$300M Windward Park: It’s Avalon all over again

Mixed-use project will sit on 48 acres

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. – There are not many projects one can say in the same breath as Avalon, but Worthington Hyde Partners’ $300 million mixed-use development is certainly one of them.

The 48-acre project at the southeast corner of Windward Parkway and Northpoint Parkway is an assemblage that has waited a long time to come to fruition. Now it is zoned for two 10-story office buildings, each with 250,000-square-feet of space. The complex also includes more than 300 residential condos and townhouses.

Investment Manager/Partner Rob Kincheloe said the success of Avalon Phase I and II showed everyone just how far the market has moved. Avalon is the wildly successful live-work-play development in Alpharetta that has melded the elements of million-dollar homes, glitzy apartments, Class A office and upscale retail and restaurants at Old Milton Parkway and Ga. 400.

Windward Park was originally assembled by Prudential to be a national corporate campus for the insurance giant, but internal squabbles in the company finally squelched that plan. The property became available in 2007. And Worthington Hyde Partners bought the site in 2007.

Worthington Hyde is a real estate capital provider that works with niche developers. It provides the “local project insight and expertise” to manage a diversified real estate portfolio.

In 2005, the company (then called Schaedle Worthington Hyde Properties aka SWH Properties) determined the high-end real estate market was becoming “too aggressive” according to the company biography.

“The property was rezoned in 2008. Then the world [economy] changed,” Kincheloe said.

The economic development doldrums set in and Worthington Hyde “put the property on ice” during the downturn awaiting the return of the Class A office market.

“When the world started to heal again, the phone just started ringing off the hook about this property,” Kincheloe said. ”We had it from all sorts of users – retail interests, residential interests and office,” Kincheloe said.

“It was the level of interest that we are now seeing that convinced us the timing was right.”

That level of interest in the property from all sectors, retail, office and residential, told Worthington Hyde the timing was good and in 2015 began developing a plan for the site.

“With Avalon’s obvious success proving out certain high-water marks in the market, that begat a lot of interest [in the Windward Park property],” Kincheloe said.

Add to that the Windward corridor has always held value where other markets have not, and that helped convince Worthington Hyde the timing was right to bring Windward Park forward.

“Residential was the earliest to start knocking on the door, but it has definitely picked up across the board,” Kincheloe said.

With the overall stability of development in the Windward corridor, Kincheloe said the company has a high degree of confidence going forward with the project.

“We think Windward as a submarket in Alpharetta has its own story. It’s the combination of corporate offices located there along with the income levels and the quality of life you find there,” he said.

Worthington Hyde is partnering with HGOR Planners & Landscape Architects on the project.

To accommodate employees, Kinchelo said a parking structure capable of holding 1,000 cars is planned. It will be sufficient for one of the office buildings. He said the other office building’s office deck will take advantage of the lower topography and allow parking to “wrap around.”

Kincheloe said they had been in talks with the Mercedes before it chose to go to Sandy Springs instead.

“We’re marketing this more as a corporate campus. We would prefer one corporate relocation entity come in and take it all. In addition to Mercedes there have been some large corporate healthcare interest,” he said.

Lennar has taken on the marketing of the condominium and townhouse portion of the project. The town houses will be the first to open with presales beginning in the fall in the $400,000s.

Commercial property should start coming out of the ground in 2018.


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