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August 18, 2021

Bourdeaux Announces Legislation to Revitalize Area Malls

DULUTH, GA — Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) held a press conference at the largely unoccupied Gwinnett Place Mall to announce her new legislation aimed at redeveloping dilapidated malls. This bill is the latest measure in Congresswoman Bourdeaux’s ongoing initiative to FutureFit the Suburbs. 

“According to one analysis, within three to five years, 25 percent of nearly 1,200 indoor malls around the country will close. Suburban renewal is going to require creative strategies to tackle these situations. Abandoned or struggling malls mean we have many acres of semi-blighted land or ‘grayfields’ in the middle of our communities,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux “This bill will provide critical resources to leverage private funds to redevelop these malls and will help stitch the fabric of our communities back together.”

“The GREATER Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act of 2021 exemplifies what it means to reimagine and modernize infrastructure in a way that best serves communities,” said Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance. “By leveraging funding and partnering with the public and private sectors to repurpose these vacant sites, we open the door for breathing life into communities through the intentional redevelopment of physical spaces that not only have the potential to provide vital resources, but also create jobs and generate economic growth. I am proud to join and support Congresswoman Bourdeaux in this effort to redevelop aging malls for the betterment of communities across the nation.” 

“ICSC commends Rep. Bourdeaux for bringing forth the GREATER Revitalization Act of 2021. It is more important than ever for localities to have the tools to provide additional financing to adapt underutilized properties,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “This legislation will not only create jobs but will also help stabilize the ad valorem tax whereby strengthening communities across the country.”

“The National Development Council, the nation’s first community development organization, is pleased to endorse the Grayfield Redevelopment and Economic Advancement Through Effective Repurposing, (GREATER) Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act of 2021. We congratulate Congresswoman Carolyn Boudreaux for her leadership on this important issue,” said Dan Marsh, President of the National Development Council. 

The Grayfield Redevelopment and Economic Advancement Through Effective Repurposing, (GREATER) Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act would create a grant subsidy program in conjunction with the Section 108 loan guarantee program to encourage the public and private sectors to work together to invest in and redevelop these former economic hubs. Grant subsidies have previously been provided in conjunction with Section 108 loans through the Economic Development Initiative program in the 1990s, which showed great promise in increasing utilization of the Section 108 program and expanding local governments’ access to flexible redevelopment capital. Congresswoman Bourdeaux was joined by Gwinnett County Commission Chair Nicole Love Hendrickson, and Gwinnett County Community Improvement District Director Joe Allen.

Read the legislative one-pager here.

Read the bill.

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Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux lives with her family in Suwanee, Georgia and represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the 117th Congress. Carolyn is a strong advocate for affordable health care, an economic recovery that puts workers and small businesses first, and investing in her district’s world-class public education system and transportation infrastructure.  

Georgia’s fast-changing 7th Congressional District includes portions of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area, including portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties and cities Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Sugar Hill, Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn, Suwanee, Grayson, and Buford