Presentation to the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Hello Gwinnett,


As your Economic Development Director, I’m proud to report that the Board of Commissioners welcomed a presentation about the draft Equitable Redevelopment Plan for the Gwinnett Place Mall on Tuesday, June 7. This plan is the result of an unprecedented engagement process that sought out communities and voices of those who would be most impacted by the redevelopment of the mall site. On behalf of the County, I’d like to share my sincere appreciation to Hilda Abbott, members of the Community Partner Advisory Board, and countless community and outreach partners who invested their time and voices to this process. This plan, informed by community vision, centers equity as the defining principle, and will set a framework for equitable redevelopment not only for Gwinnett, but also for the country. 

The plan includes 16 strategies to promote equitable redevelopment of the mall site and promote equity for the nearby businesses and the County as a whole. The strategies cover the production and preservation of affordable housing, essential services to support Gwinnett residents, promotion of a diverse array of small businesses, attraction of good-paying jobs, and the creation of a vibrant, regional destination for the county. This plan will work together with the Community Improvement District’s Livable Centers Initiative study to help the County chart a solid path towards redevelopment that balances equity and community vision with sound data and existing market dynamics. 

In the coming weeks, we will be busy refining the plan with the Board of Commissioners, and we can’t wait to share the final version with you. The Board purchased the mall property knowing that we needed to lay a foundation for a different kind of redevelopment process, one that was deliberative, inclusive, and elevates the Gwinnett Standard. My team and I are determined to work hard to ensure that the County continues to attract new investment that unlocks opportunity for Gwinnett residents and businesses. As our community continues to grow, we look forward to partnering with private industry and local communities to attract high impact investments to sites like the Gwinnett Place Mall that enhance our diversity, energize local entrepreneurs, attract future-proof, well-paying jobs, and create and sustain amazing places in Gwinnett. 


Roman Dakare, Gwinnett County Economic Development

Update from the CPAB Chair Hilda Abbott

The CPAB had a successful final meeting on April 21. We reflected on our experience together and the work that grew from our conversations over the last eight months. I believe this is the first time the County has done engagement like this in relation to a major site redevelopment and we are all thrilled to see such a diverse group gathered. We also discussed how the future version of the CPAB could be organized, support the County, and hold our leaders accountable throughout the redevelopment of the mall. We also heard from our friends at Gas South District and learned about the importance of prioritizing greenspace and transportation during the planning process and to be open to a variety of opinions to make a project successful.


We are continuing to think of ways to engage with you all around this project. If you’d like to hear more from our CPAB members directly and their thoughts on the mall, tune into a live series by Women Engaged (WE) called "You Ask, WE Answer" on Friday, April 29 from noon to 1:00pm EST. WE is an initiative that uses a creative, hands-on learning approach to advancing Black women’s human rights, youth empowerment and civic engagement efforts in Georgia. Their live series event focuses on highlighting and presenting calls to action for any organization, or ongoing effort in Georgia.


Last May, the Chairwoman announced this work around an equity plan would begin, and I’m proud to say that after several rounds of engagement, meetings, and discussion, the County will finalize the Equitable Redevelopment Plan for the mall site. This plan will ensure that our county will approach development in new ways and share the benefits of new investment while maintaining what makes the community authentic and accessible. Our leaders made the bold choice to purchase part of the site last year, let’s continue to use our voices and roll up our sleeves to continue this process. The plan is currently being refined by the County and should be released soon. I can’t wait for you all to see it.


Please expect more updates from the County in the coming weeks!

Update from the CPAB Chair Hilda Abbott

We’re in the homestretch for developing the Equitable Redevelopment Plan for Reclaim Gwinnett Place Mall! The Community Partner Advisory Board met on Thursday, March 24 and heard updates from our outreach partners at Asian Americans Advancing Justice, who supported the Reclaim project by engaging many of our neighbors surrounding the mall. In fact, we received 1,300 responses to the questionnaire about the future of the mall. This was a huge effort and many of our CPAB members helped spread the word about the survey to make sure voices were heard. Thank you to everyone who helped us get this critical feedback.

We also met in our working groups to discuss how we would define terms like affordable housing and small businesses so that the potential tools for the County truly implement an equitable redevelopment that supports families, family-sustaining jobs, and ways to create a cultural activity center.

On Saturday, April 9, the County hosted the Reclaim Gwinnett Place Mall Block Party at the Mall! I joined Rolando Guzman, Michelle Kang, Leng Kar Chang, and Trinity Skeete to talk with the community about the plan. We also had 10 County departments on hand, and 17 community partner organizations, including Leng Kar’s Together We Can Foundation and Trinity Skeete’s SUNE Translate. We also distributed hundreds of meals to the public. Over 200 attendees braved the cold and joined us to discuss about what equity means and how it should be incorporated in the mall’s redevelopment. Thanks to our partners at Trinity Outreach, the Latin American Association, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Center for Pan-Asian Community Services, and SUNE for their leadership and work to make it all happen.

