Former NFL player Herschel Walker announced last Thursday that he has partnered with developer Dan O'Leary to open a restaurant and sports bar in the in unincorporated Norcross.
The $1 billion complex, on the site of the OFS building near I-85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard, would include 7,500 video lottery terminals, a luxury hotel, spa, performance venue and dining, according to the release.
It's the first business to sign on with the project, according to a press release.
“As a Georgia resident, father and businessman, I want to combine my entrepreneurial focus with my desire to sustain the HOPE scholarship and help Georgia students go to college,” said Walker, who's a University of Georgia Heisman Trophy winner, in the release. “I am excited to be part of such a worthwhile project while sharing my love of Georgia, football and food.”
Walker's establishment plans to feature Southern food and memorabilia from his football career.
“Herschel Walker is not only an excellent athlete, but he represents the true Georgia spirit. He grew up in rural Georgia as one of seven kids in a blue collar family, worked hard in high school, and then went on to excel in college and professionally,” O’Leary said in the release. “Everything Herschel does is a success and we are excited to have him as part of our team.”
The complex is estimated to generate $350 million annually for the HOPE scholarship and create 2,500 permanent jobs.
John McHenry of the Gwinnett Village CID about the proposed complex.
McHenry said the developers for the proposed facility is comparing it to Dover Downs, a high-end VLT gambling complex in Delaware.
"It's high-end, it's clean, it's safe, and that's what we're going for," said McHenry, referring to the type of facility the CID wants to bring to the Norcross area.
"It's something the CID and [CID Executive Director] Chuck Warbington have been working on since last April," he added. "It's just the process of going through due diligence and making sure it's something that makes sense for that site."
The VLTs are permitted under state law, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution sourcing the Associated Press, but the facility still needs the approval and backing from the Georgia Lottery Board and Gwinnett County Commission.