One requirement of the Avalon development is a civic space, and Alpharetta is investigating if a conference center could meet that need.
Alpharetta City Council approved a $58,390 bid near the end of its April 23 meeting (which went into teh beginning of April 24), from PKF Hospitality Research to create a feasibility study for a convention, conference and performing arts facility in Alpharetta. The location is not limited to Avalon. R. Mark Woodworth, president of PKF Hospitality Research, said his firm had not been given any site to consider for the study, and they were to consider the city as a whole.
Mayor David Belle Isle introduced the idea at his .
The city won't be funding the entire study. The board agreed to fund up to $30,000 for the study, so they'll split the cost in half.
But the city doesn't want its consultant to just make a case for a conference center.
Councilman Chris Owens asked Woodworth, "Do you mind telling your clients what they don't want to hear?"
Woodworth said PKF was asked to provide specific examples of when the firm came back with results that the client did not expect, and they did.
Owens continued to press the point.
"Whether we want it or not, I want to know whether the market says it can be done, and the market is sustainable," he said.
Woodworth said that is PKF's philosophy in doing a feasibility study. And he's done at least dozens of them, and hundreds nationwide.
City Adminisrator Bob Regus said this is built into the reporting plans for the study. PKF will be asked to come back four weeks after it starts its study. That might be the end of the study, depending on what answers PKF has and what the city wants to pursue. Regular reporting will be made throughout the anticipated 12-week study period.