County seeks input on Gwinnett Place mall redevelopment as part of ‘welcoming week’

Gwinnett residents will have the chance to tell county officials what they envision taking the place of the almost-empty Gwinnett Place mall during an open house.

The open house will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday at the mall, followed by a screening of the movie “Minari” at sunset. The event will be part of “welcoming week,” a nationwide initiative running Sept. 9-19 that seeks to celebrate Gwinnett’s immigrants, refugees and longtime residents.

County leaders have stressed incorporating input from members of Gwinnett’s diverse communities into the redevelopment plans. Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese interpreters will be on site.

“Our hope for Gwinnett Place Mall is to ensure that residents and business owners — particularly those who live and work in the area — are very involved in its revival,” said County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson in a press release. “An inclusive, community-driven redevelopment process ensures that the mall remains the focal point for cultural and economic activity in the area.”

The county purchased most of Gwinnett Place — which has fallen into disrepair in recent decades — for $23 million earlier this year. It’s still unknown how the county will repurpose the property, but ideas include turning it into a transit hub or mixed-use development.

Welcoming week will also include a citizenship clinic, in which legal representatives from Atlanta’s Advancing Justice will be on site to review naturalization applications and provide assistance from 10 a.m-3 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Lilburn branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library.

Also as part of the week, Mexican-born and Atlanta-raised muralist Yehimi Cambrón will share her story and the stories of immigrants who are the central focus of her work. The “DACAmented” artist, intellectual, public speaker and activist will host a talk at 1 p.m. Sept. 19 at Lilburn’s library branch.

Anyone interested in attending the Gwinnett Place mall open house can register at GCGA.us/GPMOpenHouse. Registration is also required for the citizenship clinic: https://gwinnettpl.libnet.info/event/5489117.