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Alpharetta’s Avalon to bring Buckhead shopping to Ga. 400 $600M project embraces live, work, play ethos


ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The 87-acre, $600 million mixed-use project called Avalon should break ground this summer with a 2014 opening date for phase I at the northwest corner of Old Milton Parkway and Ga. 400. North

American Properties

Managing Partner Mark 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 I also will include 132 detached and condominium single family homes and 250 apartments. Phase II 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.” There are only four or five similar projects envisioned by Avalon, and North American plans to draw from the best of these to make the development a quantum leap over today’s shopping mall. “Twenty years ago, North Point Mall, Mansell Crossing and North Point Market Center were the newest concepts for a shopping experience,” Toro said. “Ten years later came open- air, pedestrian-friendly places like the Avenue East Cobb and Forsyth and the Forum.” Now, North American is proposing what Toro calls Retail 3.0. “It really is something that has to be experienced,” Toro told the residents. “When people come back from Avalon, they will think about where they shopped or what they ate – they are going to be thinking of what it felt like.” It is what Toro calls “experiential


AFFLUENT SUBURBIA Within 7-mile radius

America’s wealthiest Wealth rank – 1/60 Age rank – 45/60 Population count:

SPECIAL High-end retail stores will feature luxury apartments on the top floor.

retail.” It is not only about the purchase, but the ambience and the energy of the total environment. In the Avalon plan, less is more. The plan calls for 13 acres dedicated to for-sale housing with 132 single- family and townhouse residences. Key to the project is another 250 rental units.

This rental housing will be high- end units above the retail, and while they are small – many will be one- bedroom and less than 900 square feet – they will be pricy. Toro expects to command 30 percent above market leases.

Who would be willing to pay those kinds of prices? Toro says the examples of similar projects – Santana Row in San Jose, Calif., the Americana in Glendale, Calif., the Domain in Austin, Texas and Bridgeport Village in Portland, Ore. – show that there is a significant clientele for just such space. “Whether it is the family in the detached housing, the young professional in the townhouse or the empty nester living above the retail store or the executives and office workers in the office buildings, they are all part of the mix that makes the project work. And we won’t build something that won’t work,” he said. The studies show that the more time people spend on the property, the more they are going to spend in

the shops, restaurants and theater. People who live there are on the property as much as 16 hours a day on the site.

The formula would not work,

however, if Alpharetta was not already the upscale, wired-in community it is. Toro said Alpharetta was not selected by North American because it got a good deal on the land – it did – but because the psychographics here are world class. (See chart) Psychographics in marketing is

terms identifying their best

customers, and top of the list is family income for developments such as Avalon. Within a seven-mile radius, the average family income is $122,000. That translates into disposable income.

Other psychographics

look at age, education, lifestyle and connectedness (i.e., Internet, iPods, Kindle, iPads, Facebook, Twitter and so on). “Alpharetta shares the same pyschographics as the best retail areas in the country. That is why there is an opportunity here to do something unique in the Southeast,” Toro said.

North American plans to bring a unique blend of retailers to the market, in

all their of whom stand categories, be it out Apple,

Anthropologie, Cole Haan, Arhaus and list of many more retailers and restaurants.

11,663 (3.7 %) Nation’s most wealthy households

Dream Weavers Wealth rank – 2/60 Age rank – 41/60 Population count: 139,446 (44.4 %) Well-off families with school-age children

New suburbia families Wealth rank – 7/60 Age rank –10/60 Population count – 46,241 (14.7 %)Young, affluent working couples with preschool-age children

Young cosmopolitans Wealth rank – 23/60, Age rank – 5/60 Population count – 31,814 (10.1%) Young, single, college- educated and earning upper- middle class incomes


Avalon at a glance Townhomes/detached homes: 132 units SPECIAL 14 ANSWER BOOK™ | 2012 Edition | Appen Newspapers, Inc.

•16.4 million square feet of Class A office space in North Fulton County submarket •127,981 workers within five- mile radius •153,060 workers within seven-mile radius •254,032 workers within 20-minute drive time


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