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The Vote to Expand MARTA and What It Means




On March 19, Gwinnett County voters will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on this question: “Gwinnett County has executed a contract for the provision of transit services, dated as of August 2, 2018. Shall this contract be approved?”

Go Gwinnett, a registered ballot committee, wants to make sure voters understand just what a “yes” or “no” vote means to Gwinnett County and its future.

What “yes” or “no” means for Gwinnett

A “yes” vote for the Gwinnett MARTA expansion will connect the county to the rest of the metro Atlanta region, giving residents more options to get to their destinations, whether for work or play and will offer new customers the opportunity to frequent Gwinnett’s shopping and entertainment venues.

The expansion will be funded by a new one-cent sales tax that will be used solely to benefit residents of the county. “Gwinnett’s money stays in Gwinnett,” said Brian Robinson, spokesperson for the Go Gwinnett campaign. “All tax dollars collected will return to the county for local projects.”

A “no” vote will prevent the expansion, and that won’t decrease traffic. It will, however, limit the opportunities of how residents and visitors can move through Gwinnett.

More transit options

There’s no question that the current road traffic is already strained, and it’s only going to get more congested as Gwinnett grows. The partnership with MARTA will bring more options for commuters.

“More transit options will help reduce traffic congestion on the roads and provide faster commutes for riders as well as those on the roads,” Robinson said. “Gwinnett would benefit early on from double local bus and express routes, more park-and-ride lots, flex “on demand” services, “direct connect” routes and more paratransit services.” Exciting new bus rapid transit options will follow.

Additionally, the MARTA contract would extend the heavy rail line from the existing Doraville station to a new multi-modal transit hub hear I-85 and Jimmy Carter Blvd.

Something for everyone

Not only will approval of the MARTA contract make lives easier for residents and ensure smarter growth, but it also will offer more independence and inclusion for seniors and disabled residents — and bring in more Millennials.

“Fast and attractive transit options will help our county attract and keep the Millennial and Generation Z workforce critical to our economy, our schools and our neighborhoods over the next 40 years,” Robinson said.

New transit hubs will drive smart growth around those areas and boost Gwinnett’s tax base by spurring redevelopment of aging retail centers. The expanded transit options will also attract new high-paying jobs. Many of metro Atlanta’s biggest economic development announcements have come from companies that demanded close access to transit for their employees.

Money and decision-making stay here

Every penny from the one-cent sale tax goes right back into Gwinnett County. “The 1 percent sales tax approach means that 25 to 30 percent of the dollars generated will come from people who live outside the county,” Robinson explained. That means that Gwinnett will get 100 percent of the benefit with only 75 percent of the cost.

The expansion is based on Gwinnett’s plan for transit expansion and its contract with MARTA. That contract has special provisions that protect the county.

“Gwinnett maintains local decision making on transit projects and service standards, and Gwinnett will attain three seats on the MARTA board, increasing our voice and oversight in regional decisions,” Robinson said.

MARTA Referendum


Some residents may question why Gwinnett should partner with MARTA, rather than Gwinnett County Transit, to expand local services. Robinson pointed out that what MARTA offers is a higher capacity to build out new infrastructure, and MARTA has the most knowledge and expertise to develop bus rapid transit, light rail and heavy rail in the State of Georgia.

Additionally, working with MARTA is essential so that the system that is developed in Gwinnett can connect to existing transit infrastructure as efficiently as possible.

Partnering with MARTA to expand access to transit and offer more transit options is an important part of making Gwinnett County a better place to live, work and raise a family. ■

Get Out and Vote!

► Election Day is Tuesday, March 19.
► Early voting begins Monday, Feb. 25 at the Gwinnett Justice Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville 30046. Starting Monday, March 4, early voting is available Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., at every early vote location until Friday, March 15.
► Visit gogwinnett.org for updates and more information.

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Peachtree Corners Businesses Encouraged to Join Security Camera Registration



Chris Lindenau, Fusus

After spending years with the U.S. military and companies that develop safety systems, Chris Lindenau wanted to offer that same level of security to average citizens.

“I have been leading and serving a team of dedicated, brilliant professionals as we help communities, directors of security for businesses and public safety leaders establish interoperability between community and public safety camera, AI and alert assets at an unprecedented scale,” Lindenau, CEO of Fusus, said.

He addressed an audience gathered on September 28 at the Peachtree Corners Business Association Business After Hours Speaker Series at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast.

The technology Lindenau’s company has created, the fususONE ecosystem of software and hardware solutions, is the foundational platform for the world’s real-time operations centers. It has helped hundreds of cities and businesses establish a unified security footprint unrestrained by proprietary technology limitations, according to the company’s literature.

In order to make it work at its optimal capacity, however, it needs the community — especially business owners — to join in.

“As I understand from our friends at GCPD [Gwinnett County Police Department], you’ve got a success story recently utilizing the system to catch a homicide suspect — I think it was within 45 minutes from the time of the incident,” Lindenau said. “This isn’t something that just exists here in our backyard, it exists all over the country.”

He encouraged everyone in attendance to sign up for Connect Peachtree Corners, a camera registration for businesses and homes. Right now, there are only 247 cameras registered within the Peachtree Corners city limits. Without interconnectivity, crimes that could have been solved in minutes may end up taking days or months — or may never be solved.

“That lack of information impacts the timeliness of response. It’s not just about apprehending the suspects, it’s also about bringing closure to families, because they are out on a limb until these people are apprehended,” Lindenau said.

For more information, visit connectpeachtreecorners.org.

