It would be hard to imagine Peachtree Corners without Technology Park.
Its 3.8 million square feet of office space spread over 500 acres, provides a creative and esthetically pleasing working environment for 7,000 employees who operate 500 companies involved in changing modern day technology.
Travelers Insurance regional headquarters, spread out over 154,000 square feet, occupies the largest footprint.
The park's impact on technology and the local economy have been enormous. Technology Park is every bit as much an economic engine for Peachtree Corners as Lake Lanier is for north Georgia.
Denise Wagner, the marketing manager for TPA Realty Services estimates that Technology Park and its sister development Johns Creek Technology Park generate about $10 million annually for the local economy.
With entrances on Peachtree Parkway and Spalding Drive, this incredible park, which was developed in the 1960s and '70s by a real estate developer and visionary named Paul Duke.
Duke graduated from Georgia Tech with degrees in mechanical and industrial engineering and he was an All-American football player under the legendary coach Bobby Dodd who played a year of professional football.
But as Ruth Strickland, owner of Peachtree Corners, Inc. and a long time personal assistant to Duke points out, "His heart and soul was in Peachtree Corners."
Duke was one of the largest land speculators in the area and his dream was to create a quality, live-work-play community with an emphasis on quality.
"Quality was key to him," Strickland said. "He saw an opportunity to make a difference in Gwinnett County which he loved. He often called it God's country and he was willing to invest his own money to see it develop into a quality community."
Duke convinced top developers from throughout the country to work within a very strict set of covenants and restrictions to establish and control the quality and type of growth in the area.
Asked how Duke would have felt about seeing Peachtree Corners become a city, Strickland said, "He would have loved it. He wanted to incorporate and had in mind to do it. But at the time, he wasn't able to do it."
Another part of Duke's dream was to attract high tech companies to the area. At the time Technology Park was developed, college graduates with degrees in technology were leaving the area en masse. Duke often said the reason for building Technology Park was to prevent what he called the brain drain."
Mike Mason, president of Unted Peachtree Corners Civic Association, said, "From the beginning Peachtree Corners has been built around the business park. "I can't tell you what a good neighbor Technology Park has been, Mason said.
The park's buildings, property and common grounds are kept in immaculate condition.
"I think we're unique in that sense in that we make that long term commitment to maintain the property," Wagner said.