The struggles of once-proud Gwinnett Place Mall are no secret, and the shopping center’s current owner, Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC, has thus far done little to stop the bleeding.
Gwinnett County’s top economic recruiter doesn’t think they ever will — and he wasn’t shy Thursday morning about sharing his wish to see them go in front of dozens of business leaders.
"We have to replace Moonbeam development, they talk and talk and talk and do nothing,” Nick Masino, the senior vice president of Partnership Gwinnett, the economic development arm of the county’s chamber of commerce, said during a panel discussion sponsored by online media outlet Bisnow.
“So if you're interested in replacing Moonbeam, call me, call Joe Allen the Gwinnett Place CID executive director, call Jace Brooks, the District 1 commissioner. Let's all hashtag-get- rid-of-Moonbeam. The answer is we don't have a professional developer that owns the property that knows what the hell they're doing. So let's get rid of them... you can quote me on that."
Masino was not part of the actual panel but emerged from the audience after someone asked what could be done to address the mall. He later told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he stood by his comments.
"You can't find a place in the United States, and they own about 90 properties, where they've done anything they say they're gonna do,” he said.
Moonbeam, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday, purchased the already-flailing Gwinnett Place Mall in late 2013.
In January, it suggested it had plans for a grand makeover, one that included demolishing one department store to build apartments and converting two other wings into office space. The company said it would submit redevelopment plans to the county in March.
That never happened and, last month, Moonbeam CEO Steve Maksin declined to offer a new timetable.