Mayor's Annual State of City Address Draws Record Crowd
It’s been five years of solid growth for Gwinnett County’s newest city. At his annual state of the city address on Friday, July 21, Mayor Mike Mason pointed to the numbers that indicate the significant growth of the city’s business sector and the noteworthy increase in the corporate real estate investments since its incorporation on July 1, 2012.
“What a difference a few years make,” said Mayor Mason to the group of 120 business and community leaders and residents who had gathered for his early morning presentation hosted by the Peachtree Corners Business Association at the Hilton Hotel. “When we incorporated the city had office vacancy problems. Since the city was founded, we’ve seen a 64 percent increase in company relocations and a 182 percent increase in the number of jobs that those relocations have brought to Peachtree Corners.
“The city has also seen those corporate relocations bring in an investment jump of 1,432 percent in the last five years, including the $15 million invested by Crawford & Company, the most recent announced relocation, coming to Peachtree Corners from the Perimeter area.”
While positive job growth coupled with corporate investments is a major indicator of a city’s economic health, there were a number of other areas of expansion the mayor highlighted during his presentation.
- Population: Increased 8 percent
- Number of jobs: Increased by 15 percent
- Business Licenses: Increased 5 percent
- Number of restaurants: Increased 16 percent
- Residential building Permits: Increased 196 percent
- Commercial building permits: Increased 19 percent
Progress continues in this city of over 40,000 residents said the mayor who pointed to a number of areas of focus including:
- Town Center
- Multi-use trail system
- Technology Park
- Prototype Prime
- Echo Lakeside
- Arts & Culture Master Plan
- Transportation Improvements
The groundbreaking of the new town center on June 30, represented a tremendous step in the city’s development noted Mayor Mason. The 21-acre mixed use development will serve as Peachtree Corners’ city center, where the community gathers and events take place.
“We’re also proud to announce that the original $11.5 million loan to purchase the land has been paid in full and the monies needed for construction has been placed in escrow,” said Mayor Mason. The city expects to hold a ribbon cutting to officially open the Town Center in December 2018.
The 11.5 mile multi-use trail system will crisscross through office parks, restaurants, retail centers and the new town center and surrounding neighborhoods. The trail system will be used as another transportation alternative as the city presents other modes of transportation for its residents and workforce.
“We encourage residents and those in the business community to attend an Open House Trail Study on Tuesday, Aug. 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. at City Hall,” said Mayor Mason. “The information gleaned will be used to produce the design and specific placement of trails that link existing residential areas to job centers within the central business district.”
The city’s plans to reimagine Technology Park into an innovation hub encompasses Prototype Prime, the city’s startup incubator, the multi-use trails and Echo Lakeside, a new high-end apartment development designed for millennials aimed at offering a convenient location within Tech Park. The master plan for the project is aimed at re-invigorating and re-branding this well-known technology office park into a destination for creativity, technology and unique, fun lifestyle. The plans include adding a secondary education component in the near future.
It’s well documented that a city with a strong arts-centered community provides many benefits including adding to economic development, personal enhancement for residents, building stronger connections within the community and improving community identity. Peachtree Corners has developed an Arts & Culture Master Plan, watch for more on this exciting opportunity.
Since incorporating, city leaders have tirelessly worked to improve transportation and pedestrian safety throughout the community and has made a number of intersection, pedestrian safety and road improvements including:
- Installing additional sidewalks and streetlights
- Adding a merge lane to S.R. 141 at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
- Plans to widen Peachtree Industrial Boulevard from three to four lanes from Jimmy Carter Boulevard to Winters Chapel Road
- Adding a roundabout at Peachtree Corners Circle and Medlock Bridge Road (Spring 2018)
- Adding pedestrian crossings at Peachtree Corners Circle at Eastman Drive, Winters Chapel Road and East Jones Bridge Road
City planners will continue those efforts with information gleaned from the recent comprehensive Transportation Plan and the S.R. 141 Corridor Study. The city is also working on a multimodal transportation plan that will study the most practical transportation methods and look into the feasibility of autonomous vehicles, bike sharing and other modes of transportation.
“The city has made tremendous progress in just five years,” said Mayor Mason. “I look forward to the next five years in our city. With your continued support and assistance, we can indeed expect Peachtree Corners to continue as a city where you can live, work, play and learn.”