Partnership Gwinnett, in conjunction with the Council for Quality Growth, hosted the first annual Metro Atlanta Redevelopment Summit (MARS) at the Studio Movie Grill in Duluth on Thursday, Oct. 6.
The Summit, which was formerly known as the Redevelopment Forum, previously focused primarily on Gwinnett County. This year, the Summit enlarged its geographical footprint to highlight redevelopment projects throughout the metro Atlanta area. Also new this year were four redevelopment awards, three awards were presented to redevelopment projects and one award to two individuals who have championed redevelopment in the metro area.
The event began with Gwinnett County Chairman, Charlotte Nash welcoming more than 200 attendees to the Summit. The first panel, moderated by Georgia Power’s Senior Community and Economic Development manager Lauren Lambiase, included experts from across the restaurant spectrum, including Ben Bailey, owner of Local Republic in Lawrenceville, Randy McCray of H.G. Restaurant Partners, Chris Carter of Vantage Realty Partners and Harold Shumacher of The Shumacher Group. The experts focused on restaurants and how they contribute to the success and vibrancy of redevelopment projects.
The Summit also featured spotlights of several redevelopment projects around the metro area, including:
- Twin Lakes at Technology Park Atlanta in the City of Peachtree Corners – Presented by Brand Morgan of Brand Properties. The site was a previous obsolete office park transformed into a next generation 295-unit multi-family complex that will connect to the city’s multi-use path network. The redevelopment will provide housing options for the area’s technology industry, which is looking to attract young talent to Gwinnett County.
- Battery Park at SunTrust Park – Presented by Mason Zimmerman of Pope & Land Enterprises. The Battery features office space that is already pre-leased and has contributed to major redevelopments around Cumberland Community Improvement District in Cobb County. In addition to the office space, The Battery features residential and retail projects that will contribute to more than a billion dollars of investment in the area.
- Gwinnett Prado shopping center – Presented by the team of Chaz Lazarian and John Mansour, who recently purchased the center. Located in the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District and at nearly 34 acres, Gwinnett Prado is a 1980s retail center that has experienced seen high vacancy. The team presented a vision of a mixed-use redevelopment as outlined in the CID’s ACTivate Gwinnett Place master plan, connecting the redevelopment to nearby McDaniel Farm Park through multi-use trails.
- The redevelopment of Proctor Square in the City of Duluth – Presented by Kurt Alexander of The Residential Group. Located at the intersection of Georgia Highway 120 and Buford Highway in Gwinnett County, the redevelopment of this large strip center into a mixed-use project is expected to include both urban style rental units with first floor retail and office suites. The $64 million project has an early industrial inspired architectural theme wrapping around structured parking.
- The City Springs Project – Presented by the team of John Wyle and Michael Kahn of Rosser International. Located in the heart of the City of Sandy Springs, Rosser International outlined the vision the city took in redeveloping the heart of its downtown into city offices, a performing arts center, theater, a city green, and residential and retail units. The city teamed in a public-private partnership with developers Carter and Selig Enterprises to redevelop the 15-acre tract within the triangle formed by Georgia Highway 9, Johnson Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Highway in north Fulton County.
The event wrapped up with keynote speaker Robert Hughes, Principal of HGOR, a planning and design firm located in Atlanta. HGOR has been involved in a number of large-scale redevelopment projects around Atlanta, including Glenwood Park, High Street, Grant Park, Mercedes Benz Stadium and City Place. Hughes outlined the successful aspects of redevelopment projects, lessons learned and the challenges metro Atlanta must tackle as redevelopment projects become more prolific.
Awards presented at the event:
- Neighborhood Award (less than 1 acre): Parsons Alley, City of Duluth, Gwinnett County
- Community Award (1-10 acres): City Springs, City of Sandy Springs, Fulton County
- Regional Award (more than 10 acres): Suburban Plaza, DeKalb County
- the 2016 Redevelopment Champion of the Year recognized two individuals for the efforts to redevelop the Buckhead area of Atlanta – Jim Durrett, Executive Director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District and Denise Starling, Executive Director of Livable Buckhead.
Taylor Anderson is president of Blue Landworks, an engineering and surveying services firm. He presently serves Gwinnett County in several leadership roles: Chairman of the Sugar Hill Downtown Development Authority, Goal 3 (Community Development) Chair for Partnership Gwinnett, Chairman of the Gwinnett County Development Advisory Committee and is a member of Partnership Gwinnett’s Redevelopment Task Force.