VHB Helps Bring New Life to Old Shopping Mall Site in Gwinnett County

Gwinnett Place Revitalization Strategy Elevates Suburbs

October 06, 2021

The entrance to a suburban shopping mall bordered by two trees and vegetative plantings.

Suburban Atlanta’s Gwinnett Place Mall, established in 1984, was once an integral part of the community, but like thousands of malls across the U.S. today sits empty except for anchor stores. Gwinnett County recently purchased the mall with big plans to revitalize the site in partnership with the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District (CID) as a new hub for a diverse and growing community. VHB was selected by the Gwinnett Place CID to lead this redevelopment initiative. Community input, market feasibility, and enhanced transit options are guiding the team’s approach.

Through the Gwinnett Place Revitalization Strategy, VHB will create an implementation playbook to help attract private investment and explore the best use of the shopping mall site, especially as it responds to the needs of a diverse community. The population of Gwinnett County has changed tremendously over the mall’s lifetime. It is an international melting pot with a large population of immigrants, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“We are creating a strategy and implementation roadmap for the CID, Gwinnett County, and its partners,” said Allison Stewart-Harris, Community Planning Manager at VHB. “This will help the team identify partnerships and get that first critical project to break ground, which will set the stage for future investment in the site.”

The Gwinnett Place mall site has been extensively studied for years and has a well-established vision to redevelop into an international, mixed-use community. VHB will put the vision through its paces by comparing it with market opportunities, infrastructure capacities, and equitable access considerations. VHB will develop two revised development scenarios and a final concept that will be the jumping-off point for a detailed implementation strategy.

VHB’s integrated team of transportation planners and designers, environmental scientists, and engineers is currently helping communities cross the Atlanta region and beyond plan for asset repositioning that centers social equity with transit and multimodal options. The company was recently selected by the Sugarloaf CID, also located in Gwinnett County, to lead the Sugarloaf Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Transit Enhancements and Future Station Planning Study.

VHB’s Gwinnett Place team includes noted mall redevelopment and marketing consultants such as RDS, WTL+a, and Van Meter Williams Pollack. The Revitalization Strategy is expected to be complete by Spring 2022. For more information contact Allison Stewart-Harris.