Coming soon to a county near you…
We’re already thinking about next year and what the future of Gwinnett is going to look like. Gwinnett County already proposed a 2020 budget that totals $1.83 billion, which includes a $1.43 billion operating budget plus another $401 million for capital improvements.
With the new year also comes Gwinnett’s 2020 Economic Development Report, which is sure to have all sorts of news, announcements, plans, and anything else you can dream of.
But while we can look ahead and anticipate what the 2020 report might anticipate, we can also look back and see what 2019 brought us.
A Year In Review
1. Marta ain’t moving, but buses and railways are a go
In March 2019, Gwinnett County voted against allowing MARTA to expand into the county. The expansion would have included extending heavy rail from the Doraville MARTA station to a new multimodal hub near Jimmy Carter Boulevard and I-85.
While MARTA may not be expanding to Gwinnett, plans still remain for expanding rails and bus lanes throughout the county. The Connect Gwinnett plan includes heavy rail extension and over 150 miles worth of more affordable bus rapid transit, which includes a mix of dedicated lanes and mixed-traffic lanes.
2. People On the Move: New Economic Development Leaders Announced
Earlier this year, Partnership Gwinnett announced the promotion of Andrew Carnes and Deven Cason. Carnes previously served as the Senior Director of Economic Development for PG and accepted the role of Vice President of Economic Development, and Cason has assumed the role of Director of Economic Development.
In other Chamber news, Nick Masino began his tenure as the Gwinnett Chamber’s president and CEO in July, after serving as the county’s lead economic development officer at Partnership Gwinnett for over a decade.
Other People on the Move include Gwinnett County Juvenile Court Judge Tadia Whitner who was appointed to the county’s superior court circuit, Dorinda (Dori) Garcia who joined the sales team at Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta, and the Lilburn Community Improvement District appointing Tad Leithead as its new executive director, succeeding Emory Morseberger.
A new library branch will begin construction now that Gwinnett County commissioners have approved a $5M construction contract. The new branch is expected to open at the end of 2020 and will be a replacement for the existing facility located on Duluth Park Lane.
The new 22,000-square-feet facility will have a community room and larger space for computer services, interactive programming, and creative projects.
Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris also mentioned plans for affordable housing developments in an area behind the city hall. “We’re trying to do a variety of residential housing so we can have it for all income levels,” she says. “That’s actually an important part of what we’re doing.”
Also in the works is a train viewing platform (apparently, train viewing is a thing) next to the railroad tracks that she hopes will attract train viewing enthusiasts from across the country. After all, the Southeastern Railway Museum is just down the way on Buford Highway.
4. New jobs have come, and even more are coming
Gwinnett has added hundreds of jobs this year and hundreds of more are expected in the coming years.
Peachtree Corners’ new Customer Experience Center was expected to add over 300 jobs over the first several months of its existence. Meanwhile, Governor Brian P. Kemp announced in July that Amazon will open a new fulfillment center in Gwinnett County, creating an additional 1,000 new jobs.
The Italian manufacturer Rivacold announced it would open its first U.S. facility in Gwinnett County earlier this year, creating 140 jobs and investing $5 million in a new manufacturing facility in Buford. Other expansions in Gwinnett include Doosan Industrial Vehicle announcing the expansion of their North American headquarters in Buford, adding 25 new jobs, as well as Zodiac Data Systems expanding to Norcross which plans on partnering with local subcontractors and suppliers.
You can expect to see even more in the Economic Development Report coming early 2020. Be on the lookout!