North American Properties Announces Hires to Help Avalon

The development on what formerly was called Prospect Park is expected to open in October 2013.

North American Properties announced three new hires recently to spearhead its two retail centers, the undeveloped Avalon (formerly Prospect Park) in Alpharetta, and Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta.

Additionally, the developer has a young professional under age 30 in each key department as part of an initiative to ensure that the voice of this target group is heard in developing cutting-edge new programs and communities.

North American Properties’ new team members include:

John Kelley – Vice President of Development

Kelley oversees the development of Avalon, scheduled to open in October 2013. Formerly VP of Development for Cousins Properties, he has 20 years experience in real estate development and has developed more than 3 million square feet of commercial space across the U.S. Some of his significant past projects are The Avenue Forsyth and The Avenue Webb Gin, both award winning mixed-use lifestyle centers. A native of Atlanta, John earned a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from Georgia Tech, as well as an MBA in real estate from the University of Georgia.

Dotan Zuckerman – Leasing Manager

Zuckerman, a real estate professional who helps commercial clients align their real estate with their objectives, is evolving the re-merchandising strategy of Atlantic Station and supporting the creation of Avalon. He has represented Atlanta History Center, Dewberry Capital and Halpern Enterprises and was instrumental in midtown real estate deals with Urban Body Fitness, Arden’s Garden and Creative Loafing. It was through representing Creative Loafing that he was first exposed to the re-energized Atlantic Station, where the news organization will re-locate this fall; he was so inspired by the evolution of Atlantic Station that he wanted to join the team. An Atlanta native with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate from Georgia State University, Dotan previously served in the Israeli Defense Force as an intelligence officer before finding success in real estate sales in both Florida and Georgia. He is actively involved in the Jewish Federation’s Real Estate Division and with Habitat for Humanity.

Tom Witkowski – Tenant Coordination

Witkowski brings the experience of creating great entertainment venues in the Southeast as he brings new tenant spaces to life for guests of Atlantic Station and Avalon. A former leader of Jones Lang LaSalle, he was the project manager for North Fulton’s and was a project manager for the original Atlantic Station development in 2005. He has a Bachelor of Arts in architecture from University of Illinois at Chicago and an MBA in international business from Georgia State University.

“We have assembled a peerless leadership team in our industry, one with the pedigree – from Cousins to Caruso to Gables – global perspective and core talent to make our centers truly remarkable,” said Mark Toro, managing partner at North American Properties.“These people are true pacesetters who will create unmatched retail experiences at Avalon and Atlantic Station.”

The developer said in hires such as Dotan Zuckerman, the Atlanta office of North American Properties brings the voice of young professionals to the continuing evolution of these mixed use properties. Each department – from leasing to marketing – now includes professionals in their 20’s and 30’s, bringing a vital perspective to communities vitally engaged in grassroots live/work/play activities and who are part of a core demographic for these properties.

Toro, who founded the Atlanta office of North American Properties in 1996, was the former VP of Development for Cousins Properties and has delivered more than 19 million square feet of commercial space over his 26-year career in real estate.

The new team members join North American Properties’ General Manager Tom Miles, an internationally recognized retail turnaround expert who opened world class mixed-use centers Santana Row in San Jose, Calif., and Dubai Festival City in Dubai; Director of Leasing Ron Pfohl, formerly the Senior VP of Development for Cousins Properties, and a co-inventor of The Avenues, Cousins’ highly successful open-air retail concept; and Director of Marketing Liz Gillespie, the former head of retail innovation at Jones Lang LaSalle.

North American Properties purchased Midtown Atlanta’s Atlantic Station in December 2010, and immediately announced a plan to reimagine the center, including a new retail mix, an improved guest experience and an emphasis on local restaraunts, boutiques and unique uses. The center released a six month progress report in August 2011 that detailed new tenants and restaurants as well as a series of new investments in enhancing the guest experience.

In July, 2011, , newly renamed “Avalon”,  site at GA 400 and Old Milton Parkway north of Atlanta and will introduce Avalon as the next great American community and retail experience in Alpharetta in October 2013.


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