Annual forum focuses on ‘Reimagining Redevelopment’ for County
(GWINNETT- METRO ATLANTA) October 16, 2014— Partnership Gwinnett hosted the Sixth Annual Gwinnett Redevelopment Forum today at Studio Movie Grill in the City of Duluth. The event, attended by more than 250 local government officials, private developers, business and community leaders, architects, attorneys and urban planners, centered on understanding the links between rapidly shifting demographics and the dynamics of community redevelopment.
Egbert Perry, CEO and founder of The Integral Group, which is heading up a development and investment team that recently purchased the former GM plant site in Doraville, opened the 2014 Forum. As the leader of one of Metro Atlanta’s largest redevelopment projects, Perry spoke to the importance of collaboration and connectivity by suggesting, “It ought to be irrelevant what jurisdiction you are in. As a region, we need to get really focused on connectivity.”
Referencing four major redevelopment projects in the North Perimeter- the OFS site, GM Plant, State Farm and The Atlanta Braves Stadium, Perry stated, “If each of these four projects are ultimately done in isolation because they are in different jurisdictions, we will have missed the boat.”
The event represents one of Gwinnett’s many strategies to bring new models of redevelopment and revitalization to targeted areas of the County, in light of the changing trends and preferences among Millenials and Active Boomers. Young professionals and Active Baby Boomers are seeking non-traditional forms of housing and communities in which to live, work and play—a paradigm shift that Gwinnett is learning to embrace and implement through educational Forums such as this.
In an effort to facilitate redevelopment, in 2013, Gwinnett reset its Tax Allocation Districts (TADs) to post recession value to give redevelopment projects the opportunity to be more successful.
“Redvelopment is certain to play a major role in Gwinnett’s future prosperity,” said Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “Gwinnett’s recently reset TADs will be an added incentive for business investment in targeted redevelopment areas.”
Bryan Heller, SR Vice President at CBRE spoke on the “new economy” and its impact on corporate relocations and expansions. His session revealed how corporations make decisions, what they’re looking for in a community and how those decisions are influencing the Metro Atlanta office market.
“Successful real estate developments are aligning themselves with corporations looking to acquire top talent, and especially Millenials,” said Heller. “More and more companies will shy away from areas that do not offer housing choices. Today’s office worker is more transient and often times renting by choice. Further, new economy driven essentials are access to amenities on foot (or bike), top-end bandwidth (Gigabit) and convenient access to multi-modal transportation.”
The prevailing theme revolved around the intergenerational preferences of Millenials and Baby Boomers, driving the new market economy. While these two generations span over four decades, the two groups want many of the same thing in lifestyle and community – housing options, walkability, urban feel, restaurants and activity centers.
“As we work to successfully redevelop in Gwinnett, we must understand that the next generation has different expectations for their community,” stated Chuck Warbington, Executive Director, Gwinnett Village CID “Housing and transportation options, walkability and locally owned businesses are each crucial factors in attracting this demographic and must be considered in all of Gwinnett’s redevelopment efforts.”
In addition to its Annual Redevelopment Forum and Peer Bus Tour, Partnership Gwinnett leads the work of the Redevelopment Task Force. This group facilitates quality redevelopment by educating community members about top redevelopment tools and opportunities in the community.
“The success of this Forum speaks to the continual efforts of Partnership Gwinnett to cultivate redevelopment opportunities in our community,” stated Joe Allen, Executive Director, Gwinnett Place CID. “We designed this event to help educate community leaders and encourage developers, investors and financing institutions to partner with and join us as we reinvent Gwinnett through redevelopment.”
Panelists also included:
Among the program’s sponsors and supporters were: Georgia Power, Jackson Electric Membership Corporation, NorSouth, Garrard, Gas South, Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco, Atlanta Regional Commission, Blue LandWorks, Grayson DDA, Pond, Precision Planning, Inc., Wakefield, Beasley & Associates, Leadercast, Lord Aeck Sargent, Evermore Community Improvement District, Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District, Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District, Grayson Downtown Development Authority, the City of Lawrenceville, the City of Snellville, the City of Sugar Hill and the City of Suwanee.