Peachtree Corners, Georgia is the largest city in Gwinnett County, with an estimated population of 42,773 in 2016. The city, bordered to the north and west by the Chattahoochee River, is located east of Dunwoody and south of Johns Creek. Peachtree Corners is the only one of Atlanta's northern suburbs that was developed as a planned community.
Prior to 1818, the western corner of what became Gwinnett County was Creek and Cherokee Indian Territory, and it was illegal for white families to settle there.
Nevertheless, there were several families of white squatters in the area before settlement was legalized, including Isham Medlock, whose name is lent to Medlock Bridge Road. In the early 1800s a road was built along a Native American trail from what is now Buford to what is now Atlanta. A small farming community known as "Pinckneyville" grew up along that road. By 1827, the community was home to the second school in Gwinnett County, the Washington Academy, founded on what is now Spalding Drive. The area was also home to a post office, saloon, blacksmith shop, carpenter shop and inn. The prosperity of Pinckneyville was to be short-lived, however. In 1870 a railroad was built through Norcross, and due to the heavy trading that could be done via the railroad, all of the area's businesses and many residents moved from Pinckneyville to Norcross.
For the next century, the area remained a rural farming community. In the late 1960s, Paul Duke developed the idea of creating Peachtree Corners, a planned community to be constructed in the area that was once known as Pinckneyville.
In 1967, Duke initiated the planning of the office component of Peachtree Corners, Technology Park Atlanta, a campus for high technology industries to employ engineers graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology. As a member of the Georgia Tech National Advisory Board, he raised $1.7 million to develop the business center. Initial residents of the tech park included GE, Scientific Atlanta (now part of Cisco Systems), and Hayes Microcomputer Products. In 1968, Duke established Peachtree Corners, Inc., a development corporation for the residential parts of the community.
The United Peachtree Corners Civic Association (UPCCA), an umbrella group of neighborhood homeowners' associations, was formed in 1993 in response to land use and overdevelopment concerns in the area. Despite the efforts of the UPCCA development continued in Peachtree Corners throughout the 1990s; therefore, in 1999, the idea of incorporating Peachtree Corners was first proposed. It failed and would take several years to resurface.
In 2010 the UPCCA again pursued the incorporation of Peachtree Corners after a failed attempt by the city of Norcross to annex a portion of Technology Park. In a referendum held on November 8, 2011, residents of Peachtree Corners voted to incorporate as Gwinnett County's 16th city, and, with a population of 40,059, making Peachtree Corners its largest. Municipal operations began on July 1, 2012.
The economy of Peachtree Corners is largely driven by the concentration of businesses in planned office parks, particularly engineering firms, logistics organizations and information technology companies.
In October 2014, United Arab Shipping Company relocated its North American Headquarters to Peachtree Corners. The company purchased a 50,000 square foot office building on Spalding Drive for logistics, accounting and customer service operations. In 2017 it merged with Hapag-Lloyd, keeping the headquarters in Peachtree Corners. In May 2016, Comcast Corporation, the American global telecommunications conglomerate that is the largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world by revenue, relocated its Southeast Headquarters to the Wells Building, a 10-story office building in Peachtree Corners.
Some other businesses in Peachtree Corners include Sprint Corporation, Siemens Industry Automation, Fleetcor, ACI Worldwide, and CMD Group among the over 2,300 businesses currently calling Peachtree Corners home.
Peachtree Corners has a New Startup Incubator (named Prototype Prime) that was opened by the city in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology Advanced Technology Development Center to provide office space, workspace, a podcast room, event space, a design and development lab, and access to education, tools, venture capitalists and other requirements to help software and hardware technology entrepreneurs launch and scale their startups.
Peachtree Corners is not all business, it has multiple parks including the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area along the Chattahoochee River at Medlock Bridge, Holcomb Bridge Park, Jones Bridge Park with river access, Pinckneyville Park, and the 227-acre Simpsonwood Park that has 2,140 linear feet of river frontage along the Chattahoochee River. The city’s Parks have recreational amenities, athletic fields, nature trails, picnic areas, meeting buildings and restrooms.
Gwinnett County Public Schools serve Peachtree Corners through Duluth High School, Norcross High School, Duluth Middle School, Pinckneyville Middle School, Simpson Elementary School, Peachtree Elementary School, and Berkeley Lake Elementary School.
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