Gwinnett County

A relic of NCR Corp.'s presence in Gwinnett County may be demolished to make way for hundreds of multifamily units and new commercial space.

Brand Properties, known for developing suburban apartments across metro Atlanta, filed plans to redevelop the 2651 Satellite Boulevard site into a project that would include 648 apartments, 64 for-rent cottages and 25,000 square feet of commercial space, according to a Developments of Regional Impact filing.

As suburban apartment demand soars, Gwinnett County is leading the surge in construction. As of the beginning of this year, the county had more than 9,500 multifamily units under construction, according to The Reid Report.

The DRI program allows state planning and transportation officials to get involved when a project is large enough to stress local infrastructure. An executive at Brand Properties could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Details

NCR previously leased the 310,000-square-footspace near the intersection of Satellite Boulevard and Boggs Road before relocating to a Midtown Atlanta skyscraper in 2018 to attract and retain new employees. The financial technology corporation was among the first wave of companies to expand to Georgia Tech's Tech Square innovation district.

The $185 million redevelopment of its former campus could be completed as early as 2025, though Gwinnett County officials would need to first rezone the 40-acre property, according to the DRI filing. Atlanta-based Brand Properties is behind several apartment projects in Gwinnett County, including apartments by Coolray Field in between Lawrenceville and Buford.

Gwinnett County

Some residents would live above the ground-level commercial space, according to a rezoning application filed with the county. It's unclear what type of tenants would fill the space, but the application states that it would provide shopping and dining options to future residents. The project would be close to Sugarloaf Mills, Gas South District and the Gwinnett Place Mall area, which is also undergoing planning for redevelopment.

A 12-foot-wide multi-use trail would be constructed around the perimeter of the project, according to the rezoning application. A large green space area, two pocket parks and a dog park would also be included.

The average size for the apartments — a mix of units with one, two or three bedrooms — would range between 700 and 1,100 square feet, according to the application. The for-rent cottages would have an average size of 1,350 square feet.

The Bigger Picture

Rising rents inside the Perimeter – partly caused by a surge in population and shortage of supply – are sending apartment dwellers to the suburbs. The pandemic freed many office workers from their daily commutes, pushing them to choose space over office proximity. The “decentralization” of employment away from Atlanta’s central business districts has also boosted the demand for rental housing in these areas.

Other suburban counties are also experiencing an influx of new apartment proposals, but Gwinnett is pacing ahead. The contrast largely comes down to local politics and the attitude toward apartments. Roswell officials are currently considering an amendment to the development code that would make it more difficult for developers to create new apartments.

The resurgence of town centers gives young professionals and empty nesters access to amenities without driving into Atlanta, said Josh Magaro, partner at FIDES Development, in an April interview. Lawrenceville, Duluth, Suwanee and other suburban cities have refashioned their downtown areas with retail, dining and entertainment options.

“You don’t have to go into Buckhead to get these [amenities] anymore,” said Magaro, whose firm is constructing a 160-unit apartment project at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Jimmy Carter Boulevard. “You can easily get into the city on the weekend, but you don’t need to because you’ve got everything you could want up there.”