by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The developer behind a proposed gambling complex in Gwinnett County is trying to sweeten the deal.
On Friday, developer Dan O’Leary announced he will donate nine acres of the land for a possible transit station onsite in Norcross. But, the project remains a tough sell.
Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh met with O’Leary at the proposed site off Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross.
O’Leary believes the project would create thousands of jobs, and the video gaming will generate $350 million a year for the HOPE scholarship. He said if the state or county needs some of the property to improve transportation, he’s got it.
An empty building is the centerpiece for the proposed complex that would include 7,500 video lottery terminals. O’Leary said it will include many more attractions including, “fine dining, shopping, a 5,000-seat performance entertainment venue."
Despite the promises touted, O’Leary has to convince Gov. Nathan Deal, whose office told Kavanaugh again on Friday he opposes any expansion of gambling in Georgia.
O’Leary hopes the nine acres will be an added incentive, “whether it's adding an additional lane for traffic, whether it's expanding land for the existing police precinct,” he said.
It could even include adding a Norcross transit stop for bus or even rail. Chuck Warbington with the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District said the results of a current Interstae-85 corridor study will determine what's needed.
"Having some sort of alternative mode here is going to be important to, not necessarily for the success of this project, but the success of this community," Warbington said.
But the success of the project does hinge on the approval of state and local leaders.
O'Leary said the first step in getting that approval comes Thursday. He will make his initial presentation on the project to the Georgia Lottery at their board meeting.