Governor Brian Kemp, Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson launch Georgia's 2,000-acre Knowledge Community
Georgia's reputation as the nation's top state in which to do business is well established. But today, the state added another jewel in its crown as construction began on Rowen, a 2,000-acre, non-profit led knowledge community located in Gwinnett County, equidistant from Atlanta and Athens.
The Rowen Foundation hosted a formal groundbreaking and tree planting ceremony with more than 150 dignitaries on hand, including Governor Brian Kemp, Gwinnett Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson and Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux. During the ceremony, the Governor, Chairwoman, Congresswoman and others planted the first tree on site to signify the beginning of a growing, thriving community.
"Rowen offers Georgia something it has never had before: a foundation-led site that will house all kinds of businesses driven by innovation," said Governor Brian Kemp. "This project both connects our universities physically and also connects their programs, their research, and most importantly, their students. Because of the foresight of local and state leaders and the team at Rowen, Georgia and the world beyond will benefit from the ideas of the future in agriculture, environment, and medicine that will originate here."
A mixed-use community with the goal of bringing together entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators in the fields of agriculture, medicine and the environment and many supportive technologies, Rowen is poised to be a global leader in knowledge, innovation and collaboration while leveraging Gwinnett and Metro Atlanta's diverse workforce and unique location.
"We are blessed in Gwinnett County to have a wealth of economic opportunities that support innovation and job growth, but one of our greatest is Rowen, the first of its kind in Georgia," said Gwinnett County Commission Chair Nicole Hendrickson. "This groundbreaking is the culmination of key partners coming together over the past two years to lay the foundation for this vision initially set by my predecessors. This vision and foresight is the epitome of the Gwinnett Standard and I could not be more excited to see Rowen finally getting underway."
The site will eventually include more than 22 million square feet of lab, office and civic spaces alongside a mix of multi-family residential, cafes, start-up hubs, parks and public trails. Initial work will include horizontal infrastructure such as SITES-certified complete streets, trails, sidewalks and a variety of utilities. The new roads will create access to the Rowen Village area as well as medium- and low-density areas of the site for development.
"Breaking ground and planting our first tree allows us to begin the process of accelerating inspiring economic, educational and community growth in Georgia and beyond," said Rowen Foundation CEO and President Mason Ailstock. "The name Rowen alludes to a 'second harvest' and that is precisely what we plan to cultivate at this unique location. Rowen will be a trailblazer, connecting the land's past to future opportunities for collaboration and innovation."
At complete build out, Rowen is projected to bring nearly 100,000 jobs to Georgia, contributing $8-10 billion into the state's economy annually. The site will build on the land's rich history of environmental stewardship, while changing the economic and social trajectory of Gwinnett County and the state of Georgia for generations to come.
Further enhancing the core of Rowen's mission is its board of directors, which governs the Rowen Foundation, made up of leaders from the University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Georgia Gwinnett College and others that embrace the property's unique proposition for employers. Leading that board is Chair Sachin Shailendra, a long time for-profit and non-profit board leader and entrepreneur.
To learn more about Rowen, see updated renderings of the site and stay up-to-date on the construction progress, please visit rowenlife.com.