Elected and appointed officials tour metro Atlanta to discover best practices for redevelopment

(GWINNETT- METRO ATLANTA) August 24, 2012— Over 75 elected and appointed Gwinnett leaders assembled today for Partnership Gwinnett’s inaugural Redevelopment Bus Tour. The tour, which included stops in two of Gwinnett’s peer communities—West Village in Vinings, Market Village and Olde Town in Woodstock—enabled Gwinnett leaders to learn best practices for attracting and retaining young professionals through the use of redevelopment.

“It’s intriguing to see how other communities implement mixed-use developments,” said District 2 Commissioner Lynette Howard. “Tours like this one provide valuable knowledge to those of us who are charged with making land use decisions.”

After viewing mixed-use, retail, commercial, single-family and multi-family facilities and housing, Gwinnett officials spoke with peer leaders and developers who have already facilitated redevelopment in their communities through the implementation of zoning ordinances, regulations and incentives. Each community visited was selected based on the transferability of the projects to cities in Gwinnett County and all have successfully identified and executed the future of development—redevelopment.

“Gwinnett’s location, education system and workforce make it an attractive choice for redevelopers, however the initiatives and strategies must be in place to allow for it,” said Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson. “This bus tour allowed us to explore what other communities have done to promote redevelopment and to discuss these ideas with other Gwinnett leaders that were on the tour.”

Chuck Warbington, Executive Director of Gwinnett Village CID stated, “As properties outlive their initial purpose, redevelopment enables them to be reused to better serve our community’s current needs. With limited availability of undeveloped land to build the walk-able, urban communities demanded by young professionals, our focus must be to ensure redevelopment is utilized to attract both businesses and talent to Gwinnett.”

Since its inception in 2007, Partnership Gwinnett has been actively engaged in community development. Through the work of its Redevelopment Council and annual Redevelopment Forum, Partnership Gwinnett seeks to educate and spur action within Gwinnett leaders to redevelop areas of the community, and thus attract and retain the 18-34 year old population to the community. The public-private partnership launched its second strategy in January, with goals to continue comprehensive economic development in the community, facilitate the ongoing development of world class talent, and promote community and leadership development.

“Gwinnett’s peer communities offer the elements that the next generation of young professionals is looking for: a place to live, work, and play within a walk-able community, with a choice of multiple housing options,” stated Kellie Brownlow, Director of Economic Development, Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett. “As demand for these types of communities continues to increase, it is vital for Gwinnett leadership to explore policies and practices that foster redevelopment and help to attract and retain Gwinnett’s future workforce.”

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