Sugar Hill Strives to Create a Destination Downtown

June 13, 2017

This article appeared in the June 2017 issue of the Georgia's Cities newspaper.
Quantum National Bank Concert Series
Residents and visitors to Sugar Hill enjoy the Quantum National Bank Concert Series.

Over the past 10 years, Sugar Hill city officials have built on their downtown vision with great help from community input and participation. This input has served as the backbone of the city’s first downtown master plan. Sugar Hill city leaders have also made key downtown investments to help implement this vision. Through experience, leaders realized that these investments don’t happen by accident, but where planning is clear and promising. These investments include a community plaza, splash park behind city hall and an amenity pond, which also serves as a downtown stormwater facility. The “E Center” is now under construction and will bring an indoor performing arts theater, a gymnasium and 40,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space that will overlook the centerpiece of this vision and masterplan: “The Bowl.”  

The Bowl, which was named this year as the Best Gwinnett Concert Venue by Gwinnett Magazine, now offers the Quantum National Bank Concert Series. This series is another example of the city’s efforts to create a “destination downtown.”

“This year’s concert series caters to a large and varied demographic and provides a little something for everyone, right here in our own backyard,” said Sugar Hill Marketing and Communications Coordinator Varessa Butts.

With acts like Collective Soul, Boz Scaggs, KC & The Sunshine Band, Josh Turner, Ben Folds and Atlanta Rhythm Section, Sugar Hill has garnered interest from across the country.  City leaders believe one of the returns on investment in the concert series is the enhanced brand visibility for the city.

“The city is literally sitting at the crossroads of commerce yet many people and businesses still don’t know where Sugar Hill is or what it has to offer,” said Butts. “The leaders at Sugar Hill are certainly changing that mindset.”

The city’s efforts to improve the quality of life for all also includes festivals and a large outdoor ice rink, which have helped to activate Sugar Hill’s downtown each day of the year.  These investments and the resulting downtown activation have attracted over $250 million of private sector projects planned for construction around the city’s “Bowl” and “E Center.” 

Mayor Steve Edwards proudly proclaims the city’s motto of “Go Big or Go Home” whenever he can—and Sugar Hill officials and community members have joined together to put this motto to action.  

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