SNELLVILLE – The City has approved its part an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that will create a City Market and new public library on Wisteria Drive.
The IGA was announced Monday and marks the first development step in the city’s Towne Center project which will create a vibrant, livable and walkable downtown.
“This is a major step in bringing the Towne Center vision to reality,” said Mayor Tom Witts. “With the help of Gwinnett County, the new City Market and Library will be a centerpiece of our ambitious plan to create a new downtown Snellville, one that will spur commercial and residential growth and be a catalyst for development in the city for decades to come.”
The City Market will house local merchants as well as restaurants. A state-of-the-art library is planned to be located on the first floor in the three-story building which opens onto Wisteria Drive with the City Market above.
“The parties agree it is in best interests of the staffs of both the City and County to jointly design this public asset and it is efficient and economical to combine these design projects to create an amenity that is in the best economic and cultural interests of their respective citizens,” the agreement reads.
The facility will be jointly owned and operated by both the City and County, with approximately one-third of the space to be occupied by the County as the Snellville Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library System and the remaining two-thirds to be used by the City as a public market, restaurants, retail shops and other public, civic or educational facilities.
Both parties will jointly contract for the design of the Library/Market with the City being responsible for providing funding for two-thirds of the design cost and the County providing funding for one-third of the design cost.
The costs associated with the facility and a construction timeline will be byproducts of the design process.
The facility will include an attached parking structure to be jointly owned and operated by the parties with the County bearing the costs of operation of the Library and the City being responsible for the costs of operating the Market.
The property on which the Library/Market is proposed to be constructed is currently owned by the City. City officials are currently in talks with potential private and public partners expected to lead to the building out of the planned Towne Center area.
The City will provide stormwater detention for the Library/Market in a regional stormwater effort and will be responsible for the designing, construction, operation and maintenance of the basin.
The City will design and build a parking structure to serve the Library (128 spaces) as well as other needs of the Towne Center.
The City and County will have 90 days to finalize their respective space requirements amongst themselves when the county adopts the agreement at its July 18 meeting. The County currently requires 22,000-square feet for the operation of a library. Within 60 days from the determination of the space requirements of both parties, the County and the City, will hire a qualified designer to design the Library/Market. The parties will cooperate with the designer to produce a design that will meet minimum LEED standards and is satisfactory to both parties before a separate agreement is developed for actual construction.