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Company to donate proceeds from sale of Suwanee home

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Gwinnett company plans to build a nearly $225,000 home, then donate proceeds from its sale to a hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast city.

Richport Properties is working with the city of Suwanee, contractors and suppliers to construct the hurricane-relief house.

A groundbreaking is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday in Richport's new Stonecypher development, which is part of Suwanee's historic district. The event, open to the public, will be held at 600 Stonepark Lane. The three-bedroom house is expected to take about four months to complete.

In recent months, hurricanes Katrina and Rita - two of the strongest storms to ever strike the U.S. coastline - flooded many Gulf Coast cities from Texas to Alabama.

"After the first hurricane, people wanted to do something," said Lee Williams, Richport's vice president of communities and marketing. The company could have collected donations, but "why not help by doing what we do best - building homes," Williams said.

Suwanee City Council is playing an important role in the project. The city is working with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to identify the Gulf Coast community that will receive proceeds from the home sale. The council may also waive the $869 permit fee to build the home.

Richport Properties and Suwanee have worked together on other developments.

They won the Atlanta Regional Commission's Development of Excellence award for Old Suwanee Development, which reinvigorated a once-dormant part of the city and preserved its unique character.

Several Gwinnett cities have volunteered for hurricane relief.

Sugar Hill council members raised money for storm victims. Duluth sent police officers to help rebuild Gulf Coast communities. Suwanee Mayor Nick Masino allowed hurricane Katrina victims to stay in his basement until they found another place to live.