Gwinnett County plans to purchase more than 100 acres of a Norcross-area property that has long been targeted for economic redevelopment, with previously proposed projects ranging from a casino to a sprawling movie production campus.
Gwinnett is targeting a sizable chunk of the property off Jimmy Carter Boulevard and I-85 — which is owned by OFS Brightwave Solutions, a still-active fiber optic company — to help spur its redevelopment, according to documents.
The purchase would technically be made by the county’s Urban Redevelopment Agency, though according to online records, that agency’s members consist only of the county’s current Board of Commissioners.
A resolution supporting the agency’s purchase is scheduled to be voted upon in a Tuesday night meeting of the commissioners. The commissioners will then gather for a special-called meeting of the redevelopment agency in order to vote on the purchase-sale agreement.
The redevelopment agency would finance about $330,000 per acre for 104 acres of the OFS site — a total of more than $34 million. The county would then provide money to cover payments, according to documents.
The commission resolution called the potential purchase “a major milestone in Gwinnett County’s efforts and commitment to foster economic redevelopment of critical sites along the major transportation gateways to Gwinnett County.”
The site is in the general area described in the county’s new comprehensive transit plan as being most suitable for a “multimodal hub” that would connect a new heavy rail line to the existing Doraville MARTA station.
In 2012, the OFS site was pitched as the future home of a casino complex, though that vision quickly died.
Less than a year later, Jacoby Development announced its intentions to build what would’ve been the Southeast’s largest movie studio complex on part of the OFS campus. Initial plans aso included multifamily housing, retail and an on-site hotel.
A handful of movies have been shot on the OFS site, but Jacoby’s grander vision has never come to fruition. Jacoby and OFS eventually found themselves involved in litigation over several different monetary disputes. Those disputes were settled late last year, effectively dissolving the relationship be tween OFS and Jacoby.
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