At the groundbreaking ceremony Monday, a wrecking ball and bulldozers were on-hand allowing developers to begin demolishing the vacant parking structure that has been on the site for years.
Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle, who was at the ceremony, said the development, which is scheduled to open August 2014, will be a symbol of all that is “exceptional” about Alpharetta.
“For so long, this property was a symbol of failure … of downed economic trends,” he said. “Now it’s time … to make future plans.”
The land sat unmoved for nearly six years when it was slated for another multi-use project, Prospect Park. After erecting only a parking structure, the project was canned shortly after the developers filed for bankruptcy.
A year and a half ago, North American Properties Atlanta, headed by managing partner Mark Toro, acquired the property and began to make big plans for its future.
Toro said the development is designed around the idea of creating an experience for shoppers to encourage them away from e-commerce.
“We now must provide an experience that will get us out from behind our keyboards and into stores,” he said.
Avalon will contain specialty retail, entertainment, restaurants, residential homes, office space, two hotels and public spaces.
In addition to shopping and dining, Avalon will bring about more than 4,500 jobs.
Upon completion, it is expected to generate $21 million in annual sales tax revenue, $4.5 million annually in new property taxes — including $700,000 to the city of Alpharetta — and $1.1 million annually in hotel taxes for Alpharetta.
Now that the developer has received water and sewer approvals from Fulton County, access permits from the Georgia Department of Transportation and a land disturbance permit from the city of Alpharetta, construction can begin on the site.