Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.
More than ten years ago, then-Mayor of Suwanee Nick Masino took me and several others on an impromptu trip to see what was new in the then-sleepy city that sits on the rail line between Duluth and Buford in Gwinnett County. We drove up Buford Highway to just south of its intersection with Lawrenceville Suwanee Road, where we got out of our cars to look at a large open space with an just-built amphitheater at one end. Nick pointed to the thick woods just south of the park. The city owned that area too, he explained. It was going to be built out with areas for retail, offices and residences.
What Masino, who is now Vice President of Economic Development at the Gwinnett Chamber, showed us was to become one of the biggest success stories in the metro area, Suwanee Town Center. It, along with other developments including Atlantic Station, downtown Woodstock, and Alpharetta’s Avalon development are examples of mixed use development that appeals both to millennials, who prefer living in places where they can walk to entertainment and shopping, and aging baby boomers, who are ready to give up their large-lot subdivisions and move to locations providing easy access to services they need and want.
That brings us to one of the newest efforts to create mixed use development, again in Gwinnett County. On Tuesday, the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners approved rezonings on several parcels near the intersections of Loganville Highway 20, Cooper Road and Ozora Road. The project consists of seven parcels owned by the Medical College of Georgia on 479 acres that when built out will contain 625 homes and over 440,000 square feet of retail space. The project was big enough to be considered a Development of Regional Impact that had to be approved by the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Transportation. Read more