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Harry’s Farmers Market to close after 27 years

Harrys logoLongtime Alpharetta grocery store Harry’s Farmers Market will close their Alpharetta store on Upper Hembree Road on Sunday. The closure comes after being open for nearly 27 years. The grocery store was a pioneer in many ways.

The store’s namesake is founder Harry Blazer. The jazz musician and business man first had his hand in the DeKalb Farmers Market before going solo. Alpharetta was his first Harry’s location, announced in October 1987. The concept featured exotic fruits, vegetables, meats, breads and prepared foods made from scratch in-house. The offering was vast, much more so than you’d see in the store today.

The concept was ahead of its time, especially considering the proliferation of organic grocers today. The idea took off in growing Alpharetta, bolstered by the affluent and diverse residents who moved here during that time.

Two more stores would open in Cobb and Gwinnett counties. Another store in Clayton County opened and closed, its failure attributed to the lack of affluent customers to sustain such a concept. They would also roll out a smaller concept called Harry’s in a Hurry.

Good Eats at Harrys

Alton Brown filming episodes of Good Eats at Harry’s

Blazer took the company public in 1993 selling shares on the NASDAQ exchange. But by the time the late 90′s rolled around the chain began to struggle.

Whole Foods came along in October 2001 and acquired the company. They took the three north metro Atlanta stores but not the Harry’s in a Hurry concept. The acquisition was an important one for Whole Foods who at the time only had two Atlanta-area stores. It propelled the store’s expansion into the southeast. They’d keep the Harry’s name on the stores but their offerings were decidedly Whole Foods.

In spring of 2012 Whole Foods announced they would open a store at Avalon. Shortly after Avalon’s approval the company was granted a conditional use permit from Alpharetta to operate an office and distribution facility at the Upper Hembree Road site. This blogger suggested that Harry’s would close upon Avalon’s opening but was asked to print a retraction by Whole Foods’ corporate office. At that time they said they were exploring their options with the Upper Hembree location. But the writing was on the wall.

The company will indeed close the Alpharetta Harry’s, its last day being this Sunday. They will continue to make prepared foods here for sale in other stores. It will also house their seafood and regional offices.

Many Harry’s employees will move to Whole Foods at Avalon. That store will be unique in many ways. For example, it will be the only business in Alpharetta to hold a liquor license for package sales as well as consumption on premises. This allows for wine and beer to be served in cooking classes. They also have a growler permit.

Whole Foods at Avalon will open two days after the Harry’s closure. They’ll welcome guests well ahead of the official grand opening of Avalon on October 30th.

What will you miss the most about Harry’s Farmers Market? What memories to do you have from the store?

Hemma Concrete and the Owens

Back in July we wrote about Alpharetta Councilman DC Aiken and his business relationship with homebuilder Sharp Residential. We hinted at the time of another similar business relationship. This time it’s with a spouse.

OwensThe wife of Councilman Chris Owens is in the concrete business. Approximately a year ago Mrs. Owens was hired by Marietta-based Hemma Concrete to be a senior estimator. Her responsibilities include being awarded commercial concrete projects.

For many years Hemma’s business consisted of mainly small residential projects such as driveway improvements, fancy sidewalks and other decorative hardscapes. In recent years the company has branched out to include large commercial and municipal projects.

On their website the firm touts three large projects in Alpharetta with very high profile and high visibility construction projects. We’ve been able to confirm a fourth of similar profile. The projects are…

Avalon – Hemma was awarded a $2 million contract by North American Properties and their general contractor Hoar Construction. Their work includes building site walls, hardscapes, the water fountain and all the decorative sidewalks you’ll walk on in the 86 acre project.

TopGolf – Hemma teed off the construction by pouring the foundation, walls and composite concrete slabs for the metal building frame.

Haynes Bridge Road realignment – Hemma was selected by contractor CW Matthews to work on the new road, traffic circle and sidewalks.

City Center – Not mentioned in Hemma’s portfolio online, we’ve been able to confirm that the company is performing work downtown. They were selected to perform hardscape and other concrete work on the project by City Center’s construction manager, Choat Construction.

Mrs. Owens’ employment with Hemma started after these projects were awarded. She’s not a principal or equity holder with the company but rather a employee.

Councilman Owens said the relationships would not cause him to recuse from future votes relating to North American Properties or City Center. He would only recuse in the scenario where the city contracted directly with Hemma for work.

So why write about this relationship at all? The expanding economy in Alpharetta will create opportunities for the lawyers, engineers and real estate professionals sitting on Council. It’s important to understand and be aware of the business and professional relationships your elected officials have. It’s of particular interest when the relationships involve firms with past or potential future matters before Council. Both are the case here.

