Buford is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia. Most of the city is in Gwinnett County, which is part of the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area. The portions of the city in Hall County are not part of Atlanta’s metropolitan statistical area, but are part of Atlanta’s larger Combined Statistical Area, which includes Hall County. Buford, as with the rest of Gwinnett County, has a sales tax of 6%, which is a combination of the 4% state sales tax and a 2% local tax. In 2008, CNN Money ranked Buford as number 3 in its annual “100 best places to live and start a business” list. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Buford’s economy was centered on both its location as a railway stop and its leather industry, until demand for leather declined and other transportation options became more readily available over the course of the 1900s, and these industries were no longer a viable part of Buford’s economy by the 1980s.
According to the U.S. Census’s American Community Survey 2007-2011 5-year estimate, around 65% of Buford’s population that are 16 years or older are in the labor force. Of these, around 59% are employed, and 6% are unemployed. The power tool manufacturer Makita operates a factory in Buford with 400 employees. The North American division of Takeuchi Manufacturing was located in Buford from 1999 until 2006, when the company moved to a larger facility in Pendergrass, Georgia. The Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center is a museum and cultural center completed in August 2006 and is located in Buford. The center was created to educate children about both water and environmental resources as well as Gwinnett’s cultural heritage, including the county’s Cherokee and Creek cultures. The Chesser-Williams House, a historic home which is believed to predate the 1850s and one of the oldest wooden-frame houses in Gwinnett county, was moved to the museum to become part of the museum’s cultural exhibits. Buford Community Center is a multi-purpose facility that was completed in 2012. Located across the street from Buford City Hall, the Buford Community Center has a 290-seat stage theatre, an outdoor amphitheater, and several spaces for meetings, banquets, and weddings.
FOREVER FLAWLESS Store-Mall of Georgia
he Forever Flawless Store is located in the Mall of Georgia, an enclosed super-regional shopping mall located in Gwinnett County, Georgia, near the city of Buford, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Atlanta. Built in 1999, it is currently the largest shopping mall in the state of Georgia, consisting of more than two hundred stores on three levels. The mall’s anchor stores include Belk, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Macy’s and Von Maur (opening October 1, 2016), other major stores include Barnes & Noble, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Haverty’s. Also, located in the Mall of Georgia Crossing is Nordstrom Rack, T.J. Maxx, andTarget. Also featured in the mall is a large village section, comprising lifestyle tenants and restaurants in an outdoor setting, as well as a 500-seat amphitheater. The mall attracts many high end stores such as Armani Exchange, Swarovski, Clarks, J.Crew, Guess, bebe, and Aveda. Simon Property Group manages the Mall of Georgia.
The Mall of Gerogia opened August 13, 1999 featuring Dillard’s, JCPenney, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom as its anchor stores, with Bed Bath & Beyond, Haverty’s, and Galyan’s (now Dick’s Sporting Goods) as additional mini anchors. The Mall of Georgia also has a 20 Regal Cinema and an IMAX Theater, which is 1 of at least 5 in the State of Georgia; other IMAX theaters are located at Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, The National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning and Regal Augusta Exchange Stadium 20, AMC Southlake 24 in Morrow & IMAX in Augusta. In 2000, Atlanta-based Rich’s was added on, and many more mall stores were added, bringing the total number of stores in the mall to more than 200. Lord & Taylor closed in 2003, and was replaced with Belk in 2005. Following Federated Department Stores’ (now Macy’s, Inc.) decision to consolidate nameplates 2003, the Rich’s store at Mall of Georgia was dual-branded as Rich’s-Macy’s, and the Rich’s name was dropped entirely in 2005. Nordstrom announced the closure of its Mall of Georgia store in October 2014, and closed on Saturday February 28, 2015. Von Maur is currently renovating the 165,000-square-foot- two story anchor tenant and will occupy that space by the fall of 2016.
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