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Future Perfect

Peachtree Corners Turns Its Tech Vision Into a Live-Work-Play Oasis

The Peachtree Cafe, Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Peach State Federal Credit Union. There’s a lot that’s peachy in Gwinnett—and that includes the county’s youngest and perhaps the most bustling of cities. Peachtree Corners, founded on July 1, 2012, is making progress at a blistering pace.

The name just sounds comforting, doesn’t it? Like a place where you could relax after a full day’s work. It sounds peaceful, with promises of excitement around every corner. That was exactly the vision of businessman Paul Duke over 50 years ago. The area was then known as Pinckneyville when Duke imagined its 500 acres as home to high-tech companies and the workforces they required. His dream was to create a community from scratch where those workers could live, work and play.

Duke imagined tree-lined neighborhoods with spacious yards so the engineers, computer techs, developers and executives could enjoy fresh air and green spaces after long hours in their high-tech offices.

Duke envisioned those workplaces as well, as a campus of state-of-the-art low-rise buildings that would eventually become Technology Park Atlanta. Today, it is home to a number of Fortune 500 businesses, and continues to attract technology and engineering companies.

Officially founded as Peachtree Corners in July 2012, this is the youngest city in Gwinnett County. And, like many young “techies” these days, it’s still growing up and looking forward to a bright future.

Technology Park continues its innovative relevance, drawing brilliant minds from across the nation. New ideas are at the forefront, and the city boasts unique developments such as the Curiosity Lab. A city-owned and operated open-grounds laboratory created in partnership with companies such as Sprint, Georgia Power and Georgia Tech, this 5G-enabled, 1.5-mile test track is a living laboratory for testing autonomous vehicles and smart city technology in a real-world environment. The project is currently the only one of its kind in the U.S. Talk about high tech!

Companies thrive in Peachtree Corners’ pro-business environment, which offers a zero millage rate. The city is also home to a new business incubator, originally called Prototype Prime and now operating under the Curiosity Lab brand, which promotes and supports local and national startups that encourage the entrepreneurial spirit.

The “peaceful” side of the city came about in the 1970s when developer Jim Cowart built the city’s first neighborhood, Spalding Corners. Peachtree Station came next in 1979, with many others soon following. With the help of his son, Dan Cowart, Jim continued his progress throughout the city, which continued to expand and thrive into the ‘90s.

Near the end of the decade, in 1999, the idea of incorporating Peachtree Corners as its own city was first proposed. The idea finally became a reality in late 2011 when, with a referendum, residents of Peachtree Corners officially elected to incorporate it as Gwinnett County’s 16th city. Instantly the county’s largest city, its population is currently estimated at over 43,000.

But there’s more.

Peachtree Corners Economic Development Team [L-R]: BRIAN JOHNSON, City Manager; DIANA WHEELER, Community Development Director; JENNIFER HOWARD, Economic Development Manager

Neighborhoods, technology and community all serve to fulfill Duke’s long-ago vision for Peachtree Corners. Today, residents enjoy a collaborative space where they can walk to work, crisscross through trails, and pop into local breweries and shops for a quick treat.

Town Center adds another dimension to the city’s glowing reputation. The 21-acre mixed use development was unveiled in April 2019, and serves as a downtown for the city. Town Center instantly became a community gathering place where friends and family meet to attend concerts and signature events like Derby Party, Bark in the Park, Flicks on the Green and Harvest Fest, just to name a few.

The city offers an upscale dine-in theater, more than 10 hotel properties, lively restaurants that attract foodies of all types, and some of the best shopping in Gwinnett. Residents and visitors alike can browse for gifts in boutiques at The Forum at Peachtree Parkway, as well as a slew of salons, spas and shops sprinkled throughout the area.

In addition to its man-made wonders, Peachtree Corners has natural elements that residents treasure. For example, seven miles of the city’s border sit on the beautiful Chattahoochee River, where residents and visitors can enjoy fishing, boating and tubing.

The city’s plans for its great outdoors include the construction of an 11.5-mile multi-use trail system that’s already underway. The trail will weave through the community and cross around a serene lake, bringing residents even closer to local restaurants, shops and office parks, increasing the close-knit community feel.

Looking at the city from the outside in, it’s easy to view it as the Silicon Valley of the Southeast. Peachtree Corners is so much more than that. Through careful planning, this peaceful yet bustling area has become an oasis where people do live, work and play, but also innovate and dream.