What to eat on opening day at Avalon

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

I stopped following the Avalon restaurant lineup a few years ago. It became tough to keep up as the lineup changed. Their PR machine would often blur the lines between a new restaurant announcement with rumor and hype. And I’ll admit, at times the back story of how Avalon itself came to fruition turned me off.

Nevertheless the lineup is complete for phase one and praise is most certainly due to this fine collection of eateries. And with an opening date of October 30th, these restaurants will open sooner than some on my restaurant news coming soon list.

Before I get into my first choices, let’s say a little about the October 30th opening date. I’ve seen how hard it is for a single restaurant to hit a promised opening date. There’s a lot to get right, from the construction to permits, inspections, etc. Then there’s the liquor licenses, something I’ve yet to see for many Avalon restaurants. It’s crazy ambitious to schedule a single opening date for this many restaurants and shops, a logistical challenge many don’t comprehend. Serious props are due to Avalon if they can pull it off!

Bocado logoHere are the joints I’d like to try first. We’ll also comment on their location within the project, something very important to the success of a restaurant in a mixed-use development.

Bocado Burger – We spend a lot of time talking burgers here. Bocado’s restaurant in the Westside area of Atlanta isn’t a burger joint, yet their burger is often mentioned as one of the best in all of Atlanta. So they want to open a burger-only joint in Alpharetta? Count me in. I’ll probably make a beeline here on opening day. And their outparcel location makes it easier for car lovers like me to get to as well.

I’m surprised no one has tried a ramen noodle concept in the burbs. Bantu at Avalon will be the first and I can’t wait to try. This is a fast-casual Asian concept that’ll be a bit tucked away in the site plan. But you should seek it out.

If the kids are with me I’m likely to try Bantam+Biddy. Their menu features a meat and two veggie style as well as having rotisserie chicken. And I see duck fat fries on the menu. Oh my.

Restaurants located near the movie theater will always be successful. That formula has proven to be true at The Collection Forsyth as even mediocre joints thrive when movie goers can walk there. I love Antico’s location and the idea that I can get a fast, delicious pizza and not miss the opening trailers. Kona Grill, the chain’s first location in Georgia, will also benefit from this proximity. Marlow’s Tavern is also in a great location as well but we in Alpharetta are certainly used to this joint. And we expect Goldberg’s to benefit from overflow restaurant crowds by the theater.

Frozen yogurt seller Pinkberry will be in a street median. I’m not a fan of fro-yo but their offerings are usually considered a notch above the competition. It’s worth a try. Also in the median will be Cru Wine Bar.

My first date night visit might include dinner at The El Felix, a Tex-Mex concept from Ford Fry. It’s around the corner from just about everything else. I might consider Oak Steakhouse even though their location seems almost like an afterthought. They’ll be practically in the townhomes on the west side of Avalon.

And finally, how will a mass opening of several very good restaurants effect Alpharetta’s current restaurant scene? I won’t say who but several restauranteurs have quietly expressed to me their concern for the increased competition Avalon will create. There’s no doubt that in the short term, say three months, business will suffer for these guys. Yet in the long run, rising tides will lift all boats. Between Avalon and a budding new downtown restaurant scene, Alpharetta is finally becoming a restaurant destination. Everyone will benefit.

More apartments at Avalon

North American Properties has submitted plans to the city for Avalon phase two. Buckle your seat belt because we’ll be talking apartments again.

Avalon logoThe second phase of Avalon will be in the eastern portion of the development closest to GA-400. The changes requested primarily alter maximums set in the previous zoning approved in April 2012. Under the plan filed this month the number of apartments would more than double from 250 to 526. The proposed convention center is better defined at a size of 100,000 square feet.

Building heights would also increase. The combined hotel and convention center would measure in at a staggering 14 stories. The office building would increase to 13 stories and a residential building could hit eight floors.

Trimmed back would be the number of hotel rooms. They decrease from 475 to 325 total rooms. Also the maximum number of for-sale residential units would decrease from 132 to 101.

Demand for all aspects of Avalon, commercial, residential and office, have exceeded demand. According to the application, NAP claims their one and two bedroom apartments “will rent rapidly at rates from $1,750 to $5,000 a month.” If that’s a typo it’s not on my end.

And it’s apartments that have always been a bone of contention at Avalon. Alpharetta’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan calls for a city-wide 85/15% split in for-sale versus for-rent residential. That ratio has tilted too far in favor of apartments in recent times, a sticking point that hampered the initial Avalon zoning. The city got creative and allowed for something akin to a transfer of development rights. Avalon could proceed with their apartments if other apartment zonings were extinguished. As it turned out only about a hundred commercially viable apartments were removed from Alpharetta’s future to make way for Avalon’s 250 units.

