AVALON: Moving earth for 2014 opening in Alpharetta

$600 million retail/residential set to ‘vertical’

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. – North American Properties may not be moving heaven and earth to be ready for its August groundbreaking, but it is moving a lot of dirt to be ready to begin construction for the first buildings and homes at the $600 million retail-residential-office project at Ga. 400 and Old Milton Parkway.

At an Aug. 11 event for clients and their children on the company allowed people to see the 40,000 dump truck loads of dirt have been moved to prepare the site.

Some 16 miles of piping for water, electricity, gas and sewer have been laid. Not wasting anything, 20,000 tons of crushed concrete will be recycled as road and parking lot beds.

While the children got to climb on the big “Cats” and take rides in the giant tractors, North American Properties Manager Mark Toro gave tours to the adults and talked about the progress of the project.

“We are over 75 percent pre-leased,” Toro said. “We said at the beginning we would not build on spec. We have enough contracts to assure the opening, and we expect to be fully leased when we’re ready to open the doors.”

The residential portion will begin with Monte Hewitt Homes building 101 single-family residences on the property. More than 500 letters of intent from prospective buyers have been received, said Toro.

“We’re in good shape to start going vertical,” he said.

That is developer parlance for ready to start pouring concrete. Benning Construction is the contractor for Regal Theater and Young Construction will build Whole Foods. The remainder of the retail will be done by HOAR Construction.