Source: NorthFulton.com

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YEAR IN REVIEW: Avalon approved, moves toward building
Massive development replaces ‘Prospect Park’

by HATCHER HURD

December 31, 2012

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Residents of Alpharetta will finally begin to see movement on the Avalon development in 2013. Alpharetta's City Council unanimously passed the 87-acre, $200 million mixed-use project called Avalon April 23.

Avalon is a $200 million initial investment at the northwest corner of Old Milton Parkway and Ga. 400.

At the City Council meeting, residents spoke overwhelmingly in favor of the project that North American Properties Managing Vice President Mark Toro said will usher in the new era in retail – one that is experiential in nature and combines the new urbanism concepts of creating communities on a human scale.

The main objection raised by the city Planning Commission was the proposed addition of 250 apartments. When North American agreed to acquire the development rights of 250 apartments from other zoned property in the city and extinguish those development rights, the last real obstacle to the project disappeared.

The city had originally requested a "protection clause" that would in effect prevent any tenants from leaving North Point Mall for the newer Avalon. The reasoning being the city did not want a new shopping center to be created at the expense of its existing one.

But the City Council agreed such a protection clause was impractical and likely unconstitutional, and it was deleted.

Toro said Avalon already has 105,000 square feet pre-leased, which is a quarter of the first 400,000 square feet of the first phase. Another 35 retailers are in conversations for leases, he said. Phase one will include 132 detached and condominium single family homes and the 250 apartments.

Phase two will add another 200,000 square feet of retail along with 840,000 square feet of office space. That will add another $400 million to the total value of the investment.

"We're immensely grateful to the city of Alpharetta," said Toro. "There are a lot of next steps to go, but this was the important first step."