Metro Atlanta Redevelopment Summit (MARS) Recognizes Top Projects, Honors Shirley Franklin as ‘Redevelopment Champion of the Year’

Tuesday, November 7th, 2023

The Metro Atlanta Redevelopment Summit (MARS) – cohosted by Partnership Gwinnett and the Council for Quality Growth - featured an inside look at upcoming redevelopment projects from around the region. The program also offered insight into trends affecting the industry, networking and best practices from successful redevelopment projects, and the presentation of the annual MARS Awards.

Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson provided opening remarks, followed by panel discussions from local redevelopment leaders and partners in the 11-county metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Keynote Speaker David Dixon, Vice President and Fellow of Stantec’s Urban Places, shared insights on the concept of revitalizing communities and touched on best practices in new, mixed-use urban districts and downtowns.

The event also recognized and honored pinnacle achievements in redevelopment within the MSA. Winners named to this year’s MARS Awards Hall of Fame included:

  • Redevelopment Champion of the Year and former Mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin
  • Small Redevelopment Project of the Year StillFire Brewing and Station Park in Suwanee
  • Medium Redevelopment Project of the Year Village Green Park in Smyrna
  • Large Redevelopment Project of the Year Pullman Yards in Dekalb County

“This program highlights innovative projects throughout the region that are transforming communities and driving economic prosperity,” said Deven Cason, Vice President of Economic Development for Partnership Gwinnett. “Redevelopment often requires public-private partnerships which are proven to be catalyzing agents to long-term growth and sustainability for every community; we are honored to bring focus to where this work is being done in metro Atlanta and congratulate this year’s winners.”

The event was held at the John C. Maxwell Leadership Center at 12Stone Church in Duluth and welcomed more than 150 attendees in the industry. Sponsors included Gateway85 Community Improvement District (CID), C2H Air & Electric, Primerica, Brand Real Estate Services, Evermore CID, Gas South, Gwinnett Place CID, Jackson EMC, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US, City of Peachtree Corners, City of Sugar Hill, Sugarloaf CID, Womble Bond Dickinson, Geo Hyrdo Engineers, Garrard Construction, and the City of Suwanee.

For more information on revitalization and redevelopment efforts in the region, please visit