The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners today adopted the final Equitable Redevelopment Plan for the Gwinnett Place Mall. The plan was informed by eight months of community engagement with direct input from over 2,000 Gwinnett residents and focuses on a new model for equitable development to benefit historically marginalized communities.
Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson said the Equitable Redevelopment Plan will set a new national precedent for equitable economic redevelopment.
“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,” said Hendrickson. “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.”
District 1 Commissioner Kirkland Carden said the Board’s intent with the site is to revitalize the mall as a location where local residents, small businesses and visitors can thrive.
“We sought to achieve this vision by involving the surrounding community, so they could be with us in the decision-making process from the start,” said Carden. “As the commissioner who represents Gwinnett Place Mall, I have always been focused on ensuring this area can remain the economic heart of Gwinnett County, and that the redevelopment that the County supports in this area is beneficial to those who live and work there.”
Gwinnett County commissioned HR&A for the Equitable Redevelopment Plan to equip one of the most diverse areas in the country with comprehensive strategies on how to transform the mall into a unique regional destination and community asset.
Led by the Community Partner Advisory Board made up of residents, business owners and stakeholders, the plan development process included engaging with various communities, local businesses and government officials, including County staff and the Board of Commissioners, to ensure equity remained central and the strategies aligned community needs with public and private investment. Community members shared their ideas and vision for the Gwinnett Place Mall redevelopment through a community open house, small-group conversations, one-on-one interviews, questionnaires for residents and a block party.
The Gwinnett Place Mall Equitable Redevelopment Plan addresses five key areas for preservation and growth in the County: housing, small businesses, cultural activity center, neighborhood services and jobs.
The County’s work on the Equitable Redevelopment Plan was completed in tandem with the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District, which is developing its own findings into the Gwinnett Place Mall Site Revitalization Strategy to provide a complementary perspective and explore ways the project can attract private investment as well as provide a significant return on investment for Gwinnett County.
With the mall’s Equitable Redevelopment Plan in place, County leadership will continue its collaboration with the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District around their Livable Centers Initiative study. Both the Equitable Redevelopment Plan and the LCI study will set the stage for conversations with the adjacent property owners on the mall site. The County will invite developer teams to be evaluated and determine the best teams to submit proposals for the full redevelopment process.