But enough with the history lesson. Longtime readers here on Roots are familiar with how this all went down in 2012. NAP doesn’t want a transfer clause to apply to their additional phase two apartments. After all, they’d have a real tough time finding R-10M zoned property to extinguish this time around.

We’ll have much more to talk about as this zoning works its way through the process. But here’s how I see it going down.

Apartment opponents will try to stand pat on the 85/15 ratio, as they should. It’s served the city well for many years. Most recently the city was able to defend itself in court against an undesirable garden-style apartment zoning just across the street from Avalon. That case went all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court with the court upholding Alpharetta’s position. Violating Alpharetta’s sacred 85/15 ratio could set a precedent that may open the floodgates to apartments. It’ll be interesting to see which councilmen are willing to touch this third rail of Alpharetta land-use politics.

A potential compromise could come in the form of an exclusion to the CLUP’s 85/15 ratio carved out specifically for Avalon. It wouldn’t be the first time Alpharetta’s modified their code specifically for these guys. But the devil would be in the details and special cases should be the exception not the norm.

North American Properties will frame their argument in a unique way. They will approach this from the angle of corporate relocation, a hot topic in Alpharetta in recent years. Rumor has it that several technology companies have expressed an interest in creating a corporate headquarters at Avalon. According to NAP, these companies want to attract future employees who are likely millennials. And as the narrative goes, these young hipsters want to live in apartments close to work and play. The next logical argument NAP will make is that a denial of their apartment request may put in jeopardy future corporate relocation projects in Alpharetta. That argument will hit home to some on Council.

And finally, the timing of NAP’s request cannot be ignored. Their request will likely be considered in late September or October. The grand opening of Avalon’s first phase will be October 30. The Avalon PR machine is unmatched and will continue to build momentum ahead of the project. Opponents to the plan will face the prospect of casting a “no” vote during the heightened peak of anticipation for the project. This certainly wasn’t a coincidence. Well played, Mark Toro.

Potential downtown Alpharetta developers revealed

Alpharetta has received responses from several developers interested in the private development at the city center project. These are the four outparcels, inauspiciously colored green on many site plans, that will be developed into multi-story mixed use buildings. The companies responded to the city’s request for qualifications (RFQ) process. And while their responses are private at this time, the list of participating companies provides some insight into the type of project that is likely coming to downtown Alpharetta. Here’s the list.

NAP logoNorth American Properties – The guys building the massive $600 million Avalon project. They seem to be interested in everything Alpharetta at this point. They’ve got a proposal in to the city for a convention center at Avalon that would be funded with increased taxes. And they had a hand in the Gwinnett Tech campus across the street. Their interested in downtown Alpharetta is curious. The city should be careful putting all their eggs into one developer’s basket.

Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates – Perhaps the most serious bid of them all. Smallwood was previously selected as the master planner for the entire city center project including the municipal buildings like city hall. They would be intimately familiar with what the city wants here. Smallwood choose to include with their bid the following partnering companies:

MidCity Real Estate Partners – Office developers with some mixed use experience.
South City Partners – Worked on downtown Kennesaw’s mixed use project that included apartments and was bonded. They do a lot of apartments and student housing.
Morris & Fellows – Experience at Vickery in South Forsyth. They also bought foreclosed assets at downtown Woodstock’s mixed use development. Alpharetta has long coveted Woodstock’s project. Two senior city staffers in Alpharetta have Woodstock’s planning department on their resume.

Selig Enterprises – Huge Atlanta retail developer with some mixed use experience.

SF Capital – Largely a residential developer of single family homes.

Callen Group – Can’t find anything on this bidder.

There are a few companies that were not involved in the process that one might have expected.

Solomon Holdings -Alpharetta-based developer of senior housing projects such as Dogwood Forest. They have no experience in projects like city center yet were selected as the previous city center’s contractor without a bid process. Of course those plans failed many years ago. Since then principals with Solomon have contributed money to political candidates in Alpharetta. And they participated in a previous RFQ process the city held last year for this project that was withdrawn. Thankfully Solomon is out of the running this time.

Also in last year’s pulled RFQ bit missing this time are Marthasville Development who developed Riverview Landing in Mableton and M.J. Lant Developments from Vickery.

So we know who might be involved but nothing else. Eventually we’ll know the structure of a potential deal. And of course the elephant in the room with this project is apartments. They’ve not been talked about openly among Alpharetta’s Council but are likely to be a part of this project. If they appear supporters will most certainly play the “vibrant downtown” trump card while opponents point to the city’s CLUP limiting them. It’ll be an interesting discussion.

