UPDATED 9 P.M.: Video of parking garage, retention wall demolition added.
North American Properties broke ground today at Avalon, an 86-acre, resort-inspired, mixed-use development in Alpharetta next to GA 400 and Old Milton Parkway.
"It's been a year and a half since we acquired Prospect Park, but we were chasing it a year before that," said Mark Toro, managing partner of North American Properties. "It's been tremendous. I'll call it a thrill to engage in this project."
The $600 million project is scheduled to open Aug. 22, 2014. The developer says it 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 truly unique destination."
The parking garage begins to fall: See video accompanying this story of the start of demolition of the eyesore along Old Milton Parkway.
Beyond shopping and dining, North American Properties says Avalon will benefit the community in other ways.
- More than 4,500 jobs.
- $21 million in annual sales tax revenue,
- $4.5 million annually in new property taxes (including $700,000 to the city of Alpharetta)
- $1.1 million annually in hotel taxes for Alpharetta.
North American Properties has commitments from 34 retail and restaurant tenants.
Toro said one thing that's been surprising is the leasing momentum that Avalon has gained, given who challenging retailers' expansion plans have become. Five years ago a retailer may have planned 100 stores. Now they might have 12 stores in the works, with only 5 planned in the United States.
"And yet those retailers are considering Avalon for one of those stores," Toro said.
Avalon is now 50 percent leased, with another 30 percent in negotiations. The leasing team has recent commitments from:
- Dry Bar
- C. Wonder
- Luxury Nail Spa
- Kona Grill
- Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
- Fly Wheel
- Savor Boulanger (a new concept from restaurateur Chris Sedgwick)
- Destination Maternity
- 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.