LAWRENCEVILLE, GA — Big changes are coming to downtown Lawrenceville.

The city on Thursday announced plans for a $200 million mixed-use, urban style development across 32 acres of property in the Gwinnett County seat’s downtown area. The project is a joint venture with developers George Berkow Inc. and Novare Group.

Called the South Lawn Project, the effort would become the biggest redevelopment effort in Gwinnett County, bringing more than 600 residential units and 15,000 square feet of retail space to downtown. The development would connect City Hall and the Lawernceville Police station with the increasingly popular Lawrenceville Lawn and be designed to create a walkable environment all the way to Lawrenceville Square.

New housing options will range from three and four-story apartments and townhomes to single-family houses.

“The city’s vision is to realize the potential that exists for a walkable urban environment from Gwinnett’s government facilities to City Hall, from the square to the police station and everything in between,” said City Manager Chuck Warbington. “Our desire is to reflect the diversity of our community with this development, infuse our core with new residential and complimenting retail and transform the heart of Gwinnett into a melting pot for the arts, education and living unlike any other community has witnessed.”

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Novare Group, founded by Jim Borders in 1992, has developed over 12,600 residential units and over $3 billion in real estate developments in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh, and Tampa.

They are known locally for projects such as the adaptive reuse of the historic Biltmore Hotel, TWELVE Hotel and Residences, Newnan Lofts, Metropolis Condominiums and SkyHouse Apartment Residences.

“We have been working for several months with George Berkow and the City of Lawrenceville on the multifamily village component of the City’s vision,” said Borders. “The member of our team responsible for this development executed similar developments in Roswell and Johns Creek, and we have taken the best of those concepts and incorporated them into the fabric of the Lawrenceville town center development. We are excited to be a part of this transformational project.”

George Berkow of Berkow Inc. added: “Our team is pleased to be working with the City of Lawrenceville on its vision to bring a Class A mixed-use residential development to the heart of downtown, and we believe that this project will be a catalyst to spark renewed interest for infill living in Lawrenceville.”

The announcement of development plans comes on the heels of the city committing to preserve the historic Hooper-Renwick School in downtown. Hooper-Renwick, which was the county’s lone school for black students during the segregation era, will become the site the Lawrenceville branch of Gwinnett County Public Libraries and the school building will be used as a community center and museum.

Between the two projects, about 37 acres in downtown Lawrenceville are slated for new development.

Also this week, Lawrenceville approved a $30 million “college corridor” project which will create a 2.2-mile linear park from Georgia Gwinnett College to downtown. The project will include a two-lane road, multi-use trails, bike paths, roundabouts and landscaping features. The corridor will begin at the intersection of SR 316 and Collins Hill Road and run parallel to Northdale Road, in between Northdale and North Clayton Streets.

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Photos courtesy City of Lawrenceville

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