Gwinnett County is developing a Unified Plan for 2040 to prepare for the enormous population growth projected in the county. In the next 22 years, Gwinnett's population will swell to approximately 1.5 million residents, making it the most populous county in Georgia. The Unified Plan grapples with how the County will accommodate all of those people in the diverse communities and cities in Gwinnett. Data gathered by Pond and the Bleakly Advisory Group showed stark differences in opinions about the future of the County, whether it should take a more urban form or preserve its traditional rural roots--32% in favor or urbanizing while 63% prefer Gwinnett's current suburban model.
The Unified Plan is also being framed as a guide for how to handle the County's shifting economic and employment base. Data compiled by Bleakly Advisory Group showed that while the Northern part of Gwinnett County saw employment grow nearly 20% over its pre-Recession peak, Southwestern Gwinnett's employment lagged 16.5% behind pre-Recession peaks. The industries with greatest projected growth in the County are Construction, Educational Services, Health Care and Social Assistance, and Public Administration.
Retail Trade, the County's largest sector by far in 2015 with over 51,000 jobs, is projected to grow much more slowly over the next 22 years than it has historically, a sign of the changing retail landscape in Gwinnett and across the US. "We have incredible parts of our county, but we've really kind of gone all in on retail in some communities," said Pond Senior Project Manager Eric Lusher. "We're probably going to have to make some hard decisions about the Mall of Georgia area."
To read more about Gwinnett's 2040 Unified Plan, click here.