North American Properties VP of development Jeff Garrison tellsGlobeSt.com that groundbreaking is planned for late 2007 or early2008 with an anticipated opening in spring 2009. Marketing effortsfor the project have started, but no letters of intent or leaseshave yet been signed. A project cost has not yet been determined."We are in discussions with five potential big box anchor tenants,"Garrison says.

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The project is located in Gwinnett County where residentialdevelopment has outpaced commercial development. "Gwinnett'spopulation is projected to be just shy of one million by 2030,"says Garrison. "But it's the more than 750,000 current countyresidents that need retail now. In particular, the steady influx ofnew townhomes and houses in north Gwinnett has resulted incommunities, like Sugar Hill, seeking retail amenities closer tohome."

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Since 2000, Gwinnett County has grown by 168,656 residents,surpassing the population growth in 27 states and ranking it amongthe top 10 for overall population growth in the US. Within the zipcode where the retail center will be located, the number of newhomes sales increased 99.1% from 2004 to 2005 with an average salesprice of $256,580, according to NAP. "Right now residents have todrive seven to nine miles to reach a retail node, so we're fillinga need," Garrison says.

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Infrastructure improvements near the project's location haverecently been completed. The extension of Tench Road establishesthe western boundary of the development site, connecting PeachtreeIndustrial Boulevard with Brogdon Road. This corridor establishes adirect commercial artery between Suwanee and Sugar Hill.

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