The current OFS property as shown from above where Dan O'Leary proposed to build a mixed-used entertainment complex.
NORCROSS -- Dan O'Leary says his plan to create a $1 billion gambling and entertainment venue in the Gwinnett Village area will bring a lot to the community: 2,500 jobs, $350 million in lottery revenue for the HOPE Scholarship.
On Friday, he added another perk for the community, with a pledge to donate nine acres of property to the county for a possible transit station and connection.
Developer O'Leary has an option to buy 122 acres along Interstate 85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard from fiber-optics manufacturer OFS, which would continue operations at its plant. He is hoping to build a video lottery terminal complex, if the Georgia Lottery Board gives approval, as well as a hotel, parking garage, performance venue, spa, shops and restaurants. Recently, football legend Herschel Walker announced he would open his first restaurant there.
"We want to be good partners to the community. One of the best ways we can do this is by giving back and helping improve accessibility in the region, which will also support convention business," O'Leary said, promising to include a park-and-ride lot for commuters at the location, which is key in the much-hyped proposal to extend a transit line from Doraville's MARTA station to the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
"This is a huge investment for the I-85 corridor and helps us to attract high quality economic development like the proposed mixed-use entertainment complex," said Chuck Warbington, executive director of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District. "This is the first step for a commitment of private funding one that could be matched with public dollars to help provide Gwinnett with options for regional connectivity."
The donation, worth $4 million, is contingent on lottery board approval to allow video lottery terminals, which look similar to slot machines.
Gwinnett is currently involved in a $1.2 million study, funded by a federal grant, to study alternative transit modes along the Interstate 85 corridor.