County officials seek to bring new life to stalled shopping district through strategic investment and planning
The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners approved the Urban Redevelopment Agency of Gwinnett County’s (URA) purchase of 39 acres of the Gwinnett Place Mall site. The property is being purchased for $23 million from Gwinnett Place Mall GA, LLC, which has owned the parcels at the core of the 90+ acre retail development since 2013.
The purchase, approved on Tuesday( Dec. 16), is part of a strategic effort by Gwinnett’s government to create new opportunities for catalytic development in the area in partnership with the Gwinnett Place CID and local property owners. The acquisition is expected to close in 90 days, at which time management of the site will be transitioned to the URA, which was activated by the Board in 2009 with a focus on “rehabilitation, conservation or redevelopment” of necessary areas within the county.
Gwinnett BOC Chairman Charlotte Nash
“This will be a tremendous asset for Gwinnett,” said Charlotte Nash, chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. “We’ve been working for a number of years to purchase this property that is central to our community’s geography and its recent history. There’s incredible opportunity here, and I believe that with careful planning and involvement from the community we can create a redevelopment that will be a place of pride for every Gwinnett resident.”
Proximity to Interstate 85 and the destination’s central location within Gwinnett County have made the property a key focus for leadership within the County. The Board has worked with the Mall’s current owners in their efforts to revive the struggling shopping center since the company purchased the 39-acre parcel at the core of the mall property from Simon Property Group Inc. in 2013. In the coming months, the County will begin a comprehensive planning process to explore ways to redevelop the site, actively engaging the County Department of Planning and Development, the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District and county residents to set a new vision for the property.
“The Community Improvement District is deeply appreciative of the County’s purchase,” says Joe Allen, executive director of the Gwinnett Place CID. “The area has been stagnant for many years, and this brings the long-needed opportunity to reposition and redevelop the mall area into a location that aligns with the community’s needs.”
Completed in 1984, the Gwinnett Place Mall site encompasses more than 90 acres. The mall fell on difficult times in the mid-2000s as key tenants moved to regional malls, even as surrounding shopping centers continued to thrive. The property not included within this sale will remain with respective current owners, whose current tenants – Macy’s, Mega Mart and Beauty Master – will not be impacted by this purchase. The URA will work closely with these groups to ensure alignment on goals as planning and revitalization begins.
In recent years, the County has acquired other parcels in the area, totaling 10 acres, to develop a new transit center. Additionally, these purchases will provide potential areas for stormwater management and other infrastructure needs associated with the potential redevelopment of the mall site.
“I’ve been advocating for this purchase on behalf of my constituents since taking office, as the community has been outspoken for many years regarding the need for a transformational change at Gwinnett Place Mall,” says District 1 Commissioner Jace Brooks. “When paired with the parcels we already own and the greenspace we are developing nearby, this has the potential to change the entire trajectory of that area of the county. I’m looking forward to hearing what Gwinnett residents envision for the property and working alongside our new commissioners to bring that vision to life.”
Nick Masino, president of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce, is excited about the purchase.
“In recent years, Gwinnett has invested in several strategic economic development projects, including the master-planned Rowen community, WaterTower, the OFS site, the Stone Mountain Tennis Center and more,” said Masino. “I know I speak for all Gwinnett businesses when I say that we are thrilled that the revitalization of the Gwinnett Place Mall can finally begin!”
About the Urban Redevelopment Agency of Gwinnett County
The URA is an agency that was activated by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners in 2009 with the purpose of “rehabilitation, conservation or redevelopment” of necessary areas within the County. The URA is governed by the five members of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.