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New retail, hotel, high-rise tower planned in Mall of Georgia area
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The already commercially crowded Mall of Georgia area near Buford is poised to get a lot busier over the next few years.

A mixed-use development featuring 162,000 square feet in retail and commercial space, as well as a 156-room hotel and 42 condominiums that would be included in a 21-story building, was approved Tuesday night by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.

The 16-acre development off Woodward Crossing and Mall of Georgia boulevards also would have a 50,000-square-foot family entertainment center, 76,000 square feet in office space and a grocery store.

“We feel this property has a lot of potential and is uniquely poised to be a landmark keystone development and a true gateway for the Mall of Georgia area and the Interstate 85 corridor,” lawyer Shane Lanham told the commission.

“As the first true regional mixed-use development in Gwinnett County, this project will be a catalyst for future development and growth in this part of the county.”

Lanham said the development’s goal is “provide a vibrant, high-density, pedestrian-friendly, live-work-play community that would function as a new center of gravity for the Mall of Georgia area.”

The project “is designed to complement the existing approximately 2 million square feet of retail and commercial uses,” Lanham said. “Our proposal will create a bustling streetscape and community environment that integrates with the existing development and natural features.”

No one at the meeting opposed the project, which was swiftly and unanimously approved by the commission.

Work on the first phase, which would include 336 apartments and some retail development, could start in spring, Lanham said in a Wednesday phone interview.

The rest of the project could take 4-5 years to get done, he said.

“All of it is going to be market-driven to an extent,” Lanham said.