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Lilburn CID organizers name executive director

LILBURN - The group trying to start a fourth community improvement district in the county has named Gerald McDowell as its executive director.

McDowell was instrumental in the formation of the Gwinnett Village CID and said he hopes to make Lilburn's version a real asset for the city to use in its own economic development efforts.

"The CID will become a partner with the city of Lilburn and the downtown development authority to stimulate an economic boom along the U.S. Highway 29 corridor," McDowell said.

In March when plans were announced for the CID, Norman Nash of the Lilburn Community Partnership said the potential CID would stretch from "city limit to city limit," which entails Lawrenceville Highway from Ronald Reagan Parkway to Harmony Grove Road with pockets of Pleasant Hill Road, Indian Trail-Lilburn Road and Killian Hill Road included as well. That area encompasses more than 400 commercial property owners with the total value of those properties assessed at $581 million.

Nash said he hopes the CID will foster a sense of family among the Lilburn business community.

"By encouraging this sense of family, we will increase loyalty to Lilburn and a direct result will be a stronger business community and economic growth," Nash said.

He also said that to date there are owners already signed up whose property value totals $21.7 million. These owners signed a waiver stating they are willing to pay an additional property tax that is then used as investment capital by the CID. That money is then used to attract additional state and federal dollars.

The owners who've signed that waiver include John Souter, who owns the Oyster Brown and is a member of the community partnership, and the owners of the Lilburn Market Square, who plan to redevelop the shopping plaza into an upscale shopping district.