One year ago, on Dec. 9, 2022, Gov. Brian Kemp was joined by Gwinnett Chairwoman, Nicole Hendrickson and Former Congresswoman, Carolyn Bourdeaux in attending the Groundbreaking Ceremony to plant the first tree at Rowen.

A spokesperson for the Rowen Foundation describes how they were accompanied by, “hundreds of leaders and dignitaries at the ceremony,” and that since then, “grubbing, clearing and grading has been completed for much of the project’s first phase of infrastructure, which includes more than two miles of environmentally friendly complete streets, paths and sidewalks.”

December 2023 marks the one year anniversary of the transformative project set to spark a new era of sustainability through intersectional applications of medicine, agriculture and environmental science.

The endeavor is expected to create over 18,000 jobs by the year 2035, as well as space for educational and collaborative opportunities, expanded community, and access to extraordinary greenspace.

The Foundation cites that, “tremendous progress has been made on the 2,000 acre site, with Phase 1 infrastructure on track for completion in 2024.”

Rowen says this progress includes the paving of nearly half of the intended roadways thanks to tremendous efforts to secure, move, and balance “more than 4 million pounds of rock and 37,000 cubic yards of dirt” at the site. The Foundation gives accolades to the intensive labor efforts, citing how thanks to “more than 36,000 man hours of work, the bioretention pond, curb and gutter installation, and storm drainage have all been installed.”

“We are extremely pleased with the exciting progress we’ve seen on-site and even more importantly with the progress we have made building relationships with economic development leaders from across the nation,” remarked Rowen Foundation CEO and President Mason Ailstock.

He continued on to say, “While many have believed in our vision, having the opportunity to see the site activated and to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us is creating tremendous energy with our neighbors and prospects. Rowen offers a tremendous opportunity to bring innovation-focused jobs and economic development to our region, the entire state and beyond.”

The endgame of this project is expected to bring around 100,000 jobs to the state of Georgia, significantly impacting the state’s economy by bringing in $8 billion to $10 billion each year.

With efforts to apply sustainable building approaches throughout the developments, the Foundation partnered with five of Georgia’s higher education institutions to serve on their board; these include:

  • Emory University
  • Georgia Gwinnett College
  • The Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Spelman College
  • University of Georgia

According to Partnership Gwinnett Vice President of Economic Development, Deven Cason, “Rowen will be pivotal to not only the economic development of Gwinnett, but the state as a whole. Watching the project actually come to life with such an abundant history and impactful future ahead has been an honor. We are eager to continue championing Rowen and its future success.”

The overarching aim of both building community and bridging expertise has brought in individuals and groups from many sectors including entrepreneurs, research and innovation experts in fields like agriculture, medicine, and the environment, as well as other technological advisers.

All of these attributes compound in poising Rowen to emerge as a global thought leader in collaborative achievement, innovative knowledge, and the promotion of a diverse and community-based skilled labor pool in an area spanning from Metro Atlanta to Hall County to Athens-Clarke County,

For readers who wish to stay informed on their progress in real time, in areas such as construction and beyond, stay tuned to their website at

Notable facts about the Rowen project:

  • Rowen has been instrumental in preserving and conserving 2,000 acres of land beside Highway 316 in Gwinnett County.
  • Part of their vision is to provide an intellectual and physical space for collaboration among more than 50 educational and research institutions.
  • Their novel approach and “multi-use concept” as they describe it will be used to catalyze new and advancing discoveries in the sciences of agriculture, medicine, and environmental science.
  • Their goal is to expand upon the area’s already rich history of dutiful environmental stewardship in a manner which advances the local economic sector and community for generations to come in Gwinnett County.



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