CONTINUED ON PAGE 2B Gwinnett development surging throughout its cities BY RANDY SOUTHERLAND Contributing Writer A surge of development is taking place across Gwinnett County. From unincorporated areas to town centers, retail, residen- tial, offices and hotels are tak- ing shape. More than $2 billion in new construction is nowunderway in the coun- ty, according to Nick Masino , chief eco- nomic development officer with Partner- ship Gwinnett , a public/private initiative of the county. A variety of factors are driving this surge in development, ranging from Gwinnett’s growing population to the county’s strat- egy to bring more transit options to local citizens, he said. County residents go to the polls inMarch2019 tovoteonahighlyantic- ipated referendum that will join Gwinnett to the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Tran- sit Authority (MARTA). Its approval would enact a new one-cent transit-funding sales tax and help pave the way for heavy rail in Gwinnett. If approved, the move would set up an estimated $5 billion expansion of MARTA – a new record for the transit system, said Masino, adding that this transit would continue to accelerate the growth in Gwinnett County. “We’re projected by [ Atlanta Regional Commission ] to have somewhere between 1.3million and 1.5million people in Gwin- nett County by 2040,” Masino added, “and those people have to have a place to go and a way to get around.” Developers have taken notice of these budding transit plans that will open up the prospect of transit-oriented development (TOD) projects along routes to high-traffic areas suchas Gwinnett PlaceMall , Infinite Energy Center and the OFS Brightwave Solutions Inc. , site of the firstmajor indus- try in Gwinnett, and a film studio, accord- ing to Masino. Gwinnett County government, along with its cities, have helped finance the infrastructure needed to jump-start these economic development projects. “Real estate development is a team effort,” said Jim Borders , president of DECEMBER 14-20, 2018 • SECTION B 40 YEARS OF COVERAGE RENDERING/SPECIAL GWINNETT MARKET REPORT RENDERING/SPECIAL Revel is a mixed-use development around Infinite Energy Center. The city of Sugar Hill is redeveloping its downtown area.