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Gwinnett County wants 104 acres of Norcross for an economic jolt, moviemaking

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The government could use film production to pay off some of the $34M in bonds that would be used for the project

This is the major movie studio that was imagined for the Norcross site around 2014.
The major movie studio that was imagined for the Norcross site around 2014.

Gwinnett County government could soon become the movie industry’s next Steven Spielberg.

Not really.

But the county is aiming to purchase a 100-plus-acre parcel in Norcross owned by fiber optic cable company OFS. And some of the site, abutting Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Interstate 85, is already being used for film production, which might continue after a deal is made.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Gwinnett could use moviemaking as a means of paying off some of the $34 million in bonds it plans to issue for the purchase. That’s $330,000 per acre.

The buy will be carried out by Gwinnett’s Urban Redevelopment Agency, an arm of the county that’s never been utilized before and is comprised of the same five members sitting on the county commission.

Of the 169-acre site OFS is controlling, the county wants to snag 104 acres as part of an effort to revitalize the local economy.

The sprawling campus (at bottom) with I-85 just beyond.

The property is located in a section of Gwinnett highlighted in the county’s new transit expansion plan, and it could become a “multimodal hub,” linking a new heavy rail line to the Doraville MARTA Station, according to the AJC.

Previously, the Norcross site had been imagined as a “not-casino,” and later as the largest film studio in the Southeast. Both plans fizzled out.

Tonight, Gwinnett’s board of commissioners is expected to vote on legislation in favor of the land purchase. After that, the commissioners will likely meet, wearing their redevelopment agency hats, to vote on the purchase-sale deal.