At its core, Berkeley Lake is a small neighborly community. This city’s rich legacy of civic and environmental programs—the women’s club BLOSOMS, the 50-year-old Berkeley Lake Chapel and the Berkeley Lake Conservancy—are just a few of the things that make this an ideal place to live. But it’s the city’s service quality, accessibility and sustainable quality of life that make it a great place to work and do business.
Without a doubt, the City of Berkeley Lake is described as a best-kept secret. When you enter the city, the tree-dense surroundings evoke a sense of being in a scenic getaway. From the rich colors of fall to the vibrant foliage of spring and summer, this enclave has a natural charm that makes you forget that Berkeley Lake is a mere 25 miles from downtown Atlanta.
More than five decades ago, Berkeley Lake was primarily a summer retreat, with an assortment of fishing cottages mingled with a slowly growing number of permanent homes. Today, this city has grown into a thriving community with eight subdivisions, an architecturally eclectic neighborhood surrounding the 88-acre lake and a diverse business community.
Berkeley Lake has found a way to honor and preserve its natural gifts, while creating an environment for business growth and economic development. It is a city within a climax hardwood forest, which is quite rare. By creating the Berkeley Lake Conservancy and carefully protecting its unique natural areas, the city has guarded a very beautiful ecosystem. Citizens share this environment with wild turkeys, foxes, deer and other wildlife. This has led, in part, to Berkeley Lake’s designation as an Urban Wildlife Sanctuary, and 20 years of consecutive recognition by the Arbor Day
Foundation as a ‘Tree City USA.’
Additionally, Berkeley Lake is home to an interesting mix of small and medium businesses. The diversity ranges from an award-winning recording studio, technology startups and an internationally renowned organ builder, just to spotlight a few.
In this city within a forest, you’ll also find a business appropriately named Tree Sound Studios. The largest and oldest commercial recording studio in Georgia, Tree Sound’s clients range from Outkast to Elton John and all points in between. The awardwinning recording studio specializes in music and ADR.
Berkeley Lake is proud that unique and internationally renowned companies such as Parkey OrganBuilders call the city home. While no two cities are alike, Parkey OrganBuilders understands that no two organs are alike. At Parkey, they also know that the challenging music performed by these instruments demands precision and artistry in its build, as well as sensitivity to the role the instrument plays in a church or institution.
Businesses like Tree Sound Studios and Parkey OrganBuilders are drawn to Berkeley Lake due to its businessfriendly environment and the city’s ease of living that recently earned notoriety as the “No. 1 Best Place to Live in Gwinnett County.” With a population of just over 2,000 people, the city has been able to retain the intimacy of a small town, while providing a level of service and efficiency that is not typically associated with government.
It’s not unusual to visit the elegant, rustic city hall and see local artists’ work on display. Occasionally you will also see a floral arrangement or fruit basket, tokens from local businesses in appreciation for the staff’s personalized attention. With Berkeley Lake’s favorable tax environment, businesses benefit from some of the lowest millage rates, license fees and occupational taxes in Gwinnett County. Stormwater infrastructure is funded through regular and minimal property taxes, and there are no separate fees for it as in most of the surrounding cities.
Businesses value the close association with a city, which has the highest per capita income in the state, but they also enjoy the attention and great customer service from this small city’s staff. In addition to Berkeley Lake’s involvement with Partnership Gwinnett, the city council has taken great initiative to provide development opportunities and incentives like the Freeport business exemption.