After two years of construction, the curtain has been lifted on a $45-million arts complex that’s expected to provide Gwinnett County’s 200-year-old county seat with an economic jolt, while activating a former parking lot with a series of plazas and contemporary architecture.

Spanning 56,000 square feet, the Lawrenceville Performing Arts Center spans a full block of street frontage facing the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, a landmark that’s stood since 1885.  

Its marquee attraction, the Aurora Theatre, is Georgia’s second largest professional theater company and Gwinnett’s only pro performing arts organization. It’s credited with attracting more than 80,000 visitors annually to Lawrenceville’s growing downtown.

After breaking ground in summer 2019, the arts center now features the 500-seat theater, Cabaret, indoor and outdoor civic spaces, plus rooms for offices and classes. A space next door is left for future development.

All told, the public-private venture cost $45 million, with Lawrenceville footing the bulk of expenses. 

Beyond the award-winning theater, the city-owned, Stevens & Wilkinson-designed complex will host touring band performances, headliner shows, city events, corporate meetings, and other gatherings. Have a gander in the gallery above.

Renewed optimism abounds, but what should Gwinnett Place Mall become? (Urbanize Atlanta)