Gwinnett County officials have finalized their purchase of Gwinnett Place Mall.
The county announced Thursday that the Urban Redevelopment Agency of Gwinnett County — which is also the Board of Commissioners — had completed the purchase of 39-acres at the nearly 40-year-old and mostly vacant mall from Moonbeam Capital Investment Groups for $23 million.
County officials will now turn their attention toward redeveloping the mall, which still has a few tenants left although much of the mall is now inaccessible.
“We are thrilled to add the Gwinnett Place Mall property to the county’s portfolio,” commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson said. “The location offers us an incredible opportunity to create a redevelopment that will serve every Gwinnett resident. With community involvement and careful planning, this site will be a catalyst for future growth in our area.”
The purchase includes interior shops, walkways, the former Belk anchor and the old food court. It does not include, however, the Mega Mart, Macy’s, Beauty Master or former Sears anchors since those were owned separately from the rest of the mall.
Mega Mart, Macy’s and Beauty Master each own their respective anchors, and apartment developer Northwood Ravin owns the former Sears anchor, which is currently being used by the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale Health Departments as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site.
County officials said they will work with Macy’s, Mega Mart and Beauty Master, since they are still in operation, as well as Northwood Ravin to “ensure all are aligned on goals as planning and revitalization begin.” the three anchor stores that are still open are not expected to be impacted by the county’s purchase of the mall, officials said.
Gwinnett Place Mall opened in 1984 but began to decline in the 2000s as it faced competition from newer malls in the area, such as Sugarloaf Mills and the Mall of Georgia, as well as a growing trend toward online shopping.
The county has been interested in revitalizing the Gwinnett Place area for years, however, even creating the Venture Drive Redevelopment Overlay District to the south and west of the mall in 2016.