Outline for Gwinnett Place Mall redevelopment adopted by county leaders

Posted on: August 3, 2022

Source: WXIA-TV Atlanta ; Author: Jonathan Raymond

Gwinnett County’s Board of Commissioners said Tuesday they had officially adopted a priorities outline for the redevelopment of Gwinnett Place Mall.

The county purchased the mall from a developer in 2020 for $23 million. A staple of 80s and 90s Gwinnett childhoods that was featured in “Stranger Things,” the iconic mall has long been in decline and is largely empty but for a few stores still operating, such as the Macy’s.

Earlier this summer the county put forth a reclamation and revitalization campaign that they said would include “affordable housing, neighborhood services, incentives for existing businesses in the area, job support and a central location with regional and accessible transit.”

The county commission outlined five themes, with 10 specific action recommendations, based on community input for prioritization when they begin to take in development proposals:

  • Housing: Build affordable housing on the redeveloped mall site.
  • Neighborhood Services: Provide neighborhood services on the redeveloped mall site.
  • Small Business: Encourage the incubation and growth of small business in the redeveloped mall site; create a resource hub in the redeveloped mall site.
  • Jobs: Incentivize developers to hire locally and prioritize contracting with local small businesses and residents of color; attract employers who will provide living wages; provide workforce development programs in the redeveloped mall site.
  • Cultural Activity Center: Create spaces for celebrating Gwinnett’s diversity; create well-designed greenspace; invest in transit connectivity within and around the redeveloped mall site.

Additionally, the plan calls for

  • Launching a “small business loan program in partnership with and administered by a Community Development Financial Institution.”
  • Creating an “Affordable Housing Trust Fund to prevent indirect displacement of residents.”
  • Developing zoning tools to incentivize affordable housing.
  • Developing “programming and legislation that support Gwinnett residents to build wealth through homeownership.”
  • Completing an upcoming “disparity study” related to small businesses.
  • Investing in transit connectivity at the mall site.

What’s next

  • The plan calls for the creation of an advisory group to “center community voice in the redevelopment” of the mall, which will “inform planning, design and construction on the mall site, as well as monitor the redevelopment process and the impact on surrounding neighborhoods.”
  • More specifically, the county will “prepare a Request for Information and invite developer teams to be evaluated and determine the best teams to submit proposals for the full redevelopment process.”

The county directs anyone interested in the ongoing process to visit GwinnettPlaceMallEquity.com.

“By creating a community-driven redevelopment process and listening to the priorities of Gwinnett residents, the plan can respond to community needs, create an innovative cultural destination and attract new economic opportunities,” Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson said in a statement. “We are proud to adopt Gwinnett County’s first Equitable Redevelopment Plan that is focused directly on equity, is informed by thousands of community touchpoints and will lead Gwinnett Place Mall into its next phase.”

Read the full article here.

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