Peachtree Corners, Georgia
The Forum, the unofficial downtown of Peachtree Corners
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||30071, 30092, 30097, 30096, 30360|
Peachtree Corners is a city in western Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. It is a northern suburb of Atlanta, and is the largest city in Gwinnett County. Located east of Dunwoody and south of Johns Creek, Peachtree Corners is the only one of all of Atlanta's northern suburbs that was developed as a planned community.
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Prior to 1818, the western corner of what became Gwinnett County was Creek and Cherokee Indian Territory, and it was illegal for white families to settle there. However, there were several families of white squatters in the area before settlement was legalized, including Isham Medlock, whose name is lent to Medlock Bridge Road. In the early 1800s a road was built along an Indian trail from what is now Buford to what is now Atlanta. A small farming community known as Pinckneyville grew up along that road. By 1827, the community was home to the second school in Gwinnett County, The Washington Academy, founded on what is now Spalding Drive. The area was also home to a post office, saloon, blacksmith shop, carpenter shop and inn. However, the prosperity of Pinckneyville was to be short-lived. In 1870 a railroad was built through Norcross, and due to the heavy trading that could be done via the rail road, all of the area's businesses and residents moved from Pinckneyville to Norcross.
For the next century, the area remained a rural farming community. In the late 1960s, a businessman named Paul Duke pitched the idea of creating Peachtree Corners, a planned community to be constructed in the area that was once known as Pinckneyville. Duke envisioned a place where people could live, work, and play in the same quality controlled environment, thus diminishing the need for long commutes. In 1967, Duke initiated the planning of the office component of Peachtree Corners, Technology Park/Atlanta, a campus of low-rise buildings that would house low-pollution, high technology industries to employ engineers graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology. As a member of the Georgia Tech National Advisory Board, he persuaded 16 others to invest $1.7 million to develop a business center that would raise funds for Tech’s foundation and supply local jobs for graduates in high technology fields. In 1968, Duke established Peachtree Corners, Inc., and coaxed top developers from throughout the country to work within a stringent set of covenants and restrictions established to control the quality and type of residential development in the area.
The man who turned Paul Duke’s vision into executive neighborhoods in Peachtree Corners was Jim Cowart. Having developed and built homes in Dunwoody for years, Cowart came over to Peachtree Corners in the late 1970s, not as a home builder, but as a land developer. He determined from Gwinnett County where the sewer treatment lift station would be and went upstream and bought everything he could afford. The first neighborhood in Peachtree Corners that Jim Cowart developed was Spalding Corners. Chattahoochee Station had gone bankrupt, so Cowart took that property over from a bank and finished developing that neighborhood. He began Peachtree Station in 1979, which developed out at 726 homes. Cowart also developed River Station, Revington, Linfield, and Amberfield. The neighborhoods of Riverfield and Wellington Lake were developed by Jim’s son, Dan Cowart, who was also responsible for locating Wesleyan School in Peachtree Corners. In 1985, Cowart built the Farrell Creek sewer line, from the Wolf Creek pumping station to Farrell Creek, and up Farrell Creek to the east side of Highway 141. The line that allowed for the 1990s development of Amberfield, Linfield, Riverfield, Wesleyan School, and the businesses in Spalding Triangle office park, Check Free, and The Forum. Neely Farm was one of the last neighborhoods to be built in Peachtree Corners, and it is located on the former farm of Frank Neely that abuts the Chattahoochee River.
The United Peachtree Corners Civic Association (UPCCA), an umbrella group of neighborhood homeowners’ associations, was formed in 1993 in response to land use and overdevelopment concerns in the area. Despite the efforts of the UPCCA, development continued in Peachtree Corners throughout the 1990s, so that in 1999, the idea of incorporating Peachtree Corners was first proposed. However, due to the complexity of existing law, an incorporation movement never materialized. A city of Peachtree Corners was again proposed by the UPCCA in 2005 following the successful incorporation of neighboring Sandy Springs. Efforts were abandoned after a resident survey revealed the vast majority of citizens did not support incorporation.
Five years later, in 2010, it was announced that the UPCCA was pursuing the incorporation of Peachtree Corners. The decision to pursue incorporation was spurred by a failed attempt of the City of Norcross to annex a portion of Technology Park, which if successful would have prevented a city of Peachtree Corners from ever forming. In a referendum held on November 8, 2011, residents of Peachtree Corners voted to incorporate as Gwinnett County's 16th city, and, with a population of 34,274, its largest. Municipal operations began on July 1, 2012.
