Even with the uncertainty and challenges going on all around us, Gwinnett’s pipeline for entertainment and economic development is booming. Three new attractions, all near the Mall of Georgia, will bring a fresh new mix of sports and entertainment to Gwinnett. A new mixed-use development, The Exchange at Gwinnett, promises Gwinnett’s first Topgolf location. Topgolf lets customers of all ages play games of golf from elevated outdoor bays where players earn points by hitting balls into targets laid out on a fairway in front of them. Andretti Racing is closing their long-time location in Roswell to open a new location at the Exchange and gamers will be thrilled to hear the news that Allied Esports will unveil a two-story e-sports complex with PC’s, consoles, experiential retail, streaming production and full food and beverage offerings inside the Mall of Georgia. All openings are slated for late 2021!
The Future Exchange at Gwinnett
The great outdoors holds endless possibilities for something new this fall! Pack up the kids for a visit to the newly expanded, and beautifully renovated Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary in Lilburn. Visitors can see and watch a bevy of animals, including new additions like the spider monkeys, ring-tail lemurs, red ruffed lemurs, kinkajous, owls, raccoons, goats, Patagonian maras, wallabies, a serval, Eurasian lynx, coyotes, a miniature horse and alpacas. There’s even gemstone mining, where a water powered flume will help you unearth gems!
Thanks to a public-private partnership with the city of Lawrenceville, the beginnings of the Lawrenceville Performing Arts Center (and soon-to-be home of Aurora Theatre) has sprung up and taken over an entire block in the historic downtown. The new center will hold 500 patrons in the main theater and will be one of the jewels of the county seat. Just around the corner, The Lawrence, Gwinnett’s first Hilton Tapestry Collection hotel, has broken ground adjacent to a new parking deck. The Lawrence is named for Lawrenceville’s namesake, Capt. James Lawrence and will open in 2022.
Just a few years ago, beer lovers had to head into town to explore new breweries and craft offerings. Fast forward just a couple of years, and Gwinnett is the home to eight breweries, with more on the way. Gwinnett’s newest, and most expansive brewery, Ironshield Brewing, has recently opened in Lawrenceville’s burgeoning Depot District. Ironshield, specializing in European ales and lagers, is open from Wednesday through Sunday and features live music and food trucks most weekends. Kettlerock Brewing (Peachtree Corners), Cultivation Brewery (Norcross) and 6S Brewing (Downtown Duluth) are scheduled to open by the end of 2020.
Peachtree Corners is looking to literally bridge their new-ish Town Center development with the shopping destination, The Forum on Peachtree Parkway via a new pedestrian bridge. The bridge hovers over Peachtree Parkway (141) and will allow residents and visitors to easily travel between the two destinations. Town Center has stayed busy creating new “socially distanced” events including movies, concerts and a night market.
The long awaited development creating a downtown hub for Snellville is becoming a reality. The Grove at Towne Center will incorporate residential units, a library, restaurants, a town green and a greenway. A Sweet Auburn inspired market called The Mercantile is expected to be a space for local, small-scale artisans and makers. A new ordinance will allow shoppers and diners to enjoy a beverage while strolling the Grove (if beverage purchased from Grove restaurant). You might have noticed some construction at one of Gwinnett’s largest hotel properties in Norcross. A $20 million renovation is underway at 6050 Peachtree Industrial Blvd (formerly the Garden Plaza). This site will soon be the home to Gwinnett’s only Crowne Plaza hotel and the first full-service hotel in the City of Norcross. 235 rooms are planned along with unique amenities like aromatherapy kits, premium bedding and Quiet Zones.