Downtown Development Authority


The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) of Lawrenceville, Georgia, serves as a resource to City Council for the purpose of revitalizing downtown through smart land use planning, land banking, recruitment & retention of business to the area and the strategic execution of the people’s vision to be a vibrant and inclusive urban center.


  • 2nd Monday of each month
  • 5:00 pm
  • City Hall - Council Chambers
    70 S Clayton Street
    Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to meetings. Minutes are available following their approval.
View most recent Agendas & Minutes

Current Projects

Façade Grant Program

The Downtown Development Authority of Lawrenceville recently relaunched the Façade Grant Program. Businesses within the Downtown Entertainment District were able to apply and receive reimbursement for expenses incurred during renovations performed on the exterior façade. Façade renovations are any projects that enhance or update the exterior of the building such as painting, restoration, stabilization, awning additions, improved signage, etc. 


  • Project must be located within the Downtown Entertainment District   
  • Reimbursement is only for expenses incurred during renovations performed on the exterior façade 
  • The project must also comply with all applicable building, development, zoning regulations, and ordinances. Subject to review of Planning and Development
  • If the property is part of the National Historic Register, the Building  Inspection Department will not issue a permit allowing change without a preservation review
  • Reimbursement is for half (up to $2,500/grant) of the total project cost
  • Grant is void if approved work is not completed within twelve months of approval

For additional details and the project timeline, view the Façade Grant Program Application (PDF). Please note: the window for applications is currently closed. Future application periods for the Façade Grant Program will be shared on this page.

View the example progress photos below!

Example: Perry Street Chophouse Before and After

Perry Street Chop House exterior
Perry Street Chop House white brick exterior


Lee Merritt, Merritt Properties

Lee Merritt has served as Chairman of the Downtown Development Authority since 2018. She is a lifelong resident of Lawrenceville, having graduated from Central Gwinnett High School and Georgia State University.  She and her husband, Mark, and their three sons run their family business, Merritt Properties, Inc, specializing in industrial real estate acquisition, construction, renovation, and management. In her spare time, Lee enjoys travel, decorating, container gardening, and fitness.

Katrina Fellows, Keller Williams Realty Atlanta

Katrina has worked over 20 years in manufacturing, sixteen of those years having been dedicated to the creative design, development, and production of branding items for the fashion industry.

Katrina is active in the Lawrenceville community, having served on the Downtown Architectural Review Board and the Downtown Development Authority.

Bruce Johnson
Board Member

Bruce & his wife Lisa have lived in Gwinnett for more than 30 years. They moved to downtown Lawrenceville 8 years ago and are active in the community. Most of Bruce's work background has been in the hotel business and he has worked at several hotels in and around Gwinnett County. Currently, he works at Explore Gwinnett (the official tourism office of Gwinnett). You can usually find Bruce at Lawrenceville events taking photos!

Chris Adams
Board Member

Chris is the 6th generation of his family to reside in Gwinnett County. He is married and has two daughters and has been a litigation attorney in Lawrenceville since 1992. He has been honored with several accolades over the years including Best of Gwinnett, Best of Georgia, and Super Lawyers. He has been active with community service projects and has been a member of the Lawrenceville Kiwanis Club for over 30 years.

Victoria Jones
Vice Chair

Victoria Jones proudly holds the Post 2 position on the Lawrenceville City Council. She is an active member of the Georgia Municipal Association, where she serves as the Vice-President of District 3 Northeast. She is a member of the National League of Cities Women in Municipal Government Constituency Group. Prior to serving as a council member, Mrs. Jones served as a board member of Lawrenceville Neighborhood Alliance and served as secretary. She also served on the Downtown Development Authority, where she is currently the vice chair. Mrs. Jones has more than 20 years of experience in government and was also a member of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP). City Council member Jones retired from the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources after 26 distinguished years. Mrs. Jones holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Shorter University and has taken several leadership classes at Carl Vinson Institute for Government at the University of Georgia. Victoria and her husband, Clay, have been married for 34 years, and serve together in their church. They have one married daughter and two grandchildren.

Jeremy Higginbotham, State Farm Insurance
Board Member

Jeremy Higginbotham has been the owner of a State Farm agency in Downtown Lawrenceville since 2012. He has been married to Ashely for 13 years. They have three daughters, Harper, Prather, and Mary Catherine. Jeremy has served on the DDA for the past 3 years and also currently serves on Architectural Review Board.

Joanie Perry-Ward
Board Member

Joanie Perry Ward recently retired from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs after more than 37 years of service. Prior to her retirement, she served as the director of the Community Finance Division where most of the state’s community and economic development finance programs are housed. Joanie was also one of the original Main Street Managers when the program was first launched nationally.  She and her husband have lived in Gwinnett for almost 40 years and moved to downtown Lawrenceville 8 years ago.