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Gwinnett Cities Upgrading Their Downtowns
October 3, 2014

Several Gwinnett County cities are in the midst of major downtown development projects.

The city of Lilburn is scheduled to complete its new Main Street realignment this month. The Main Street realignment project was designed to create a safer, more traditional intersection at Lawrenceville Highway. The project also includes the addition of two roundabouts to allow for smoother traffic flow to the city’s Old Town area.

 
Lilburn's Main Street Alignment project
 
 A rendering of the planned city hall and county library.

The road project sets the stage for future development of that commercial corner, starting with the future Lilburn City Hall/Gwinnett County Library. The project is the first joint city-county building in Gwinnett. According to Lilburn Public Relations Manager Nikki Perry, the L-shaped brick building will be perched atop a hill that is highly visible from Lawrenceville Highway, effectively bringing Old Town uptown.

“The nostalgic architecture and prominent clock tower will convey the city’s small-town feel, while the state-of-the-art quality of the facility will communicate the type of service residents and businesses can expect to find in Lilburn,” Perry said.

The two-story city hall / library building will have 24,000 square feet, including administrative offices, a large meeting room and council chambers. The 20,000 plus square foot replacement library will nearly double the size of the existing Lilburn Library. The building cost is estimated at $11.5 million in special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) funding, the countywide 1 percent sales tax approved by voters for special projects.

The project is still in the design phase. Construction is estimated to begin in early 2015. Once the new building is finished, the current Municipal Complex will be occupied solely by the Lilburn Police Department and Court.

The city of Lawrenceville will hold an official grand opening for its $2.7 million Lawrenceville Lawn project on Oct. 11. The new 8-acre park/green space/event venue will include an amphitheater for community events,

 
 The Lawrenceville Lawnis a new 8-acre park/green space/event venue.
volley ball courts and a playground.   

“Building on Lawrenceville's vision for the future, the Lawn is a key component for creating a vibrant sense of place that residents and visitors can enjoy while demonstrating the city's community-initiated approach to progressive and modern development,” said Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson.

The city of Sugar Hill has repurposed its old city hall into The Suite Spot, a business incubator. The incubator is fully leased with 11 new businesses. The downstairs portion of the building features more than 1,800 feet of co-work space. The city will also soon break ground on a new downtown building, the EpiCenter @ Sugar Hill. Mayor Steve Edwards said the new building underscores the city’s commitment to bringing people to downtown.

“The timing is right for this investment considering the impact of the widening of Highway 20,” Edwards said. “We will see the city become a commercial hub and our goal is to keep commerce, jobs and spending in Sugar Hill. There are 30,000 vehicle trips a day on Highway 20 and once the widening project is completed, DOT is projecting 50,000 trips a day.”

 
A bird's eye view of Sugar Hill planned EpiCenter.
The EpiCenter will consist of a sports gym, lap pool and a community theatre wrapped with commercial space for restaurants, retail and offices. The city’s Downtown Development Authority will manage the building. Construction will take place in a series of planned phases.

 
 
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