As evidenced in recent episodes of Stranger Things, mall openings in the 1980s were a big deal. Even at Gwinnett Place Mall, where the forlorn, circa-1984 interiors were recently transformed into one such destination for a spotlight in the show.
However, the height of popularity for Gwinnett Place Mall has long since waned, leaving area residents wishing for a new incarnation—or anything else—to take over the desolate shopping center.
That could happen sooner than later. Maybe.
As Bisnow recently noted, Gwinnett Place Mall finally sports a “for sale” sign. Situated for 35 years near the intersection of Pleasant Hill Road and Interstate 85, the distressed mall’s location could be well-suited for redevelopment.
Currently owned by Moonbeam Capital Investments, the 1.3-million-square-foot retail property represents an opportunity to reimagine the area as a new hub for work, play, and living if done right.
However, that’s easier said than done, as the site isn’t without challenges. First and foremost, Moonbeam Capital Investments doesn’t own the mall in its entirety. Instead, it holds the ownership rights to only 562,000 square feet of the total property.
Owners of the four anchor stores—Macy’s, Beauty Master, MegaMart, and the former Sears location—hold claim to that retail space as well as portions of the parking lot around those storefronts.
As such, any future buyer would have to negotiate with those owners regarding any possible development that would impact their businesses.
Given how disenfranchised those owners already are with Moonbeam Capital Investments in light of what they call broken promises and mismanaged grounds, it could be a tough road ahead to find a solution that everyone involved can agree on.
No sales price has been reported. And one big idea for the site—metro Atlanta’s first pro cricket stadium, as pitched by a group called Global Sports Ventures—sputtered earlier this year.
So, all things considered, what should a limping mall once considered a multi-state attraction do next?