Contact Us
Sponsored Content

Community Input Key To Success For Future Of Gwinnett Place Mall Site

The county continues to seek community input as it plans the redevelopment of the mall.

Entering the new year, Georgia’s Gwinnett County has its eyes set on the future.

2021 brought a number of challenges, but the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District navigated another year of Covid-19 by honoring its mission to make Gwinnett's central business district a more successful place through landscaping projects, critical infrastructure updates and added security cameras to keep residents and visitors safe. 

The county also transformed the Gwinnett Place Mall’s former Sears building into a Covid-19 testing and vaccination site, helping thousands of residents protect themselves during the pandemic. Now, the county is ready to move forward with even bigger transformation plans in the mall’s future, said Joe Allen, executive director of the Gwinnett Place CID.

Gwinnett Place CID continued to support businesses through its mobile-first website,, which lists hundreds of retailers and restaurants in the district open for business and is updated daily. The CID also highlights area events on its website, social channels and monthly email communications for employers, employees and residents.

Last year also brought unprecedented collaboration with Gwinnett County as stakeholders began to reimagine the Gwinnett Place Mall site, Allen said. In April, Gwinnett Place CID held a joint meeting with the Gwinnett County Commission, including Commission Chair Nicole Love Hendrickson and District 1 Commissioner Kirkland Carden, where a course was set for the area’s transformation. 

The 90-acre Gwinnett Place Mall property, located about 24 miles outside of Atlanta, has been mostly vacant, aside from some film and TV projects. But in 2021, both Gwinnett County and the CID launched studies to begin the redevelopment process. 

Allen said Gwinnett County’s Equitable Redevelopment Plan, expected to be completed in April, will help shape the redevelopment of the mall and the county's actions to ensure all residents will share in its growth and feel welcome. This has special resonance for a diverse county where no single ethnic or racial group constitutes more than 30% of the local population.

The second study, led by Gwinnett County, the Atlanta Regional Commission and the CID, is crafting the mall site’s revitalization strategy. It began by collecting the input of community members on the property’s future. 

“People — particularly the nearly 100,000 residents who live within 3 miles of the mall site — are key to the success of the ongoing redevelopment project,” Allen said. “We did a ton of outreach over the fall and up until about mid-December, going to festivals and also doing interviews with community leaders, key stakeholder representatives, property owners, developers and county commissioners to get their input.” 

Allen estimated the CID and its partners spoke to more than 1,100 people during that time. The feedback they got was “100% supportive,” he said.

“A common response we heard was, ‘It's about time that something happens at Gwinnett Place Mall,’ which reassures us that we are heading in the right direction,” Allen said.

The CID’s outreach on revitalization will continue in 2022 as the community gets closer to finalizing both major reports concerning the mall site’s future. If there is a local event that may attract a significant number of people, Allen said GPCID will be there to get the community’s thoughts on how to redevelop the mall, which anchors one of Georgia’s fastest-growing and most diverse areas.

“We always like to go where the people are,” he said. “The upcoming annual multicultural festival, the Korean-American festival in April, as well as many other events in the spring will be more opportunities for direct community engagement. What we're going to do is continue the initial engagement we began in fall 2021 to get people's input on redevelopment scenarios and options at the site.”

The CID also launched a website,, where the community can provide added input and play “city planner” to build their own vision on the mall site. While fun, the website is meant to maintain engagement with the community, which Allen said will be critical to the redevelopment’s success.

“The equity framework, in particular, is going to determine the shape of the revitalization strategy,” Allen said. “We view that strategy not only through the lens of regular economic development, but equity development as well.”

While what the mall site will be redeveloped into is yet to be determined, Allen said a common theme has risen to the top: The community wants a mixed-use, walkable, green and transit-oriented development that celebrates the area’s cultural diversity and the nearly 2,900 local businesses that operate within the district just beyond the mall property.

Allen said other important activities for GPCID in 2022 will include its continuing work on an area-focused rapid transit study, plans for a 17-mile biking trail connecting some of the county’s natural amenities, safety, beautification, economic development incentives, expanding the CID’s geographic boundaries, and a traffic and mobility study.

“We are still a good ways away from actually seeing bulldozers go to work on the former mall site,” he said. “But the good thing is that we've got everybody at the table and talking to each other through this revitalization strategy process, and we will forge ahead with other exciting projects to continue to make Gwinnett Place the place to be.”

This article was produced in collaboration between Studio B and Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

Studio B is Bisnow’s in-house content and design studio. To learn more about how Studio B can help your team, reach out to