Plan would allow 25-story buildings near Gwinnett Place

Gwinnett County may soon move forward with plans for a new zoning district that would reshape the Gwinnett Place area.

The Municipal-Gwinnett County Planning Commission will get a briefing on the proposed Venture Drive redevelopment overlay district Thursday. The commission is expected to vote on the proposal April 13.

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported recently, the district would allow buildings up to 25 stories on property near the Gwinnett Place mall. That's taller than any existing building in Georgia's second-largest county (the tallest is the 17-story Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta hotel).

The new zoning district would be bounded by Pleasant Hill Road to the east, I-85 to the south, Steve Reynolds Boulevard to the west and Satellite Boulevard to the north. The idea is to create a dense urban development out of the existing sprawl of suburban shopping centers.

The district would encourage residential as well as commercial and office development. The minimum height of residential or mixed-use buildings would be five stories. But by adding amenities like multi-use paths and pedestrian boulevards, developers could build up to 25 stories.

You can find a summary of the proposed Venture Drive overlay district here. You can read a copy of the proposed ordinance here.

The Gwinnett Place area once was a thriving commercial center, but has lost some of its shine because of competition from other shopping centers and the effects of the Great Recession.

The county and the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District have taken several steps to encourage redevelopment in the area. Among other things, the county is upgrading a nearby transit center and studying other transportation improvements.

For more information on the county's efforts to redevelop the Gwinnett Place area, read our recent account in the AJC.