Gwinnett Place has been considered the heart of Gwinnett County for more than three decades, with easy access to Interstate 85 and major roads like Pleasant Hill Road and Satellite Boulevard. It is also home to Hollis Cobb, Iconex, M&I Materials US, BI/Merial US and Hendrick Automotive, who all show the value of a prime location combined with public-private investments.
For our part, my fellow commissioners and I continue to work closely with the Gwinnett Place CID to upgrade infrastructure, like roads and sidewalks as well as the water and sewer pipes beneath them and make the area more attractive for investments and redevelopment.
One example of our investments is the nearby Diverging Diamond Interchange at I-85 that has made traffic flow better for 60,000 vehicles every day. We’ve also improved intersections and street lighting, plus we’ve upgraded streetscapes along Pleasant Hill Road and Satellite Boulevard to make the Gwinnett Place area more walkable and attractive.
And just last fall, the County agreed to spend almost $5 million to buy 10 acres for an expanded transit center to capitalize on Gwinnett Place’s central location and ensure that it will play a key role in future transit plans that we expect will take shape soon.
To provide residents and visitors with opportunities to recreate and enjoy the outdoors, the County has also built or renovated three nearby parks – McDaniel Farm, Shorty Howell and Club Drive.
Other evidence of County support is less visible because it involves changes to regulations and zoning. We are planting the seeds of redevelopment in Gwinnett Place, a fertile area ready for reinvestment. These are incentive programs for private investments in the area including the Opportunity Zone, the Tax Allocation District and the Venture Drive Redevelopment Overlay District.
Gwinnett Place has served as the county’s central business district since the 1980s when the mall first opened for business. Today, the area offers more jobs than Midtown or Cumberland. Ironically, the mall itself has faltered in the face of competition from two newer malls up the road. But we would be foolish not to build on the foundation this major economic asset has already created.
Today Gwinnett Place has the largest concentration of commercial development in the county – more than 13.3 million square feet, including 7.8 million of retail space. Gwinnett Place is also home to 23 percent of the Class A office space in the county.
Gwinnett Place has an annual economic impact of $9.5 billion. Almost half its workers have a four-year college degree. And its diverse, international flavor invites businesses and investments from all over the world. Explore Gwinnett calls it “the Seoul of the South.” Whether you are looking for a place to dine out, space for your new business, or a redevelopment investment opportunity, and consider Gwinnett Place.
Gwinnett Place made history once as the home of the first mall in Gwinnett County. Now it is well on its way to making history again as a model for an internationally diverse, livable urban community.
This blog post was written by Jace Brooks, District 1 Commissioner.
About Jace Brooks
Jace Brooks was first elected to the Board of Commissioners in a special election to fill a vacancy in district 1 and took office in September 2012. He is now serving a second four-year term that started in January 2017. District 1 includes Suwanee, Sugar Hill, Duluth, and parts of the Collins Hill community.
A Louisiana native, Jace relocated to metro Atlanta in 1994 and made Suwanee his home three years later. He has served in the leadership of Gwinnett and Suwanee government and business affairs for more than a decade. Jace served for 10 years on the Suwanee City Council, which included multiple turns as mayor pro tem. He currently serves on the board for the North Gwinnett Schools Foundation and the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Jace is a business consultant working with companies such as The Table Group. He earned a Bachelor of Science in finance from Louisiana Tech University and two master’s degrees, one from Georgia State University and another from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Jace and his wife, Kirste, have been married since 1993 and have twin teenage children, Aidan and Ally. He and his family are active members of Gwinnett Church.