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Could Gwinnett Place's Closing Sears Become Apartments?

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Northwood Ravin
The Sears anchor at Gwinnett Place Mall in northern suburban Atlanta

Could part of one of Atlanta's most ailing malls be heading for a multifamily conversion? That could be the case as the Gwinnett Place Mall's shuttering Sears store is set to change hands.

Northwood Ravin has agreed to buy the Sears anchor at the 1M SF mall in Gwinnett County, along with 11 acres around it, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. This comes on the heels of Sears announcing that the Gwinnett Place mall store was among those locations slated to close in the coming year.

The AJC did not receive a response from Northwood Ravin or the overall mall's current owners, Las Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital, a group whose ownership has caused a sour taste in local officials' mouths over the years for its perceived failure to act on any redevelopment plan for the mall.

Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District Director Joe Allen told the AJC that Northwood Ravin is “researching all of their options. They are looking at various concepts, various options for what can be done with that property.”

The AJC said it was unclear whether Northwood Ravin plans to work on a redevelopment in conjunction with Moonbeam. But any forward movement at Gwinnett Place could be a welcome relief to local officials.

Frustration with Moonbeam spilled over in 2017 at a Bisnow event when Partnership Gwinnett and Gwinnett Chamber Senior Vice President Nick Masino called for getting rid of Moonbeam as the mall's owners.

“We have to replace Moonbeam development. They talk and talk and talk and do nothing,” Masino said on stage. “The answer is we don't have a professional developer who owns the property who knows what the hell they're doing. So we need to get rid of them.”

Currently, the Netflix show "Stranger Things" is filming portions of its third season in the mall.