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ATLANTA-Cousins Properties Inc. is on its way to developing its seventh Avenue-brand, mixed-use product. Despite vocal protests from area residents, Gwinnett County commissioners have voted 4-0 to approve rezoning a 56.6-acre tract near suburban Snellville for Cousins’ planned $34-million, 426,000-sf, open-air AvenueWebb Gin. A ground-breaking date hasn’t been set.

The project will have 356,000 sf of retail and 70,000 sf of office, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. The development site is at Webb Gin House Road, just east of GA 124 (Scenic Highway). Two tracts on opposite sides of Webb Gin House Road are involved in the rezoning process. One tract is 32 acres; the other, 24.6 acres.

Residents from nearby subdivisions failed to sway county commissioners by their concerns of heightened traffic volume, and increased noise and air pollution. Cousins officials have told the county they will make road improvements to speed up the traffic flow leading to and from the development site.

Cousins had initially proposed 315,832 sf of retail; 32,800 sf of office; and 139 townhomes. Bowing to neighborhood opposition to the entire project, Cousins eliminated the residential component of Avenue Webb Gin and increased the retail and office segments of the project.

The development application process for the project was closely watched by area residents, developers and planners in the last several months. Prior to the county commission vote, Cousins had won a 7-2 vote from the county’s planning commission and had been reviewed and received approvals from three of the area’s most influential development agencies–the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and the Gwinnett Department of Transportation.

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