When it opened in the early 1980s, Gwinnett Place Mall was the center of commerce for the community. However, over time, changing buying habits, additional competition, and its auto-dependence have made an impact.
As noted in the its report to the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners by the Gwinnett County Revitalization Task Force, "several of the major tenants in the area, such as Target and Bass Pro Shop, have closed their doors and reopened in larger more prominent locations just a few miles away from their original locations. These relocations have created numerous large vacant commercial buildings that impact the economic viability of small tenants left behind….We found that the Gwinnett Place Area exhibits many of the problems typical of other activity centers in Gwinnett. Problems in area include lack of civic and green space, poor pedestrian connectivity, higher vacancy rates among surrounding retailers, high levels of traffic congestion, and poor integration of different land uses" (pgs. 8-9 and 35).
In a community of choices all competing for the customer's dollar, the Gwinnett Place area must continue to transform itself into a boulevard of the irresistible and a destination of endless shopping and entertainment opportunities. The area must evolve into an experience not to be missed. A place where people feel safe and where a new generation will want to spend their time and money.
By strengthening its existing assets into a new activity center with a new vision capable of capturing the imagination, as well as the pocketbook, of the consumer, the district can again become a vibrant, multi-use center that attracts people to its open, interconnected system of streets, sidewalks, and shops.
Commercial property owners are working together to keep the Gwinnett Place area as the preeminent destination for investment and commerce... helping Gwinnett Place remain "the place to be" in this part of the metro region.
Improving Travel in the District - The CID is the only entity currently funding studies and improvement projects aimed at substantively decreasing traffic congestion in the Gwinnett Place area. Added resources will help the CID complete intersection improvements, install comprehensive traffic management systems and reverse the perception that people cannot easily access businesses throughout the District.
Increasing Attractiveness, Safety & Security - As roads are improved and new sidewalks installed, the CID is working aggressively to add its own individually selected design features such as landscaping, benches, lighting and signage to accompany the pedestrian-friendly enhancements. Participating properties play a large roll in determining the overall appearance of the finished projects.
Raising Property Values - All the strategies directed by the CID — coupled with the study and planning efforts — are designed to increase business and property values through local investment.
Representing Collective Interests - The CID is uniquely positioned to express the collective desires and concerns of its membership to local, state and federal representatives. The District is better able to position itself in the highly competitive marketplace of communities seeking grant funds and other revenue sources for community enhancement projects.