Norcross, April 13, 2012 – Developer Dan O’Leary pledged to donate nine acres of property to Gwinnett County for a possible transit station and connection in Norcross.
The property is located on the site of the proposed mixed-use entertainment and Video Lottery Terminal complex at Interstate 85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard. The donation is contingent on the Georgia Lottery Board approving an expansion of the lottery to include VLTs.
O’Leary has an option to buy 122 acres of property from fiber optics manufacturer OFS. More than half a mile of property is anticipated to be used for a new transit station and connection. The donated property is valued at more than $4 million.
“This is a huge investment for the I-85 corridor and helps us to attract high quality economic development like the proposed mixed-use entertainment complex,” said Chuck Warbington, executive director of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District. “This is the first step for a commitment of private funding – one that could be matched with public dollars – to help provide Gwinnett with options for regional connectivity.”
The donation pledge comes as Gwinnett is in the middle of studying new forms of transit in the I-85 corridor between Gwinnett Center on Sugarloaf Parkway and the Doraville MARTA station.
The Federal Transit Administration awarded Gwinnett a $1.2 million grant last year to study alternative transit modes along the I-85 corridor, including light rail, commuter rail and premium bus rapid transit. The study is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year.
O’Leary has proposed building a $1 billion mixed-use entertainment complex in the Gwinnett Village CID. The development includes a 5,000-space parking garage and transit station, in addition to a VLT gaming floor, luxury hotel, spa, performance venue, shops and restaurants.
“In addition to our world-class facility, we will have a park and ride option for travelers to get between downtown Atlanta and Gwinnett County quickly,” O’Leary said. “We want to be good partners to the community. One of the best ways we can do this is by giving back and helping improve accessibility in the region, which will also support convention business.”
O’Leary’s project, which would be in partnership with the Georgia Lottery, is estimated to generate $350 million annually for the HOPE scholarship. It also will create 2,500 permanent jobs and 1,000 construction jobs.