Residents and visitors in downtown Lawrenceville can now walk around with a drink in hand.
The city passed a new open container ordinance last week allowing people to carry and consume alcoholic beverages in the official downtown district. This includes the Lawrenceville Lawn, which is getting a new stage for events and performances, and SouthLawn, a new $200 million mixed-use development currently under construction.
“This helps cultivate the goal we have of being a destination city for folks,” said Lisa Sherman, a city spokeswoman. “The end goal is not just to have an open container district. The end goal is to enhance the experience of people who live in the downtown district or who come visit the downtown district.”
The move comes on the heels of Gwinnett County amending its alcohol ordinance to make large-scale mixed-use developments open container areas. Nearby cities Duluth and Suwanee already have open container zones in their downtown areas.
Lawrenceville’s downtown district includes breweries, restaurants and the Aurora Theatre, which also serves alcohol. Once the Lawrenceville Lawn’s stage is complete, drinks can also be brought to events and shows that will be held there. Drinks consumed in the downtown area must purchased from businesses within the same boundaries, Sherman said.
Lawrenceville’s downtown has been in the midst of a development boom. The Aurora Theatre is undergoing a $31 million expansion, due to be complete in November 2020. A new hotel and parking deck are planned down the street, and SouthLawn is expected to add 600 apartments and 15,000 square feet of retail space. The new open container ordinance is another step towards progress for the city, Sherman said.
“We have a comprehensive plan that is moving the city forward for people who want to come experience what it’s like to live and play in Gwinnett County,” Sherman said.
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