Gwinnett Place mall redevelopment plan will get traffic study

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners recently approved $37,500 for a traffic and mobility study of the Gwinnett Place mall area, which is slated for a major redevelopment in coming decades.

The money comes from the 2017 special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) program.

The Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District will contribute an equal amount of funding.

The CID will contract and manage the study, which will analyze proposed transportation improvements and establish an implementation strategy through projects and policies, said Lewis Cooksey, the county transportation director.

“The study will include a review of multiple modes of travel and will work in coordination with recently completed studies of the Gwinnett Place mall area,” Cooksey told commissioners.

Built in 1984, the mall and surrounding area south of Duluth was once considered Gwinnett County’s unofficial downtown. The mall began to decline around 2000 and is now mostly vacant. Gwinnett County bought 39 acres of the mall property two years ago for $23 million.

The Gwinnett Place site revitalization team, which includes officials from the county, Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District, Atlanta Regional Commission and private firms, is proposing the mall be replaced by a mixed-use development with multifamily housing, some retail and office space, a park and a cultural center. Most of the existing mall would be demolished.

Ring Road, which circles the mall, would become a greenway connected to the countywide trail network. A new transit center is being designed just west of the mall.

The site revitalization team estimated last year that Gwinnett County would invest about $158 million in the redevelopment but stressed that number was very preliminary and did not include demolition or affordable housing costs.