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ATLANTA-Metro’s Gwinnett County, no longer rural, is on the path to urban status, staffers in the county’s planning department tell GlobeSt.com. Internationally known Yamasaki Associates Inc., a Troy, MI-based architectural firm, has filed conceptual plans with the county for a mixed-use structure that would be the tallest in Gwinnett when completed.

According to the plans, Yamasaki wants to build a 25-story, 300-foot tall residential condominium community that would also have 112,000 sf of retail on four floors and a 10,000-sf garden atop a parking deck. The project would rise on a 4.7-acre tract at Steve Reynolds Boulevard and Singleton Road near Interstate 85. The tallest building in Gwinnett County is the 17-story, 187-foot tall Marriott Hotel at the Gwinnett Place Mall.

A Yamasaki spokesperson tells GlobeSt.com the company is still “working out development costs and other development details” for the so-far unnamed project. However, area construction sources familiar with comparable undertakings in metro Atlanta tell GlobeSt.com the venture will probably have a hard construction cost of about $200,000 per unit for the condos; about $100 per sf for the retail component; and about $10 million for the parking deck. That would place the estimated development cost at nearly $75 million, according to construction sources.

Yamasaki officials confirm they have contracted with Rowe Partners LP to buy the land for the project but a closing date for the deal hasn’t been set. Area industrial brokers tell GlobeSt.com the price of the dirt could be in the $80,000-per-acre range or an estimated total $376,000.

Sources in a position to know tell GlobeSt.com the project isn’t expected to break ground until 2007 with anticipated completion in 2008 or 2009 because of the approvals required by local, regional and state agencies. If approved, the condo component would be the densest residential project in Gwinnett County at 54 units per acre, county sources confirm.

Yamasaki Associates has a staff of 65 architects with satellite offices in Seoul, Beijing and Hong Kong. The company also plans to open an office in Dubai this year. Yamasaki’s 2005 revenue topped $5 million, according to its website. The company is co-owned by architects Robert Szanter and Tae Sun Hong.

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