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Board OKs Village expansion
Move will add $80M worth of new property

NORCROSS - The Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District's board of directors unanimously decided to approve the expansion of the self-taxing business district at its monthly meeting last Thursday.

With the approval Tuesday by the Board of Commissioners, the expansion sets the area to grow by 15 property owners accounting for 23 parcels valued at $80 million.

The move came at the request of commercial property owners in the district and now requires approval by the Norcross City Council.

CID Executive Director Chuck Warbington said of the $80 million in properties set to come into the district, most are industrial and that 75 percent of those are entering the CID voluntarily.

"I think people in the area are starting to see positive results and value to the work we are doing here," Warbington said. "Expansion in this tough economic climate is a strong indicator that people in southwestern Gwinnett understand the true value of investing directly in their community through the CID."

While the CID's geographical area isn't necessarily expanding its boundaries, what it is doing is "filling in" the area with parcels previously not included in the district, said John McHenry, a program director with the organization. One such parcel includes the mixed-use development at the Global Village Forum Shopping Center, located off Buford Highway, as one enters Gwinnett County from DeKalb.

The CID's geographical boundaries primarily encompass the area between Buford Highway and Singleton Road and Pleasantdale Road and Beaver Ruin Road.

McHenry said the outreach to the businesses and properties set to join the CID was the result of those entities seeing the tangible results beneficial to everyone in the district through the CID's work.

"Whether it was a landscaping project or a new sidewalk going in, they knew what we were doing," McHenry said.

Formed in 2006, the Gwinnett Village CID is the state's largest and most ethnically diverse CID with more than 100 different languages spoken in the district alone. It represents 500 commercial property owners, 5,000 businesses, 60,000 employees and 100,000 residents.

Warbington said the expansion will garner the CID $160,000 in extra revenue on top of the $2 million it already brings in annually through self-imposed taxes paid by the property owners. Those funds are used to pay for infrastructure improvements, to promote economic redevelopment, to beautify the area and to improve security and transportation.

"I'm ecstatic that commercial property owners would support our efforts even with the current market," Warbington said. "We'll continue to invest and leverage that money to make improvements that are desperately needed to improve the quality of life of our area."