2021 was a year of transition in the Sugarloaf CID. We wrapped up some of our key projects and completed the largest expansion of the CID to date. The Infinite Energy Center was also renamed the Gas South District. As major concerts and events came back, the CID also hosted our first annual property owner meeting. Below are some of the highlights from this year.
Major Roadway and Pedestrian Improvements
Sugarloaf Parkway Improvements
The Sugarloaf CID partnered with Gwinnett County to complete traffic flow and aesthetic improvements to the intersection of Sugarloaf Parkway at Satellite Boulevard along with the widening of Sugarloaf Parkway from I-85 to the new signal at the Gas South District parking deck entrance. Earlier this year, the CID completed landscaping enhancements on Sugarloaf Parkway and Satellite Boulevard as the final phase of this project.
Engineering is underway for Phase II improvements to Sugarloaf Parkway. This project will continue the improvements from the new entrance to the Gas South District to Meadow Church Road. Gwinnett County and the Sugarloaf CID were awarded a Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank grant of $750,000 for this project.
Improving pedestrian connectivity between both sides of I-85 has also been a priority of the Sugarloaf CID since the CID’s formation in 2016. This summer, Gwinnett County installed a sidewalk on the north side of Sugarloaf Parkway between Satellite Boulevard and North Brown Road with funding through the SPLOST program. The project also included pedestrian crossing improvements at the interchange.
Advancing Transportation Options
Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Study
Earlier this year, the Satellite Boulevard to Jimmy Carter Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor Study was completed. This study examined the planned transit corridor that would connect the Sugarloaf area to the regional MARTA rail system. The study evaluated locations for major Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stations along the corridor as well as proposed recommendations for what the stations and surrounding areas may look like. The Sugarloaf CID completed this study in partnership with Gwinnett County and the Gateway 85 and Gwinnett Place CIDs.
As a follow up to the BRT study, the CID won a $100,000 grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program. The Sugarloaf Transit Enhancement and Future Station Planning Study will further examine planned BRT stations at Sugarloaf Mills and the Gas South District, as well as improvements to existing transit service that include improved pedestrian and bicycle connections, placemaking and public art, and other improvements to service for existing riders.
Promoting the Safety of Our Community
2021 has seen continued success with our Flock Safety Cameras, as well as our campaign to prevent vehicle break-ins in partnership with the Gwinnett Police Department. Vehicle break-ins are the top crime in the area, and often as many as half of vehicle break-ins happen to cars that have been left unlocked. The CID’s campaign urges drivers to “take your valuables and lock your vehicle” when leaving a parked vehicle. Signs were installed in the Gas South District parking decks and are available to CID properties to secure parking areas. The CID also approved new locations for our Flock cameras with our expansion.
Growing Our District
In May, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners approved a request by the CID to expand the district boundaries, adding twelve taxable parcels. The expansion added $73.96 million in appraised value to the Sugarloaf CID, the largest expansion of the CID to date. When property owners join the CID, they agree to pay an additional tax of 3.5 mills to fund projects that make the district more connected, safe, and attractive. The addition of these new properties increases the amount of funding the CID can leverage to complete critical projects in our community.
Infinite Energy Center Renamed the Gas South District
The Infinite Energy Center was renamed the Gas South District in late June. Atlanta’s Gas South acquired Florida-based Infinite Energy at the end of 2020, and the new Arena sign was unveiled in July. Construction progress continues at the Gas South District, and the expansion of the Convention Center opened in November.
First Annual Property Owner Meeting
In September, Sugarloaf CID property owners met for the CID’s first annual member meeting. The goal of the event was to bring together investors in the CID and major stakeholders to share the CID’s success stories and learn about what is happening in the Sugarloaf market.
Community Engagement and Partnerships
Thanks to grants from the Gwinnett Creativity Fund, two ‘Button Art’ public art sculptures were installed at the Gas South District, one entitled “Saxophone Player” and the other an interactive chalkboard sculpture at the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning. The Hudgens Center also unveiled a new mural.
In 2021, the Sugarloaf CID was featured in articles in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Gwinnett Daily Post, Focus Atlanta, and the Gwinnett Forum.
CID Executive Director Alyssa Davis was recognized as one of Engineering Georgia’s Top 100 Influential Women and for her role as Goal 3 Community Development Chair for Partnership Gwinnett.
Working with Partnership Gwinnett, the CID created a Story Map, an online informational landing page, that highlights stats and market assets in our district to help serve as a tool for our partners in attracting new businesses to the area.
The CID continues to be a great place to do business with significant company announcements in our district this year– SK Holdings C&C opened an IT center, Tyler Technologies expanded and opened a new office, and Moneypenny opened their new US headquarters in the CID.
The Sugarloaf CID is planning to install gateway signage on Sugarloaf Parkway near the I-85 interchange early next year. This sign is a sculptural work of art that will serve as a landmark for our district.
Work on the LCI Transit Enhancements study will also continue through next year. We are working on identifying and advancing new transportation projects to benefit both our current members and expansion areas.
We are also identifying more potential locations for public art. We will expand our landscape maintenance service areas as well as add new Flock cameras to better fit the new expansion footprint of the district.