One Year Later, Rowen is Making Tremendous Progress
Published in the Gwinnett Daily Post
January 2024: It’s been just over a year since the Rowen Foundation hosted its formal groundbreaking and tree-planting ceremony to mark the beginning of Georgia’s first-ever foundation-led knowledge community. Since then, we have continued to see tremendous progress on the 2,000-acre site, with Phase 1 infrastructure on track for completion in 2024.
On Dec. 9, 2022, Governor Brian Kemp and Gwinnett Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson joined more than 100 leaders and dignitaries at our groundbreaking ceremony where the first tree was planted on-site. Since then, grubbing, clearing and grading has been completed for much of the project’s first phase of infrastructure, which includes more than two miles of environmentally responsible complete streets, paths and sidewalks. Nearly half of those roadways have been paved, requiring more than 4 million pounds of rock and 37,000 cubic yards of dirt to be moved.
Thanks to more than 36,000 hours of work, the bioretention pond, curb and gutter installation, and storm drainage have been installed for much of the two miles of roadway. We are also proud to be working closely with Gwinnett County and the Georgia Department of Transportation to ensure our vision contributes to the expansive regional vision for connectivity.
We are extremely pleased with the exciting progress we’ve seen on-site, and even more importantly with the progress we have made building relationships with economic development leaders in Georgia and across the nation as we recruit jobs to and create economic impact for our state. While many have believed in our vision, seeing that vision become a reality as our beautiful site is activated is creating tremendous energy with prospects.
Our focus is clear: we are seeking entrepreneurs, researchers, corporations and innovators in the fields of agriculture, medicine, the environment and the many aligned technologies.
Our partners at the state and with Gwinnett County are vital to this effort. At full buildout, Rowen will create over 80,000 new jobs and generate over $8 billion in economic output for our state. A key differentiator is the uniquely qualified and diverse labor pool that stretches from Metro Atlanta into Hall and Athens-Clarke counties and is anchored in Gwinnett.
Our jobs are as diverse as the population that will work at Rowen. We will need everyone, from high school graduates and those with a certificate from our technical college system to those boasting degrees from our HBCUs and research universities. In fact, five of Georgia’s top institutions of higher education are engaged as Rowen Foundation board members, including Emory University, Georgia Gwinnett College, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Spelman College and the University of Georgia.
As we close out the first year of construction, the Rowen Foundation is grateful to Gwinnett County, the leadership of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and the Rowen Foundation Board of Directors, as well as our amazing staff and team for their tireless support. We’re also thankful to the community and our higher education partners who have worked tirelessly alongside the foundation as we’ve brought Rowen to life.
We have amazing work ahead in 2024 and beyond, and we hope you will join us for the journey.