Peachtree Corners is defined as the area bordered by the cities of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs (DeKalb and Fulton counties) on the west, Buford Highway and Norcross city limits on the south, Johns Creek (also in Fulton) at the Chattahoochee River on the north, and the city limits of Berkeley Lake and Duluth on the east.
Districts and neighborhoods
- The Forum: The Forum is a 580,000-square-foot (54,000 m2), mixed-use development located in central Peachtree Corners at the intersection of Peachtree Corners Circle and Peachtree Parkway. The Forum features some of the country's most popular fashion retailers, home furnishings and home accessory merchants that are typically found in regional and super-regional malls throughout the United States. Since Peachtree Corners lacks a traditional town center, the Forum has taken on the role and acts as a main street and defacto downtown for the community.
- Simpsonwood-Spalding Corners: The historic core of Peachtree Corners is a large residential district that is bordered by Peachtree Parkway, the Chattahoochee River, Holcomb Bridge, and East Jones Bridge Road. There are numerous subdivisions within the area, many of which are located along the banks of the Chattahoochee. The area is home to three recreational areas - the public Jones Bridge Park and Holcomb Bridge Park, and the private Simpsonwood Conference and Retreat Center. All of the neighborhoods are zoned to either Simpson Elementary School, Gwinnett County's top elementary school, or Peachtree Elementary School, as well as Pinckneyville Middle School. This area is sometimes referred to as "Paul Duke's Peachtree Corners," as it is the original community as planned and developed by Paul Duke.
- Technology Park: Technology Park is a major suburban office park developed in the 1960s and 70s and an instrumental player in the creation of Peachtree Corners. Featuring 500 acres (2.0 km2) dedicated to creating a supportive environment for companies involved in the world of technology, with 3,800,000 square feet (350,000 m2) developed to date, there are 7,000 plus tenants that call Technology Park home. Entrances include two on Peachtree Parkway and one on Spalding Drive.
- Winters Chapel: Winters Chapel is located at Peachtree Corners' border with Dunwoody. The area shares a name with its main road, which travels through Fulton, Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties and was an important 19th century route connecting Decatur and Roswell via Holcomb Bridge Road. The district is named after Winters Chapel (now Winters Chapel Methodist Church), which has resided at its present location since the 1870s. The church itself is named after an instrumental founder, Jeremiah Winters.
Since Peachtree Corners was not a city (nor even a census-designated place) at the time, no demographic data is available for the city from the 2010 U.S. Census. However, the city contains the entirety of ZIP code 30092, which in 2004 had an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of $70,724. The median home price in 2007 was $368,408. As of 2000, 30092 was 70% white, 13% black, 9% Asian, 4% some other race, and 2% two or more races. Hispanics of any race made up 9% of the population. Zip code 30092 had a population of 31,704 at the 2010 census which is also the population of Peachtree Corners.
The economy of Peachtree Corners is largely driven by the concentration of businesses, particular engineering firms and information technology companies, located in the city's nearly 8 million square feet of office buildings. The evolution of Peachtree Corners as an Atlanta-area office submarket began in the 1960s with the development of Technology Park, metro Atlanta's first successful office, research and development center. Indeed, Technology Park remains a center of activity for the city's economy.
The city of Peachtree Corners will provide only land-use planning and zoning services, code enforcement and trash collection, leaving other services, such as police, fire protection, and parks to be provided by Gwinnett County.
The United States Postal Service operates the Peachtree Corners Post Office. Despite this, as of December 2012[update], the Peachtree Corners ZIP code 30092 is still listed as Norcross by default. Any correction is unlikely to occur for at least a few months after incorporation, since neighboring Sandy Springs' 30328 (also entirely within that city, created in 2005) was not made "acceptable" until 2006, with "Atlanta" still being the default as of 2012. There is also the zip code 30360, which will be included in the new city of Peachtree Corners. This area is currently identified as "Atlanta" but its current post office is located in Doraville, GA.
The county operates Gwinnett County Public Schools and Berkley Lake Elementary School, Peachtree Elementary School, Simpson Elementary School, Stripling Elementary School, Duluth Middle School, Pinckneyville Middle School, Duluth High School and Norcross High School serve the area.
- Georgia State Route 141: Connects Peachtree Corners to Interstate 285
- Georgia State Route 140: Connects Peachtree Corners to Georgia State Route 400 and Interstate 85
- Spalding Drive: Connects Peachtree Corners to Dunwoody and Sandy Springs
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