City mulls possibilities to honor Mark Toro

Alpharetta is crafting plans to honor real estate developer Mark Toro. A combination of options are available to the city.

Mark ToroIt seems that conversations regarding the subject have taken place privately for some time. The City Council finally went public with the idea last night in the form of a work session agenda item.

“Alpharetta owes Mark Toro an enormous debt of gratitude,” said Councilman Mike Kennedy. He then proceeded to rattle off Toro’s Alpharetta resume. Mansell Crossing was his work a generation ago while at Cousins Properties. The project defined North Point Parkway beyond the mall.

And of course there’s Toro’s $600 million investment in Avalon, rising like a phoenix from Alpharetta’s ashes. Councilman DC Akien commented that we’d still have a mud pit were it not for Mark Toro. Chris Owens concurred, saying Toro’s benevolence cannot be understated.

Council went on to cite the Gwinnet Tech deal which is happening on adjacent land. And of course there’s the proposed Alpharetta convention center, a potential public/private partnership.

“He’s Mister Alpharetta,” quipped Jim Gilvin. “I love the guy and he owns this town. I can’t wait to partner with him using taxpayer money.”

The love fest continued for a few minutes at the start of the work session. It seems that the touchy subject Avalon’s tax abatement is but a distant memory.

Mark Toro BlvdCouncilmen mulled three options to honor Toro. The favorite seemed to be renaming a portion of Westside Parkway to Mark Toro Boulevard. The stretch of the road adjoining Avalon would bear his name. Council instructed city staff to explore the option however the city’s public works director didn’t think it would be a problem. The request would be forwarded along to the USPS for their consideration.

Another possibility would be to erect a statue in honor of Mark Toro in a potential new pocket park. The city owns land in the former Ellman Tract near Avalon. It would be an appropriate location as this land played a key role in approving Avalon’s controversial apartments.

Cost would be a factor here as the city has not budgeted for such a park. However private funds may be available. Councilman Michael Cross committed to press the Chamber for a grant. And the council’s resident decorator Donald Mitchell stepped forward to chair a committee to design the monument.

Mayor David Belle Isle ended the conversation by offering Toro the keys to the city during the road renaming ceremony. “It’s the least I can do. Mark Toro saved Alpharetta from the doldrums of the great recession. I shudder to think where we’d be without him. Bankrupt probably. I’d name my first born after Mark Toro if I didn’t have kids already.”

Details emerge for potential convention center at Avalon

Alpharetta appears ready to publicly discuss the idea of a city-owned convention center at Avalon. A memorandum of understanding is on Council’s agenda for Monday night.

Avalon logoBack in the Spring the city requested proposals from developers for a public/private partnership that would pair a city-owned convention center with a privately built hotel. The city received proposals from North American Properties, developer of the Avalon project, and from the owners of the Northwinds property at Haynes Bridge and GA-400.

Alpharetta has determined Avalon to be the preferred proposal. Up until this point negotiations have occurred in private. However the memo outlines some non-binding terms that indicate how the deal might be structured.

Under the plan Alpharetta would sell revenue bonds and help service them with an increase in the hotel occupancy tax. The bonds would pay for construction of the 47,000 square foot convention center on Avalon’s land. Avalon would build the facility and bear the construction risks and any cost overruns. Avalon would also build and pay for the 300-room hotel (which is promised to be upscale and full-service).

Ownership of the convention center and hotel would be set up as a condominium with the parking deck and lot being common area supported by both parties. Expenses here would be shared.

The city would own the convention center but grant Avalon a long-term lease for operation of the facility.

Again, these terms are non-binding but it appears that the conversation has trended this direction. The only thing binding in the memo would be $60,000 in pre-development funding the city and its Convention and Visitors Bureau would pony up to Avalon. This would help pay for preliminary items like cost studies and site plans.

It does seem odd for the city to increase taxes and borrow money to pay for something to be built on someone else’s land, only to lease it back to them. It begs the question – why doesn’t Avalon just build this themselves? If there is truly demand for a convention center like this, certainly private enterprise would consider making it happen.

Or perhaps it might be appropriate for larger groups to help in the heavy lifting. Fulton County chipped in money to build the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Encore Park. Yet we see no signs of their involvement in this convention center, something that certainly would be billed as a regional attraction.

Is there political will to make a plan like this happen? The fact that these non-binding terms have come out of executive session might suggest some support among council. But there are still a lot of details yet to be revealed.  Alpharetta’s Council was unanimous in their initial support of Avalon but division is likely to occur on this matter. That’s this writer’s prediction.

