GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — There are two new ideas proposed for the future of Gwinnett Place Mall.
Except for filming the Netflix show “Stranger Things,” the mall has mostly been empty for years.
Now, business leaders have new ideas for the mall located off Pleasant Hill Drive in Duluth.
“Apartments would be better here,” shopper Norah Mithani told Channel 2′s Tony Thomas as he showed her the current plans. “We have all the shopping centers here.”
Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District leaders say that seems to be the majority view of what area residents want to see happen with this mostly shuttered mall - lots of living and retail space.
CID leader, Joe Allen, said a cultural district concept has been the most popular, packing 3,000 housing units, 100,000 square feet of retail space and 50,000 square feet of office space around the heart of what is now the old mall.
Three anchor stores -- Macy’s, Beauty Master and Mega Mart -- would remain in place.
“It would have greater public involvement, and that would be things such as a cultural center, and arts center, that would help promote the diversity we have here, and the green space would be much more active,” Allen said.
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More active compared to the other mixed-use concept which pares down the density with smaller buildings and spaces.
Allen said that concept would require less from the county, but take longer to develop.
“This is, right now, based on economic analysis and public opinion, but we have had numerous developers contact the CID and say they want to be a part of this,” Allen said.
Public input is still being sought.
“I don’t think they had a good restaurant compared to Lenox (Square). They have Cheesecake (Factory). I think that would be a good idea to bring more customers in,” shopper Joshua Larios said.
Gwinnett County bought the mall. All the stores are closed except for the three anchors.
Business leaders hope to narrow the concepts down to one and present the county with the idea later this year.
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