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Gwinnett Business Partners 'Redeploy' Alcohol License

Wayne Mason takes over from Tucker at a prominent package store in Suwanee.

A couple of prominent Gwinnett business figures have changed their relationship in a Suwanee package store.

Wayne Mason, whose real estate business has struggled in recent years, was approved Tuesday by City Council as licensee for PIB Superstore Package Store on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. He takes over from longtime partner Richard Tucker, a Suwanee resident who is a prominent real estate investor.

Mason, a Snellville resident who has a Duluth business address, could not be reached for comment. He was present at Tuesday's council meeting, as all licensees are required to be by law.

Tucker said Tuesday that the move was "redeploying assets" with Mason  -- "we are good friends. We are open to doing that with anything that we own." Tucker lists his business as lending firm Arlington Capital of Duluth. He also is on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and is chairman of the Gwinnett Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Mason is on the executive committee of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and is on the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation. His business is listed as Madison Ventures of Lawrenceville.

Mason and Tucker also co-own the Beverage Superstore on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, and Tucker said that store is the top volume alcohol store in Georgia. "It makes a huge economic contribution to Suwanee," Tucker said.

Tucker concurred that real estate is struggling. For instance, Mason reportedly was sued in 2009 by Wachovia Bank for defaulting on a $7.5 million loan.

Alcoholic beverage sales -- now legal on Sundays in package form -- are a productive staple of Suwanee's economy. In the FY 2012 budget, Suwanee projects revenue from alcoholic beverage taxes at $813,300, more than it expects to receive from hotel/motel taxes and business licenses combined.

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