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North American Properties Breaks Ground At Avalon In Alpharetta, Ga.

Avalon in Alpharetta, Ga.

North American Properties (NAP) has officially broke ground at Avalon, an 86-acre, resort-inspired, mixed-use development. When it opens in Alpharetta, Ga., on Aug. 22, 2014, the $600 million, Whole Foods-anchored project will be the Southeast’s preeminent experiential development—a place where specialty retail, entertainment, restaurant, residential, office, hotel and public spaces come together to create a unique destination, according to a news release.

Since receiving zoning approval from the Alpharetta City Council in April 2012, NAP has achieved many key milestones, the release says. Accomplishments include commitments from 34 retail and restaurant tenants, securing all major approvals from the Alpharetta Design Review Board, enlisting best-in-class development partners for all mixed-use components and creating a brand that defines the core values that will permeate the experience of the Avalon guest.

“(This) is the culmination of a lot of hard work and countless wins during the past six months,” says Mark Toro, managing partner of NAP. “We are excited to share all our progress … and to start demolition and construction. I know the residents of Alpharetta are as eager as we are to begin moving dirt. The wait is over.”

Beyond great shopping and dining, Avalon will benefit the community in other ways, according to the release. It will bring more than 4,500 jobs. Upon completion, it is expected to generate $21 million in annual sales tax revenue, $4.5 million annually in new property taxes (including $700,000 to the city of Alpharetta) and $1.1 million annually in hotel taxes for Alpharetta.

Below is a closer look at the milestones the NAP team has reached at Avalon in recent months:

• Leasing: Avalon is now 50 percent leased with another 30 percent in negotiations. The leasing team has recent commitments from Pinkberry, Dry Bar, C. Wonder, lululemon, Luxury Nail Spa, Kona Grill, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, L’Occitane, Fly Wheel, Savor Boulanger (a new concept from restaurateur Chris Sedgwick), Destination Maternity, Gap and White House Black Market. These brands join already announced tenants including Regal Cinemas, Whole Foods, Anthropologie, Marlow’s Tavern, Orvis, Ted’s Montana Grill, Fab’rik, Athleta, Arhaus, Paper Source, Banana Republic, Cru Wine Bar, a concept from chef Ford Fry, Yeah! Burger, Van Michael Salon and Marmi Shoes.

• Permitting and approvals: After appearing before the Design Review Board 12 times, NAP has received approval of the overall site plan, residential site plan, all buildings in the first phase, landscaping, hardscapes, signage and lighting. In addition, NAP has received water and sewer approvals from Fulton County; access permits from the Georgia Department of Transportation; and a Land Disturbance Permit from the city of Alpharetta.

• Construction, development and leasing partners: Wakefield Beasley will be the principal architect and Site Solutions will be the landscape architect. Hoar Construction has been awarded as the project’s general contractor. NAP has signed an agreement with Monte Hewett Homes to build 101 luxury homes and townhomes in a community designed by Lew Oliver Inc. Greenstone Properties has been engaged to lease the professional office lofts.

• Avalon branding and core values: NAP embarked on a six-month process to better define Avalon. The exercise included 200 stakeholder interviews and an in-depth study of best-in-class brands in resort development, five-star hospitality, unique dining environments and experiential retail. NAP worked closely with branding agency Iconologic to create nine core values that will define the Avalon brand and experience: 1. Five-Star hospitality, including centrally located concierge services, valet parking, personal stylists and more; 2. A community gathering place with amenities such as the Plaza, which will be home to Avalon’s holiday ice skating experience and summer concert series, and the Boulevard Park, an intimate area with jewel box restaurants and shaded seating; 3. Fun for families and children, with amenities such as Camp Avalon, bocce courts and lawn games; 4. Healthy living, which will be promoted with healthful dining options, fitness-oriented events and exercise trails with connections to the Big Creek Greenway; 5. Cultural experiences, which will be provided through art, music and community events; 6. Sustainable practices, including the use of rainwater runoff for irrigation and reflective roofing materials for energy efficiency; 7. A sense of place that is unique and reflects the North Fulton community; 8. Walkability, with parking around the building perimeters in order to promote a pedestrian environment within. Pedestrian paths will connect all parts of Avalon; and 9. The leading edge of technology. Avalon will be the first all-fiber community built in the Southeast. Residents, hotel guests, office workers and retailers will have access to the internet at speeds more than 100 times what is currently available. In addition, guests will have access to state-of-the-art technologies and services that streamline and simplify shopping, living and working.

“We are excited that … the residents of Alpharetta who drive down Old Milton Parkway every day will be able to see the progress actually happening,” says Toro. “We encourage everyone to follow us on social media … to keep up with the latest news at Avalon and to share your feedback and ideas with us.”

 

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