GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) — Can an aging mall get new life?
Gwinnett Place Mall has sat mostly unoccupied for years, 562,000-square-feet of nothing.
This year Gwinnett County bought the property and surrounding area for $23 million. County leaders are now trying to determine what should be done with it.
“Over the years I’ve heard everything, from keeping it to making it like it used to be, which I don’t think is going to be the case,” said Joe Allen with the Gwinnett County Community Improvement District.
Last week, Gwinnett County commissioners and the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District agreed to spend $275,000, most of it grant money, to find out what’s feasible. The Livable Centers Initiative Study will help guide redevelopment.
“We’ve done envisioning activities over the years,” said Allen. “This is really going to be that deep dive of what can actually happen at that mall site.”
The study will include public outreach, with residents giving their opinions.
“We actually are already scheduling those meetings right now,” said Allen. “We’re having group meetings beginning next week with several of the property owners at the mall site, property owners near the mall, various civic organizations…”
Although the mall is empty, it’s made headlines in recent years. In 2017, a woman was found dead in the food court two months after being reported missing. In 2018 the mall was the set of the Netflix hit series Stranger Things.
“We’ve got a mall that’s seen better days. It’s time to do something different with it.”
The study will take nine to 10 months.