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Big changes on tap for Alpharetta market

Major developments to begin operations as new year dawns

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Alpharetta’s business landscape is set for major changes in 2018.

Groundwork laid over the past 10 years will go online, with major openings throughout the city.

First up, the city’s $112 million conference center/hotel complex will host a grand opening at Avalon.

When it opens Jan. 16, the six-story, 330-room Marriott Autograph Collection hotel will feature guestrooms, suites, a fitness center, several dining options and a pool.

The hotel will share operations with the Alpharetta Development Authority on an adjoining 60,000-square-foot conference center the city hopes will draw trade shows, conventions and special events.

A city-sponsored feasibility study determined that the hotel/conference center will bring in almost $23.5 million in visitor spending, generate 545 jobs with more than $15.7 in earnings. It is projected to generate more than $51.3 million in total economic output annually.

Local funding for the conference center began in 2015 when the city approved an agreement with the Development Authority to issue $26 million in revenue bonds. Payments on the 25-year bond come through the city’s hotel/motel tax, which the city increased from 6 percent to 8 percent in 2015.

Of the total occupancy tax, 18.75 percent of the hotel-motel tax collected goes to retire the conference center bond. The city retains 37.5 percent of the hotel-motel tax, and the remaining 43.75 percent goes to the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Alpharetta is changing as a destination,” said Janet Rodgers, President and CEO of the Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The addition of new dining and shopping allows us to continue to market Alpharetta as a great destination and to share the story of our award-winning community.”

With the opening of several new hotels, the renovation of current hotels and the ongoing addition of dining, shopping, attractions and events Alpharetta continues to attract visitors, Rodgers said.

Among some of the other major development projects scheduled this year, City Center is set to open in sections, as work progresses on the $85 million commercial phase of the downtown complex. The five-acre area currently under construction will include close to a dozen new restaurants, between 20-30 boutique shops and close to 200 apartment residences and homes.

The development will also be the new home to DataScan, a technology finance service company in Forsyth County, which will be the sole tenant at the new four-story office building now under construction.

Just across the street, Liberty Hall, a four-story building at 33 South Main, is set to open this spring. With an upscale restaurant and cigar shop on the first floor, office suites covering 12,000 square feet of space on the middle two floors and a private social club on the top floor, the building will be among the tallest in downtown.

Paving the way for future development downtown, the City Council is scheduled to unveil a parking management plan to accommodate anticipated growth in traffic. The plan, currently under consideration, includes options for time restrictions and metered parking. It will include a management plan for street and city lot parking as well as for the new four-level parking deck to be built on Milton Avenue.

It will also establish a per-space fee for developers whose plans are deficient in on-site parking. The fee would ostensibly be used to help the city develop other sites for public parking.

Major projects set to open this year in Alpharetta:

HOTELS:

Hotel at Avalon 
Opening January 16, 2018
330 guestrooms and suites
9000 Avalon Blvd.

Aloft
Opening March 27, 2018
120 rooms
7955 North Point Parkway

Courtyard by Marriott
Opening September 2018
115 rooms
11700 Amber Park Drive

AVALON

Alpharetta Conference Center
Opening January 2018
Operated in a partnership with the Hotel at Avalon and the Alpharetta Development Author ity, the conference center will provide 44,000 square feet of flexible meeting space connected to the 330-room Hotel at Avalon

NORTHWINDS

The Daily (Spring/Summer 2018)
• The Daily, a 14,000-square-foot dining development at 11556 Rainwater Drive, a location that previously housed The Varsity and is just northeast of North Point Mall.
• Developers hope to combine “the best aspects of casual restaurants, beer gardens, food halls, and event space in one unique, communal experience.” The development also will include a 7,000-square-foot garden courtyard, which will host music, games, and other activities. The Daily is expected to open to the public in May.

DOWNTOWN

City Center (Spring/Summer 2018)
The roughly $85 million next phase of Alpharetta City Center will include 105,000 square feet of restaurants and retail, three acres of greenspace and gardens; 36,000 square feet of office, and 168 apartments. The 26-acre City Center project already includes City Hall, the Fulton County Library, a parking deck, a park and town green. Hedgewood Homes is also underway on 42 single-family homes.

Liberty Hall (Spring/Summer 2018)
Liberty Hall, previously an abandoned gas station in the historic Alpharetta downtown district, will be a four-story commercial building with offices, shops, a restaurant and a rooftop social club. The building owned by the American History Guild will have Italianate architecture located at 33 South Main Street with handmade brick and custom-made wrought iron.

Restaurants at Teasley Place (Spring/Summer 2018)
• Coalition Food and Beverage
• Maple Street Biscuit Company

The Alpha Loop
• A long-term project planned as an outdoor/pedestrian friendly path to connect people to activity centers, parks and jobs by a network of multi-use trails that provide safe alternatives to driving and offer a recreational benefit.
• These multi-use paths connecting Avalon to Downtown Alpharetta currently involve two interconnected routes including a three-mile inner loop and a five-mile outer loop that will link locations like Downtown Alpharetta, Avalon and the Northwinds area located at Haynes Bridge Road and 400.
• Completion of the project is still undetermined, however, some sections (such as the segment connecting Downtown and Avalon) are estimated to be finished in 2018.

Source: Staff and Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau


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