Gwinnett Place Mall
Gwinnett Place Mall in 2016
|Location||Duluth, Georgia, United States|
|Developer||Simon Property Group|
|Management||Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC|
|Owner||Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC|
|No. of anchor tenants||5 (3 open, 2 vacant)|
|Total retail floor area||1,278,000 sq ft (118,700 m2)|
|No. of floors||2|
|Public transit access||Gwinnett Transit Center|
Gwinnett Place Mall is an American regional shopping center located in Duluth, Georgia, in Gwinnett County. For the first 16 years, Gwinnett Place was the leading mall in the region, drawing shoppers from as far away as South Carolina and centering what was then one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation until the openings of Mall of Georgia in Buford and Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville.
When it first opened in early 1984, its original anchors were Rich's, Davison's and Sears. In 1986, Mervyn's joined the mall and Davison's was changed over to Macy's. Further anchor shuffling occurred in 1993 when Parisian joined the mall and Mervyn's left the mall in 1997, respectively. JCPenney took over the Mervyn's spot the following year. Macy's and Rich's merged in 2003 to form Rich's-Macy's until 2005 when the name was changed to just Macy's. With two Macy's in the mall, one was closed (the former Davison's) and MegaMart opened. In 2007, Parisian was renamed Belk. In these aspects, the mall developed on a very similar fashion as Town Center Mall on the northwest side of Atlanta, and were in many ways sister malls. However, one of the distinct features about Gwinnett Place Mall is the Macy's (former Rich's), which features an exterior almost entirely covered in mirrored glass.
The mall was seriously challenged by the opening of Mall of Georgia in 1999 and Sugarloaf Mills (formerly Discover Mills) in 2001 (both also owned by Simon) which both hurt Gwinnett Place Mall. Not only did the mall take a large part of its customer base and all of its out-of-state shoppers, but the mall was also unable to attract any new anchors for several years after the Macy's changed its location to the defunct Rich's on the other side of the mall. In 2008, Gwinnett Technical College opened an International Education Center there, where students enrolled at Gwinnett Technical College go to take foreign language classes, and other classes, such as general core (English, math, etc.). Recently, the Korean store Mega Mart opened a location in the former Macy's. Currently, a number of the mall's store fronts and spots in the food court are empty and for lease. However, Gwinnett Place has the only Sears near Gwinnett outside of Northlake Mall and North Point Mall, Cumberland Mall, and Town Center at Cobb. The recent downturn of the mall has led owner and manager Simon Property Group to lose the mall to foreclosure where it was acquired by retail rehab specialist, Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC. JCPenney closed April 4, 2015 and Beauty Master, the regional beauty department store purchased the former JCPenney building in March 2016. Belk closed in August 2013. It is expected to have some redevelopment but may close by 2020. In December 2017 the body of a 19-year-old woman was found in the back room of the food court, where it went unnoticed for weeks. On May 31, 2018, Sears announced that their location here would be closing in September 2018 as part of a plan to close 63 stores across the United States.
In February 2008, the former Davison's/Macy's became Mega Mart. Mega Mart at Gwinnett Place is the first of this Korean brand in the US. Mega Mart sells groceries. 
In popular culture
On July 16, 2018, streaming service Netflix released a teaser for the upcoming third season of its hit series Stranger Things. The ad was made in the style of a 1985 mall advertisement for the fictional "Starcourt Mall". In reality, the crew of Stranger Things did a cosmetic restoration of a portion of the Gwinnett Place Mall, returning authentic signage and storefronts to the mall to represent many businesses that have since ceased to exist. The transformation took place during May 2018, with production of the series taking place in the mall during the subsequent summer months.
- Coming Soon: The Starcourt Mall! Hawkins, Indiana (Stranger Things Season 3 Teaser | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXyju7zFwyE
- Gwinnett Place Mall Transformed for 'Stranger Things' Season 3 | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hWG5tnCj2g
- Ho, Rodney (May 11, 2018). "Gwinnett Place Mall goes back to the future for 'Stranger Things'". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 16, 2018.