A 225-acre country club three miles from the Gwinnett Place Mall could be transformed into new homes if future developers follow proposed county plans.
The Northwood Country Club, known as Gwinnett’s oldest private club, announced its plans to close and sell in September. It was permanently closed as of Oct. 14. The county’s plans for future development suggest the land should be turned into new housing.
ClubCorp, Northwood’s parent company, has said it does not generally comment on sales until they are complete. It is not clear when Northwood Country Club will be put on the market. A ClubCorp spokeswoman did not say when the club would be put on the market.
Gwinnett’s 2040 Unified Plan, a blueprint for future development, highlighted the area where Northwood Country Club sits as a “Vibrant Communities Character Area.” That means the county thinks that space should be a “transition” between residential neighborhoods with single-family homes and denser areas with retail and mixed-use developments. Vibrant communities can include a range of housing, including apartments, townhomes, senior citizen communities and small-lot single-family homes, according to the 2040 Unified Plan.
The club is right outside of the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District (CID), an area including the mall and many businesses along the busy Pleasant Hill Road. Joe Allen, the CID’s executive director, sees a need for more housing in the area.
“Gwinnett County is slated to add another half million folks between now and 2040, and we’re expecting 7,000 residents in this immediate area,” Allen said. “This is very strategic land situated near Gwinnett Place. It’s a great location, and, plus, you have a lot of millennials who are now in this area.”
About 28,000 millennials — people born between 1981 and 1996 — live in the Gwinnett Place CID, Allen said. That’s nearly a third of the 96,000 people living in the CID. More than half of millennials in the district live alone or with just one other person, and they make an average income of $42,000 to $75,000 per year, according to Allen.
A mixed-use development would be more fitting of the main thoroughfares inside the CID than the Northwood site, Allen said, but that doesn’t mean new housing would have to be separate from the retail offerings a few miles away.
“Whatever comes in there, whoever comes in there, needs to focus on the walkability — connections up and down Pleasant Hill Road — and to focus on the millennials and those who are looking for that type of environment,” Allen said.
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