Staff Photo: John Bohn A Walmart is being constructed in a shopping center located near the intersection of Jimmy Carter Blvd. and Rockbridge Rd. in Norcross. Debris is removed from the parking lot of the site Monday afternoon.
After losing its anchor tenants, a K-Mart and movie theater, the center has been the epitome of the dark big box, with the only signs of life a few nightclubs, often the bane of local police.
But all that will soon be a memory, with brighter days promised for the center, located at the corner of busy Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Rockbridge Road.
This week crews are demolishing the Green's Corner shopping center to make way for a 157,000-square-foot Walmart supercenter.
"It's gratifying to see revitalization projects like this taking shape in areas of our county that developed during our early growth years," Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said. "I am thankful to Walmart for making this significant investment in Green's Corner, adding an attractive development to this community and bringing retail back to a once-vibrant shopping center. This is an exciting day for Gwinnett County, the Gwinnett Village (Community Improvement District), and everyone who lives or does business in the area."
The nightclubs, especially, have been a problem for leaders intent on bringing life to the business district, known as the Gwinnett Village since property owners banded together several years ago to bring improvements.
"One of our major initiatives has been to decrease crime in the area and while we have been successful, the clubs at Green's Corner have been a challenge for us and local law enforcement," said Chuck Warbington, the executive director of the Gwinnett Village CID.
The new Walmart supercenter, which is slated to serve a diverse community, will feature a garden center, retail space and a grocery. It is expected to open next summer.
"The Gwinnett Village CID has done an excellent job showcasing the potential of the Jimmy Carter Corridor," Commissioner Lynette Howard said."Walmart's commitment to redevelopment in this great community will hopefully entice other developers to invest in this area."
Walmart will soon open two neighborhood market centers in Gwinnett.
A June 20 grand opening ceremony is planned for a Lawrenceville location at 3059 Lawrenceville Highway, while a Snellville location at 2912 W. Main Street is due to open in late August or early September.
Location of new Wal-Mart