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SUGAR HILL, GA-Cincinnati-based North American Properties is planning to develop Sugar Hill MarketPlace, a 250,000-sf shopping center on 29 acres at the northeast corner of the intersection of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Tench Road. The center will feature up to five anchors, approximately 30,000 sf of small shop space and four outparcels.

North American Properties VP of development Jeff Garrison tells GlobeSt.com that groundbreaking is planned for late 2007 or early 2008 with an anticipated opening in spring 2009. Marketing efforts for the project have started, but no letters of intent or leases have yet been signed. A project cost has not yet been determined. “We are in discussions with five potential big box anchor tenants,” Garrison says.

The project is located in Gwinnett County where residential development has outpaced commercial development. “Gwinnett’s population is projected to be just shy of one million by 2030,” says Garrison. “But it’s the more than 750,000 current county residents that need retail now. In particular, the steady influx of new townhomes and houses in north Gwinnett has resulted in communities, like Sugar Hill, seeking retail amenities closer to home.”

Since 2000, Gwinnett County has grown by 168,656 residents, surpassing the population growth in 27 states and ranking it among the top 10 for overall population growth in the US. Within the zip code where the retail center will be located, the number of new homes sales increased 99.1% from 2004 to 2005 with an average sales price of $256,580, according to NAP. “Right now residents have to drive seven to nine miles to reach a retail node, so we’re filling a need,” Garrison says.

Infrastructure improvements near the project’s location have recently been completed. The extension of Tench Road establishes the western boundary of the development site, connecting Peachtree Industrial Boulevard with Brogdon Road. This corridor establishes a direct commercial artery between Suwanee and Sugar Hill.

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