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Avalon Developers Propose Less of Almost Everything in Alpharetta

Fewer residential units, less retail space and fewer parking decks are proposed on former Prospect Park site.

UPDATED: 4:45 p.m.: North American Properties plans less of almost everything for its Avalon development compared to the failed Prospect Park plan it replaces at Old Milton Parkway on the west side of GA 400.

Mark Toro, general manager for North American Properties Atlanta office, said Avalon will be "significantly less dense."

Toro offered this as highlights of plans for the property:

  • Retail space: 550,000 s.f.
  • Office space: 840,000 s.f.
  • Hotels (2): 475 rooms
  • Townhomes/detached homes: 132 units
  • Apartment units: 250

Avalon is proposed to have 321,000 square feet less in retail than Prospect Park proposed and 473,000 square feet less in office space.

While it abandons the idea of condos–Prospect Park had 578 of those planned–North American Properties wants 114 townhomes and 14 detached residential units. A possible sticking point for this site might be the 250 rental units proposed, many of them above the ground floor retail. Alpharetta has a limit to rental units compared to owner occupied homes, with only 15 percent of all housing units allowed to be rental. Annexation forced on existing cities when Johns Creek and Milton formed put that ratio off kilter, a reason most apartment proposals have been rejected in recent years.

Most of Prospect Park's parking spaces were going to be in parking decks. Avalon plans mostly surface parking.

When asked, Toro said much interest has ben shown in the retail and commercial real estate world.

"There has been tremendous interest in each component (residential, retail, office, hotel) and we expect that momentum will continue to grow," he said.

Toro expects Alpharetta residents will begin to see workers on site in the third quarter of 2012. Avalon remains on schedule, he said.

Alpharetta has asked local residents to say what they like and don't like about the Avalon site plan. The city is using its Open City Hall online discussion feature to get comments and opinions from residents long before the Planning Commission even hears the proposal on March 1 at .

James Drinkard, assistant city administrator, said a couple of things are going on with the early notice.

"First off, this is absolutely one of the most impactful projects that Alpharetta is going to see and so we want to make sure Alpharetta residents have as many ways and options to provide feedback," Drinkard said.

He said the city is looking to make changes to the public hearing process to provide more opportunities for the public to get information and to provide feedback.

"And so this is kind of a good trial balloon to see if maybe we might want to start doing something similar for any new construction projects that go through public hearings," Drinkard said.

The city might not want to go this route with every nail salon that wants to open in a strip center, he said. "Then again, maybe we do."

Just Deb January 30, 2012 at 08:09 PM
This ought to make traffic even worse than what it already is.
Bo Wagner February 13, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Better than a big hole in the ground...

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