Sugarloaf LCI Plan
The Sugarloaf LCI presents a visionary master plan for Gwinnett’s Downtown, which is already an established and well-known regional entertainment and retail destination. Centered on the Infinite Energy Center, Downtown Gwinnett is envisioned to be home to a mix of uses that provide residents, area employees, and visitors with the opportunity to “arrive early and stay late”.
Key issues addressed in this master plan include:
- Create Gwinnett’s Downtown: a walkable, mixed use, 18-hour entertainment district.
- Encourage complimentary uses to the existing flourishing entertainment districts, designed to encourage people to stay in the area before and after events.
- Create connectivity throughout the community with enhanced sidewalks, purposeful trails, pocket parks, and multi-modal transit access.
- Create a sense of arrival and distinct character for Gwinnett’s Downtown.
What is a Livable Centers Initiative?
The Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) is a program of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) that awards planning grants on a competitive basis to local governments and nonprofit organizations for the enhancement of existing centers and corridors consistent with regional development policies. This study is anticipated to be accepted by the ARC as an LCI study update, making the community eligible for supplemental study and transportation implementation funding, per recommendations found within the report.
Three key development opportunities are identified in this master plan. Redevelopment of these key nodes will enhance the livability, visibility, and sustainability of the Sugarloaf area by creating quality mixed-use live-work-entertain districts. These key development opportunities include:
The Downtown Gwinnett Node includes the Infinite Energy Center, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, Sugarloaf Parkway Shopping Center, Shoppes on Sugarloaf, and commercial parcels along Sugarloaf Parkway near Meadow Church Road. With the IEC as an anchor and the proposed Revel development, this area has the potential to grow into a unique mixed-use entertainment district. This helps create an iconic Downtown for the Gwinnett community.
As one of the largest sites in the study area and with potential for enhanced transit connections to the mall, Sugarloaf Mills has an opportunity to grow into a mixed-use transit-oriented development.
Sugarloaf Neighborhood Node
The Neighborhood Node is focused on the inter-section of Duluth Highway and Satellite Boulevard. With a proposed enhanced transit alignment along Satellite Boulevard, proposed trails along Duluth Highway and increased residential development nearby, this node has potential to serve as a neighborhood oriented retail TOD destination.
Connectivity will be key to the success of the Sugarloaf area. Connectivity recommendations include:
Gwinnett County Enhanced Transit Enhanced
Transit can have a significant impact on growth in the area, by encouraging and stimulating mixed-use higher density development at key nodes. To prepare for transit, conduct studies to identify Sugarloaf transit station locations and transit access enhancements, such as sidewalk improvements to prepare the area for enhanced transit service.
To enable more compact, higher density development consider a study that can formulate a parking management framework for the study area.
Sugarloaf Parkway Improvements
Continue current efforts to improve traffic flow along Sugarloaf Parkway. Consider pedestrian and bicycle improvements per this master plan to create a more pedestrian, bike friendly and welcoming downtown district.
Sugarloaf at Satellite Enhancements
Continue current design improvements of the Sugarloaf/Satellite intersection. Consider incorporating pedestrian and beautification recommendations per this report to create a true gateway into Gwinnett’s Downtown.
Satellite Boulevard Improvements
Improve pedestrian and bicycle accessibility and safety along Satellite Boulevard. If enhanced transit follows Satellite Boulevard, multi-modal improvements will improve the function of the overall system.
Trail connectivity can be leveraged to attract mixed-use development and as an attractive amenity for visitors, residents, and area employees. Continue to aggressively pursue trail enhancements in the study area
Placemaking strategies are recommended to help define Sugarloaf as a unique and special place, Gwinnett’s Downtown. The following are placemaking strategies:
Trail recommendations in this report, in many cases, follow floodplains and undevelopable property. Enhance these areas by activating strategically located and well-designed pocket parks along the trail system. Activation could include play areas, sculpture art, or educational nature markers.
The Gateway Park at the north and southeastern corner of the Sugarloaf/Satellite intersection has potential to be a defining gateway element “announcing” entry into Downtown Gwinnett. Incorporate unique gateway elements, including attractive monument signage, appropriate artwork and a well-marked and obvious trailhead.
Signage and Wayfinding
Signage and wayfinding not only helps to direct visitors to key locations, but also has the ability to become visual branding for Sugarloaf. Develop a well thought out, strategic
The Sugarloaf area is already known for its arts, including the Hudgens Center for the Arts, the IEC Performing Arts Center, and musical performances at the IEC Arena. To further enhance and establish branding of the area, work with these aforementioned organizations to make the art more visible throughout the community. Incorporate art along trails, at transit stops, and under the I-85/Sugarloaf bridge.