Ga. 400 continues to draw major development
North Metro Atlanta remained one of the most vibrant business areas in the Southeast throughout 2019, with continued growth in companies, workforce and housing.
The Ga. 400 corridor continued to draw interest from Fortune 500 companies, witnessed by the December approval of 360 Tech Village, a 62-acre mixed-use development on Lakeview Parkway near Ga. 400 in Alpharetta.
Crawford Arnold, director for TPA Group, the developer behind the project, says 360 Tech Village already supports some 2,000 jobs. The new plans, approved Dec. 16, he predicted will bring in another 2,300 jobs.
Alpharetta also saw some real movement on efforts to revitalize the North Point Mall area, also along Ga. 400. The once-buoyant retail district fell on hard times following the opening of Avalon in 2014 and Alpharetta City Center in 2018.
A major step in revitalizing North Point Mall won City Council approval Feb. 25, when officials signed off on a plan that will transform the abandoned Sears site into a mixed-use development.
Brookfield Properties plans to transform the vacant building and parking lot area into a modern complex that would include new, freestanding retail and restaurants, greenspace and 300 apartments.
Other nearby areas are enjoying similar growth:
Halcyon brings Forsyth into retail fold
Five years after Avalon opened in Alpharetta, Forsyth County added a massive mixed-use development to its economic inventory.
Halcyon, which opened in the fall, provides restaurant and retail opportunities alongside hotels and residences.
Not the first type of mixed-use development in Forsyth County or the metro Atlanta area, Halcyon represents a massive economic opportunity for both residents and businesses.
The $370 million development sits on approximately 135 acres off Exit 12 of Ga. 400.
An eclectic group of cuisines range from Chinese and Mexican to a dine-in theater. Shopping options include everything from sweet shops to clothing the Mercedes-Benz Experience Center.
EA Homes has teamed with developer RocaPoint Partners to build housing options where McFarland Parkway meets Ronald Reagan Boulevard to include 101 townhouses with prices starting in the high $300,000s.
Also in the works are 42 standalone houses that will range from the $600,000s and beyond.
The mix of townhomes and larger properties will include access to a nature trail that leads to a Big Creek Greenway trailhead, a link to Alpharetta.
The completed live, work, play space will ultimately entail the build-out of a Krog Street Market-type food hall, two hotels, about 700 residences and some 50 acres of its own greenspace.
Southern Skillet property sold for development
ROSWELL, Ga. — After years of sitting idle, a decision has been made regarding the Southern Skillet property on the corner of Alpharetta Street and Norcross Street.
In February, the Roswell Downtown Development Authority announced it had selected commercial real estate development firm S.J. Collins Enterprises to revitalize the property. The purchase and sale agreement was $5 million.
S.J. Collins Enterprises’ proposal envisions a 70,700 square-foot mixed-use redevelopment complete with a boutique grocery store, restaurants, shops and offices. Housing will include 128 apartment units and eight townhomes priced between $650,000 and $850,000.
Plans also call for 6,000-8,000 square feet of green spaces, such as pocket parks and outdoor gathering points.
Founded in 2007, S.J. Collins Enterprises has worked on more than 60 retail, mixed-used, multifamily and office projects throughout the United States, including Peachtree Station in Chamblee, North Decatur Square near Atlanta and Victory Station in Savannah. It is headquartered in Fairburn.
Apartment community opens for those 55+
An age-restricted, 140-unit apartment community opened in Johns Creek this year, filling a gap in housing for baby boomers.
“We saw a demand that was being unmet for a luxury community for empty nesters who don’t want a mortgage,” said Dave Dixon, a project manager with One Street Residential. “They want the freedom and flexibility of leasing, and they’re not ready for an assisted living community.”
In density-skeptical Johns Creek, the road to opening was uphill, but the four-floor community began leasing in October.
Johns Creek’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan named expanding senior housing options as a priority for the city. About 19 percent of the city’s population is baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, that number is expected to decline as empty nesters move out of family-style homes.
If only 20 percent of the city’s 55+ population wanted to downsize within the city, about 3,000 more housing units would be needed over the next decade, the plan states.
Emory Hospital to expand
This was a big year for Emory Johns Creek Hospital, the city’s biggest employer.
In November, the hospital broke ground on a $61 million expansion that will add two floors and 40 new beds to the existing hospital building.
CEO Marilyn Margolis poured thanks onto the Emory Johns Creek staff and board members, the broader Emory Healthcare system and the hospital’s partners, including the city and Johns Creek Chamber.
"One of the things I know for sure is: This facility is beautiful. It's going to be more beautiful, but without the people who work here, without the people in this community, it would just be a lot of bricks and mortar," Margolis said.
The hospital expansion is expected to open in April 2021. The sixth floor will provide additional clinical space, while the fifth floor will primarily provide non-clinical space. A two-chair inpatient dialysis room will also be constructed on the fifth floor.
Earlier in the year, Emory opened a new women’s center just up the road from the hospital.
City launches initiatives to boost business climate
Milton began two schemes in 2019 to bolster the city’s business community and create an open line of communication between businesses and city staff.
In February, the city began its “Corridor Conversations” which allows businessowners and employees wo meet with local leaders and city staff for informal discussions.
Milton Economic Development Director Sarah LaDart said the meetings can foster relationships and allow businesses to share their issues or ideas with the city. Milton will hold quarterly meetings in each of the city’s business centers, Deerfield Parkway, downtown Crabapple and Birmingham Crossroads.
The city held its first Meet Me in Milton event Oct. 26, with the program hitting full stride next year. In the same vein as Alive in Roswell, the city will host the gatherings from 4 to 8 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month from April through September on The Green in downtown Crabapple.
Each gathering will have a different feature, with plans including a cornhole tournament, outdoor movie screening, a car show, art show and other events that will draw crowds.