More Than Its Mall: Retail Growth Strong In Gwinnett Place CID
The Gwinnett community has become increasingly frustrated over lackluster redevelopment activity at the Gwinnett Place Mall. Las Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital Investments purchased the foreclosed suburban shopping hub in 2013, but since the acquisition, many retail spaces remain empty. Moonbeam has yet to produce any solid plans.
The dormant potential of Gwinnett Place Mall stands in sharp contrast to overall retail growth in the Atlanta suburb. The Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District has 7.8M SF of retail, equivalent to 14% of the county’s total space, and over $1.1B in retail spending occurs annually in the CID, according to a third-party economic impact report.
A large driver of retail growth in the area has been demographic diversity. Gwinnett Place is a racially, ethnically and culturally diverse area within one of the most racially diverse counties in the nation. Restaurants run the gamut from Vietnamese to Mexican cuisine, and this variety has served the CID well.
The area has more than 170 restaurants and bars, which sell an estimated $60M in food and beverages each year.
The variety of dining options and shops customized for local experiences fits the current model for successful retail. Malls with rows of inventory are out, and experiential, social and health-based offerings are in. Nonstore retailers like restaurants generated $34M while medical services like doctor's offices and pharmacies reached $14M.
Food and beverage is not Gwinnett Place’s largest retail sector. Motor vehicle and parts sales in Gwinnett Place reached $501M in revenue last year. The success of automobile sales could be connected to the CID’s draw among commuters.
The Gwinnett Place Area of Influence has an average of 6,049 jobs per square mile, compared to 800 for Gwinnett County.
Residents from outside the CID also visit for the retail. Nearly 86% of all sales came from demand outside of the Gwinnett Place area. Only 14% of retail sales in the area were generated internally from residents, employees and overnight visitors.
The Gwinnett Place hospitality industry also helped fuel retail revenue in 2017. Hotel room sales in the CID totaled $59M last year and resulted in additional retail sales of $2.9M.
Around the Gwinnett Place Mall, owners of several major properties are looking closely at the redevelopment potential of their sites given the strong demand growing in the area and the attractive package of incentives offered by Gwinnett County. Conceptual plans call for green spaces and a mix of office, retail and residential spaces.
“With the strong economic impact the retail sector generates for the Gwinnett and metro economies, the revitalization of its namesake mall would be a crowning accomplishment,” Gwinnett County District 1 Commissioner Jace Brooks said.
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