Rumors that Gwinnett Place Mall was going to be put up for sale by its owner, Moonbeam Properties, have popped up periodically over the years.
Earlier this year, it was reported that a cricket league owner was going to buy the mall to turn it into a cricket stadium. That didn’t go far, but new rumors emerged over the summer that Moonbeam Properties was looking to sell the mall, prompting Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District Executive Director Joe Allen to take an “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach to the subject.
Well, on Tuesday Allen was singing a different tune after news began to emerge that Moonbeam had hired a firm to market the Duluth area mall for sale.
“It is definitely on the market,” said Allen, who met with representatives of the firm that will handle the sale Tuesday. “This is real as far as we can tell.”
News that Gwinnett Place Mall is being put up for sale will likely create huge waves economically in an area filled with older retail buildings and which takes its name from the more than 30-year-old mall.
Colliers International Atlanta has been picked to handle the sale of the largely vacant and troubled mall.
Colliers will handle the 39 acres of the mall which are owned by Moonbeam — Macy’s MegaMart and Beauty Master own their respective anchor spots while apartment developer Northwood Raven owns the former Sears space.
“I think this gives us a unique opportunity to find someone who can come in here and move some things forward,” Allen said.
Colliers is pitching the mall as a prime target for redevelopment. It is located in a heavily traveled area of Gwinnett with Interstate 85 and State Route 316 split just north of the mall.
“With precious few remaining large-scale redevelopment opportunities in the marketplace and the property’s prominent position in the Atlanta market, Gwinnett Place Mall is an inspiring opportunity to develop the site into its highest and best use for the 21st Century,” Colliers officials said in a statement.
Although Gwinnett Place Mall was once a major shopping destination after it opened in the early 1980s, it has fallen on hard time in recent years as it faced competition from the Mall of Georgia and Sugarloaf Mills in addition to changes in the retail industry.
In recent years, headlines concerning the mall have included the discovery of a dead body in the vacant food court, local officials venting frustration over what they saw as a lack of action by Moonbeam officials to revitalize the mall and the use of the mall to stand in as the “Starcourt Mall” in the third season of the Netflix television series “Stranger Things.”
The season of “Stranger Things” during which Gwinnett Place appeared as “Starcourt Mall” ended with the fictional mall burning to the ground.