Five themes emerged from the responses: 1) ensure existing residents can remain in the area; 2) support residents with neighborhood services as the area becomes more diverse; 3) provide opportunities for existing businesses to grow and thrive; 4) generate jobs for Gwinnett residents; and 5) become a vibrant cultural destination with transit connectivity.
We continue to appreciate support for these efforts from the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District, consisting of local property owners, which has been active for years improving area infrastructure and amenities.
The Board of Commissioners is now evaluating input from the Reclaim Gwinnett Place Mall Project and outcomes from a Gwinnett Place Livable Centers Initiative study co-sponsored by the CID. We are using the findings from both to prepare a Request for Information and will be soliciting proposals for the forthcoming redevelopment of Gwinnett Place Mall.
Soon, we’ll be ready to share the final plan. This is a different kind of redevelopment process – one that is deliberative, inclusive, and elevates the Gwinnett Standard. We will continue to ensure that we attract new investments that unlock opportunities for Gwinnett residents and businesses.
I look forward to partnering with local communities and with private industry to enhance our diversity, energize local entrepreneurs, attract future-proof, well-paying jobs, and create and sustain amazing places in Gwinnett.
This may be the first time the County has engaged the community like this in relation to a major site redevelopment. I’m thrilled to see such encouraging results so far. Thank you to the nearly 2,000 individuals who contributed their thoughts to this process.