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Atlanta has become recognized as one of the country’s most innovative and welcoming technology hubs in recent years. However, not many people realize that the metro area’s high-tech roots actually lie just over 20 miles north of the City of Atlanta in the southwest corner of Gwinnett County. It’s there— situated on 17 square miles of land—that Peachtree Corners has grown from a small rural community into a burgeoning, bustling city that’s home to more than 45,000 residents and some of the world’s most disruptive technology companies. In fact, the city, which officially was founded on July 1, 2012, has become known for its exceptional balance of outstanding economic activity and unparalleled quality of life.
Business as Usual
The vision for Peachtree Corners dates to the 1960s when successful businessman Paul Duke pitched the idea of creating a planned technology-based community that would include a campus of low-rise buildings designed to be a center of business innovation and house an array of fledgling high-tech companies. Duke’s idea was to keep Georgia Tech graduates in the State of Georgia by attracting businesses across the tech sector, and he saw great potential in the area that was once known as Pinckneyville in Northeast Georgia. He looked to North Carolina’s renowned Technology Triangle for inspiration, and Technology Park Atlanta was born. By the early 1970s, the center was up and running, having attracted such names as Scientific Atlanta — and now Cisco and Hayes Microcomputer — to the area, as well as a growing residential base of engineers and scientists. Today, the 500-acre Technology Park Atlanta continues to thrive and is home to a host of Fortune 500 businesses. It also serves as the center of what is now being called “Silicon Orchard.”
As part of the renovation effort that began several years ago, the city created the Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, a 5G-enabled living laboratory for startups and established companies to deploy and test developing technologies in a real-world testing environment. The lab, which is a nonprofit associated with the city, helps to support public-private partnerships and features smart city infrastructure on a three-mile roadway called the “city street of the future”, which includes an autonomous vehicle test lane and multiple smart city technologies including C-V2X, LiDAR, solar roadway, a 25,000-square-foot innovation center and more. The overall testing environment found at Curiosity Lab has attracted several partners, including T-Mobile, Cisco, Georgia Tech, Bosch, UPS, Georgia Power and many other corporations. Domestic and international companies and startups can test their technologies in Curiosity Lab’s ecosystem free of charge, making the lab a very exciting part of the growing entrepreneurial community.
Over the years, Peachtree Corners has received national and international recognition for its dedication to being a pioneering technology hub and an economic development engine that helps support more than 45,000 jobs for residents throughout the city and across the area. For instance, the city and Curiosity Lab were awarded a Smart 50 Award for “Defining the Blueprint for Smart Cities in the U.S.” Additionally, Peachtree Corners received the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Smart Cities 2022 Jury Award for creating one of the most unique and advanced smart city ecosystems in the world. The Curiosity Lab was also named a winner in the 2023 IDC Government Insights’ sixth annual Smart Cities North America Awards in the economic development category.
Living the Life
Peachtree Corners’ impressive economic development initiatives have allowed the city to grow at an unprecedented rate, and it now is the largest city in Gwinnett County. It also is known as a family-friendly municipality that offers excellent residential options, access to an outstanding school system and a lifestyle that includes shopping, dining and recreation opportunities for residents and visitors of all ages.
To start, Peachtree Corners offers a variety of housing types, with single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily residences and senior communities. Many of the areas of the city are walkable, and pedestrian mobility is expanding regularly with newly added sections to the local multi-use trail system. Of course, at the heart of Peachtree Corners’ welcoming atmosphere is the 21-acre Town Center, which offers shopping, restaurants, space for outdoor concerts, an elevated teak deck that overlooks the Town Green, children’s play structures and much more. The popular spot often plays host to free weekend entertainment and an array of activities, and the entire city is seeing a real renaissance with an increase in retail and dining options. Additionally, The Forum shopping center is a popular place for shoppers and another excellent location for spending time with family and friends.
Outside of the Town Center, locals and guests to the area can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, tennis and swimming amidst the lush landscape and mature trees of the area, as well as access to the Chattahoochee River and several parks. Peachtree Corners also welcomes everyone to an array of festivals, parades and events throughout the year. All of the offerings are part of the city’s efforts to provide a true sense of community in a location that is the epitome of a dream realized in metro Atlanta.
For more information, visit peachtreecornersga.gov.