Gwinnett officials and area developers join Chopper, mascot of the Gwinnett Braves, at Coolray Field on Friday for a groundbreaking for The Views, a 206-unit multi-family residential facility that will be ready for the Braves 2015 season. Joining Chopper (foreground) are (from left) Michael Hoath, president of Brand Properties; Peter Blum of Atlantic Capital Bank; John Mears, multi-family president of Brand Properties; Brand Morgan, chief executive officer of Brand Properties; Stan Hall, executive director of the Gwinnett Sports Commission; North Johnson, general manager of the Gwinnett Braves and Jason Shepard of Dwell Architecture. (Photo: Dwayne Hood)
LAWRENCEVILLE — Gwinnett County officials and area developers donned golden shovels and hard hats on Friday to mark the groundbreaking of a $25 million multifamily facility that will overlook the Gwinnett Braves stadium at Coolray Field.
Brand Properties broke ground on The Views at Coolray Field, which will be a four- to five-story split level multifamily development that will have 206 units and interior corridors. It will be 45 feet from the outfield fence of the ballpark on Buford Drive. It is the first part of a mixed use master plan called The Village at Coolray Field that features 53,400 square feet of retail space and a hotel and 200,000 square feet of office space.
“We’re very excited. We’ve been waiting four years for this moment,” said Brand Morgan, chief executive officer of Brand Properties. “Once we get the apartments up, we think that will spur the office and retail development so we’re excited to get going.”
The first units will be available in time for the Gwinnett Braves’ 2015 season next March and the entire community will be finished before September 2015. Morgan said it will be the most densely developed property in Gwinnett County at about 100 units per acre and located with a pristine view over the outfield of the minor league stadium.
“I think this is going to be one of the strongest lease-ups we’ve had,” Brand predicted. “I think we’ll get 50 to 60 leases a month at The Views.”
Officials hailed its location only one mile from the Mall of Georgia, the largest retail district in the state and within 10 miles of Lake Lanier, one of the region’s most popular recreational areas. The project is billed as a place to “Live, Work and Play Ball” at the Gwinnett Braves’ stadium.
“We hope this adds to the loyal fan base we already have here by having people who actually call this their home,” said Stan Hall, executive director of the Gwinnett Sports Commission. “And as this continues to develop and we go around the outfield to other parts of the project, it will make this a destination location for things other than baseball such as restaurants, residential uses and entertainment.”
North Johnson, general manager of the Gwinnett Braves, said the project will give the stadium the appearance of a downtown ballpark every other Triple-A team in their league has.
“When we get this facility built, with the additional folks who will be watching our games, it will help us from an aesthetics standpoint and make Coolray Field a much more beautiful ballpark than it already is,” Johnson said. “ … The Views will be reminiscent of what we see at Wrigley Field where people will be able to sit on their balconies and watch the games … It will give us a look and feel that we can all be proud of.”
The groundbreaking was held before the G-Braves’ home opener against the Durham Bulls.