The Internet coughs up the most intriguing things. An unrelated image search unveiled these long-forgotten plans for one of the grandest failed mega-projects suburban Atlanta has ever seen. Circa 2006, real estate tycoon Wayne Mason — whose supposed Midas Touch with residential investments helped transform the pastures of Gwinnett County — got really inspired by then-nascent Atlantic Station. Working with a group of Korean investors, Mason bought up two ailing shopping centers totaling 42 acres near Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth. He called the vision "Global Station." It promised to reshape the suburban skyline and introduce mixed-use living on a scale never seen in suburban Atlanta.
Mason's answer to Atlantic Station was set to include as many as 10 towers, to be built over several years. Early concepts showed the $700 million retail, condo and commercial village with a huge central entertainment area, replete with an amphitheater and exotic architecture. In 2006, Mason projected that construction could start the following year.
Instead, the Recession happened.
The whole shebang went kaput in 2008, when Mason declared that his South Korean counterparts just couldn't line up the financing. And the long, slow decline of Gwinnett Place Mall continued. The county's first mall — which drew shoppers from as far as South Carolina when it debuted in the 1980s — was reportedly 50 percent vacant by the end of last year, with more vacancies projected.
Not to revel in anyone's misfortune ... but sometimes fate has a way of being right.
· New Urbanist Developments in Atlanta [The Urbanophile]
· Gwinnett Place: The Long, Slow Death of a Suburban Mall [Curbed]
· Tycoon plans huge condo development near Atlanta [Chicago Tribune]