The County is working to finalize the Equitable Redevelopment Plan and we trust you all will be inspired by the results. More to come soon!

See you at the Reclaim Gwinnett Place Mall Block Party!

Gwinnett County is one step closer to defining an equitable future for the Gwinnett Place Mall. Stop by the Block Party at the mall on Saturday, April 9 from noon to 4:00pm. Enjoy music, free food, and activities for people of all ages! You can learn more about the planning process, share your ideas about the future of the mall, meet community organizations, and County Departments helping to reimagine the mall. Register here today! 

Saturday, April 9 from Noon – 4:00pm 

Place: Parking lot at Gwinnett Place Mall – 2100 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth (between Beauty Master and old Sears building) 

Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese interpreters will be onside. 

Update from the CPAB Chair Hilda Abbott

March will be a busy month for Reclaim Gwinnett Place Mall! The Community Partner Advisory Board held its first in-person meeting on March 3 at Shorty Howell Park in Duluth. We welcomed our newest members Sheena Smith, Denise Auger, Dr. Vinh Hynh, Pastor Rodrigo Cruz, Angela Hurtado, and Leng Kar Cheng to the group. I was also excited to recap the State of the County, where County Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson highlighted our ongoing project and several other people and projects that will define this next year.  

Later in the meeting, the group heard from Gwinnett Economic Development Director Roman Dakare, on projects like the Exchange at Gwinnett and the Olympic Tennis Center to understand how these projects will affect the County. We also met in our working groups to discuss potential tools for the County to implement equitable development. CPAB is working hard to think about mixed-income housing, small business support, key services for Gwinnett Place area families, family-sustaining jobs, and ways to create a cultural activity center.   

Our outreach partners are busy gathering information and planning future events. They canvassed several communities around the mall, in addition to local shopping centers and small businesses. We will have several upcoming events in the spring to continue to talk with you all about what equity means and how it should be incorporated in the mall’s redevelopment. I hope that you were able to take our questionnaire! Look out for the results soon.   

Last Call to Respond to the Questionnaire!

Today is the last day to share your ideas via the questionnaire (GCGA.us/ReclaimGPM) about the future of the Gwinnett Place Mall. Please take ten minutes to fill out a survey at your language of choice (English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese) and share with friends!


Update from the CPAB Chair Hilda Abbott

As a business owner and resident of Gwinnett County, I am excited to serve as the Chair of the Community Partner Advisory Board and provide recommendations and counsel to staff around the Equitable Redevelopment Plan as part of the Reclaim Gwinnett Place Mall project. The CPAB is comprised of residents, business owners, and other key stakeholders. Through last fall, we contributed to the development of a vision statement and guiding principles, an open house event, and several small “Meetings-in-a-Box” events. We’ve only just begun!

On February 4 and 5, we restarted our meetings for 2022. Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson opened the meeting, and we welcomed a few new members: Denise Auger, Rolando Guzman, and Sheena Smith. Across the two meetings, we discussed the emerging themes, which were developed based on the past engagement in the community and the CPAB’s fall discussions. Several points of interest came around small business development, arts and cultural development, public safety, workforce development, homelessness, affordable housing, making the site a hub of activity (day and night), and disparities in income and lived experience for different groups.

As we continue this project, I will provide updates on the work of CPAB and continue to encourage all of you to participate by submitting comments, attending our future events, and having conversations with your friends, neighbors, and associates about what the future of the mall site should be. My fellow CPAB members and I look forward to the work ahead in crafting a vision that translates into positive change with a bright, equitable, and more connected future of the Gwinnett Place Mall site.

Hilda Abbott, Chair of the Community Partner Advisory Board

Respond to the Questionnaire and review Emerging Themes!

Emerging Themes is live and the Reclaim Gwinnett Place Mall Questionnaire is open!

We are excited to release Emerging Themes, a synthesis of everything we heard from you in 2021 about your ideas, needs, and vision for Gwinnett Place Mall, categorized into five main themes. You can read it in English, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese on the INFO page of this website.  

Over the next several months, the County will conduct virtual and in-person outreach to refine the main themes and ensure the future of Gwinnett Place Mall is reflective of the needs of the community around it. As a first step, we encourage you to take five minutes to fill out the questionnaire and share your ideas on the future of the mall property. This is available in six languages at GCGA.us/ReclaimGPM. After completing the questionnaire, please share it with your friends and family.

Stay tuned for more engagement activities in 2022!

Meetings-in-a-Box Recap

Thanks for hosting and joining conversations about the future of Gwinnett Place Mall

 

Last month, a series of Meetings-in-a-Box conversations were hosted across the County in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese) about the equitable redevelopment of Gwinnett Place Mall. 20 conversations were held with more than 200 of your fellow Gwinnettians. We want to thank you to all hosts and participants who gave us incredible feedback and joined the conversation around an equitable future for the mall site.

