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Feb. 1, 2013

Ground Broken on Suburban Atlanta’s Avalon

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Atlanta—Official groundbreaking has taken place on Avalon, an ambitious Alpharetta, Ga., development that combines residential, office, hotel, specialty retail, entertainment, restaurant and public spaces in one $600 million project. Developer North American Properties (NAP) expects the resort-inspired, mixed-use development to be complete in late August of next year.

Avalon will not only bring the community top-notch dining and shopping, but will also generate $21 million in annual sales tax revenues, $4.5 million in new annual property taxes and $1.1 million in yearly hotel taxes. In addition, Avalon is expected to deliver to Alpharetta more than 4,500 jobs.

NAP has signed an agreement with Monte Hewett Homes to build more than 100 luxury homes and townhomes in a community designed by Lew Oliver, Inc. Wakefield Beasley will serve as principal architect, Site Solutions will be the landscape architect, and Hoar Construction is the project’s general contractor.

Several hallmarks will help make this “the Southeast’s pre-eminent experiential development,” its creators state. First, Avalon is designed to provide a highly walkable environment. Parking will be located around building perimeters to create a pedestrian-friendly setting, and the project’s pedestrian paths will connect all parts of Avalon, further encouraging strolling. Exercise trails with connections to Big Creek Greenway also promise to promote fitness.

In addition, Avalon will offer its residents, workers and visitors inviting places to gather. They include the Plaza, which will host the community’s holiday ice skating and warm-weather concert series, and Boulevard Park, an intimate area where “jewel box” restaurants and shaded seating will beckon to many.

Avalon is also expected to push the envelope in both sustainable practices and technological innovation. Use of rainwater runoff for irrigation and reflective roofing materials to promote efficient energy usage are among the community’s environmentally friendly features.

As for technological advancements, Avalon is the Southeast’s first all-fiber community, allowing residents as well as hotel guests, retailers and office workers Internet access at speeds more than 100 times as fast as currently available services.

Concierge service and other elements of what NAP calls “five-star hospitality” will add additional distinction to the development, as will an emphasis on both art and music events and planned activities focused on families and children.

At the ground breaking, NAP officials expressed appreciation for the diligent labor that helped make the occasion possible. “Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work and countless wins during the past six months,” Mark Toro, managing partner of North American Properties, says. “We are excited to share all our progress today and to start demolition and construction. I know the residents of Alpharetta are as eager as we are to begin moving dirt. The wait is over.”

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