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DW1 Unveils New Peachtree Corners Headquarters and Brand Identity



DW1, formerly known as Discount Waste, Inc., has now settled in its office in Technology Park. As Peachtree Corners sees a surge of development, DW1’s move and rebranding stand out.

Situated at 250 Scientific Drive NW, the 45,000-square-foot building has 150 private offices and seven conference rooms. It also has an advanced training room and a “Town Center” designed for company lunches.

Additionally, the space doubles as an art collection that adds character to the workspace.

This move brings together their previous locations at Engineering Drive and Triangle Parkway. It consolidates over 100 employees who have been dispersed since 2019.

The inauguration event took place on September 28, 2023, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Vice Mayor Weare Gratwick, City Councilwoman Lorri Christopher, Southwest Gwinnett Chamber (SWGC) Chairman Bill Diehl and Executive Director Beth Coffey attended the event.

Board members Margie Asef, Larry Benator and Patty Thumann were also present.

Since its start in 1999, Discount Waste, Inc., now transitioning to DW1, has been a provider of waste removal and job site solutions.

Serving a wide range of clients, from general contractors and retailers to commercial establishments, the company has always emphasized strong client relationships and service.

Outside of the business realm, CEO Ed Foye‘s commitment to societal change is evident with All Children, Inc. This initiative focuses on delivering essential resources, such as nutrition, education and shelter, to children with disabilities in developing countries.

To know more about this effort, visit AllChildren.org.

A representative from DW1 shared, “We were thrilled to welcome our employees and their families to the new location on September 28. To learn more about our company’s next chapter, please visit DW1.com.”

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New Retail Concepts Join Merchandise Collection at The Forum Peachtree Corners



As North American Properties (NAP) and Nuveen Real Estate (Nuveen) transform The Forum Peachtree Corners into a mixed-use development, several new businesses are joining the merchandise mix. 

National retailers that signed long-term leases include Lovesac, Petfolk and Stretchlab. Temporary license agreements were reached with Auburn Candle Company, The Baby Nook and Girl Tribe Co.

Meet the retailers

Lovesac – This company designs, manufactures and sells unique furniture that’s guaranteed for life. It offers modular couches called Sactionals, foam beanbag chairs called Sacs and associated home décor accessories, including home audio systems.

Upon opening next to Chico’s in spring 2024, Lovesac at The Forum will be the ninth location in Georgia and fourth in NAP’s portfolio. 

Petfolk – Founded by vets with decades of experience in clinical practice, Petfolk is an animal hospital and pet care center built with pets and their owners in mind. 

Veterinary services include exams, vaccinations, urgent care, nutrition, diagnostic testing, digital radiology and more. 

The Forum location opens this October by Chipotle, marking the brand’s second brick-and-mortar in metro Atlanta.

Stretchlab – Recognized for its customized, assisted-stretch sessions, Stretchlab is a wellness concept specializing in one-on-one routines led by nationally accredited flexologists. 

Using a proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) approach, paired with dynamic and static stretching, the team is able to identify tightness and imbalances in the body. They then build a custom routine for each client to develop a wider range of motion and flexibility. 

Stretchlab opens next to Club Pilates at The Forum this winter.

Auburn Candle Company – Established in 2020 and based out of Auburn, Alabama, Auburn Candle Company hand-crafts signature candles and fragrances, free from additives and dyes.

In addition to shopping for pre-poured candles as well as other bath, body and home goods, candle lovers can develop their own creations at the in-store pour bar. 

Its year-long pop-up at The Forum, opening in October, will be the company’s first venture in Georgia.  

The Baby Nook – A haven for anyone seeking baby essentials and gifts, The Baby Nook will feature a select collection of baby items that combine functionality, safety and aesthetic appeal. 

The year-long pop-up will open in October next to Soft Surroundings.

Girl Tribe Co. – NAP is expanding its existing relationship with Charlotte-based Girl Tribe Co. to bring a temporary store to The Forum from October 6 through December 31. 

Created by childhood best friends and co-founders Sarah Baucom and Carrie Barker, the brand offers a collection of clothing, graphic tees, accessories and lifestyle products.

A combination of proprietary products and items made by local female entrepreneurs will be available for purchase in Suite 505, next to HomeGoods. Girl Tribe Co. also plans to host a series of events, workshops and networking sessions during its stay at The Forum.

The Forum’s merchandise mix continues to grow

These forthcoming brands join KeenaBelaGifts We All Want and Go! Calendars, Toys, and Games as the latest additions to The Forum’s tenant collection. 

KeenaBela, an Atlanta-based, eco-friendly sleep, lounge and resort-wear brand, officially opened its year-long pop-up at The Forum last month. 

Additionally, specialty boutiques Gifts We All Want and Go! Calendars, Toys, and Games, have once again returned for the holiday season.

“We have seen a tremendous amount of interest from small, local business owners looking to grow their brands in a low-risk, incubator-style environment,” said Emily Narchus, director of ancillary revenue at NAP. 

“As our leasing and development teams continue moving forward on The Forum’s renaissance, we are excited to play a part in upgrading the center’s retail makeup.”

NAP is nearing completion on the north end plaza and anticipates an early fall delivery of the 1,700-square-foot greenspace. This is the first, and smaller, of two community-driven spaces being adding to the property as part of its overall redevelopment. 

Along with the ongoing retail improvements, renovations to the office lobby in building 5185, anchored by Trader Joe’s, are now complete. 

The Forum has partnered with the Peachtree Corners Photography Club to display and sell winning pieces from its first juried exhibition in the revamped entrance.

To stay up to date on the latest property news and happenings, follow The Forum on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or visit theforumpeachtree.com.

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