 

The top areas of interest we heard were recreation and public space, cultural or arts space, housing affordability, public transportation, and access to employment. All your valuable feedback will be reflected in the Equitable Redevelopment Plan. If we missed anything or you have more to share, leave a comment on the feedback tab. We look forward to sharing a more detailed report out on our comments later this month, and to continue meeting and talking with you through the new year.  


Don’t forget! Join a conversation about the future of Gwinnett Place Mall!

Gwinnett County invites all community members to participate in small community conversations to ensure the future of Gwinnett Place Mall site will be welcoming, inclusive, and beneficial to the community. In-person conversations in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Cantonese will be held on Wednesday, November 10, 6:00pm – 8:00pm at Berkmar High School and Plaza Las Americas and a virtual discussion in English will be held on Thursday, November 11, 6:00pm – 8:00pm on Zoom. Register here!

Join a conversation about the future of Gwinnett Place Mall

Gwinnett County would like to hear from you to ensure the future of the Gwinnett Place Mall site will be welcoming, inclusive, and beneficial for all residents. Join a conversation in your language of choice on Saturday, November 6, 9:00am – 10:00am or on Wednesday, November 10, 6:00pm – 8:00pm to learn about the project and share your vision for the future of the site.

  • Meetings-in-a-Box in English with District 1 Commissioner Carden on Saturday, Nov 6, 9:00am – 10:00am at Cafe Mozart Bakery
  • Meetings-in-a-Box in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Cantonese on Wednesday, Nov 10, 6:00pm – 8:00pm at Berkmar High School
  • Meetings-in-a-Box in Spanish on Wednesday, Nov 10, 6:00pm – 8:00pm at Plaza Las Americas
  • Virtual Meetings-in-a-Box in English on Thursday, Nov 11, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Register here today!

Host your own community meeting!

We provide the tools and you lead the conversation.

We know that you have lots of questions and ideas about the future of Gwinnett Place Mall. Gwinnett County invites you to bring together a small group of neighbors, friends, or family and discuss its future!

Host your own meeting with our Meetings-in-a-Box toolkit that contains everything you need to lead an in-depth conversation. This toolkit is designed for use by any type of group - community organizations, neighborhood associations, or friends - who want to gather in-person or virtually.

Visit the HOST YOUR OWN MEETING tab on the project website to learn more and access the toolkit here (English, Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, Chinese - Traditional, Chinese - Simplified).

Have questions? Email Outreach@GwinnettCounty.com.

Open House 1: We listened. Did we get everything?

Thanks again to everyone who came to the Open House! We just posted the notes and summary of all the feedback from the Open House, which can also be found on the INFO page. 

The summary highlights your vision for Gwinnett Place Mall and the community assets and needs you said you want the County to build upon. What did we miss? Does this vision for Gwinnett Place Mall resonate with you? Click on the FEEDBACK and MAP tab at the top of this page to share your thoughts on the future of Gwinnett Place Mall. 

We'll also be sharing more information on other ways to get involved in the coming week. Stay tuned!

Thanks for joining us! What's next?

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Reclaim, Reconnect, Reimagine, and Revive Gwinnett Place Mall Community Open House last Friday! We had incredible participation from over 100 residents and local businesses who shared their experiences and vision for an equitable Gwinnett Place Mall. We'll be uploading summaries of the feedback we received next week. In the meantime, please find the booklets from the event linked (Chinese – SimplifiedChinese – TraditionalEnglishKoreanSpanishVietnamese). We've also added a new section to the INFO page of this site where we will be uploading all of the feedback we receive over the course of the planning process.


If you missed the event, don’t worry, you can still tell us your thoughts! Please continue to share your feedback and questions on the map and feedback pages.

Community Partner Advisory Board Kickoff

The Community Partner Advisory Board members convened for the first time on Friday, August 27 and Saturday, August 28 to discuss a vision for the future of Gwinnett Place Mall and how to inclusively engage residents and businesses around the mall.

Join us at the Community Open House at Gwinnett Place Mall!

We will be hosting a Community Open House at the Gwinnett Place Mall on Friday, September 10th during 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Join us at our first community event to learn about the project, discuss how it relates to equity, and share your vision for the future of Gwinnett Place Mall. There will be Mandarin, Vietnamese, Spanish, Korean, and Cantonese interpreters onsite.

After the Open House, join us for a Movie at the Mall at 8:00 pm featuring the Oscar award-winning film "Minari" with free food and movie snacks. Register here today!

Website launched!

Thank you for visiting the website for Reclaim, Reimagine, Reconnect, and Revive Gwinnett Place Mall. We will be sharing project information and news about upcoming engagement events here, so make sure to subscribe for updates!

Click the Subscribe button to receive news via email, and click to the "Feedback" tab to add your ideas.