Do you support a convention center at Avalon? Should tax dollars be part of the equation? Let me know in the comments!

Making sausage at Avalon

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Avalon logoWe’ve talked a lot about Avalon over the past two years. This is the 21st article I’ve tagged on this blog as being related to the mixed-use development. Hopefully I’ve brought you a lot of the back story of the development.

We talked about the project’s zoning and the showdown over apartments. We mention campaign contributions from North American Properties. Then I took Progress Partners to task for supporting the zoning.

Then there was the apartment swap and Alpharetta’s Ellman tract. And most recently we talked about the lucrative and controversial tax abatements North American Properties quietly received.

And the back story of this development probably isn’t over. Alpharetta is considering partnering with Avalon to build a convention center on the site. If the city decides to move forward with this then we’ll debate the use of public bond funds in this development and how appropriate that may or may not be.

And then there’s the talk about the restaurants and retailers at Avalon (This is my Friday column after all). I stopped keeping up with the changes a few months ago. It was difficult to tell who was in at Avalon, who was out and who was merely being kicked around in conversation.

Hopefully I’ve brought my readers a narrative of what it takes behind the scenes to put together a huge project like this. And I’ll admit that through it all my opinion of Avalon soured. A lot of this process was ugly.

But in the end, the product that’s likely to emerge will be a great one. Avalon’s restaurant list right now is amazing. Three in particular stand out.

First is spin-off concept restaurant Bocado Burger Bar. The Howell Mill restaurant makes a burger that tops many lists as one of the best in Atlanta. A burger-only concept from these guys should considerably raise the bar over the mediocre options we have in Alpharetta.

Second is a yet-to-be-named Mexican concept from Ford Fry. The celebrated chef and restauranteur will be making his first OTP venture here at Avalon.

And finally there’s Antico Pizza Napoletana. Never has a restaurant received as much hype as this one when it first opened in Midtown. Antico will be interesting to watch. They’ll be a formidable challenger to Campania Pizzeria Napoletana on Main Street (who recently made the cover of Atlanta Magazine).

Last week blogger Eli Zandman wrote about Antico’s expansion strategy. It’ll be hard for them to recreate the vibe of their Midtown location. There’s a certain backalley, hidden gem aspect to Antico that I don’t think can be replicated at Avalon. But their pizza knocks everyone’s socks off so who knows.

The rest of Avalon’s restaurant lineup isn’t too shabby either. All in all, North American Properties has done a superb job assembling this collection.

It takes a lot to get a project like Avalon going. It can be ugly. And we don’t know what other incentives NAP had to make to get these tenants to sign on the dotted line. Will they even be there on opening day? How about a year later? Maybe I’m being too pessimistic, knowing that Prospect Park failed at about this point in the process. Then again, I’ll believe it next year when the grease of a Bocado burger is running down my chin.

This Avalon thing hasn’t been pretty, but it’ll be great.

Alpharetta’s alcohol changes and who they benefit

Tonight Alpharetta’s Council approved several significant changes to its alcohol ordinances. Several of the changes came at the request and/or benefit of a handful of businesses in the city. Here’s a rundown of the changes.

Sorry Grandma, but I'm gonna have to see your ID

Carding Grandma - Previously Alpharetta’s code required that EVERYONE produce identification, regardless of how old they were, before being served a beverage. This resulted in uncomfortable situations where old ladies were asked to show ID for a glass of Chardonnay at dinner. Even talk show host Neal Boortz ridiculed Alpharetta for this law. The city has completely removed this requirement, reverting back to the state law governing sale to those under 21.

“Adult Playpens” - Rules regarding outside consumption at restaurants have been relaxed a bit. Previously restaurants had to construct fences around areas where folks could drink. These so-called “adult playpens” may no longer be required.

Wine Bars - This change came at the request of Avalon, specifically their future tenant Cru Wine Bar. Its seems Cru would have had a tough time conforming to the 50% food ratio required by restaurants selling alcohol. Wine bars will have a lower threshold of 40% of sales being food.

Drinking outside at Avalon - The city now allows for outside consumption of alcohol at certain large mixed-use developments. These rules don’t apply to all mixed-use developments, only those that are zoned for 200 houses, 300 hotel rooms, 500,000 square feet of offices and 350,000 square feet of retail. It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that this is for Avalon.

Drinking at Whole Foods? - There is a provision that might allow for consumption of alcohol at certain large supermarkets. The rules state that eligible supermarkets can’t sell tobacco or lottery tickets. That rules out Publix, Kroger and Walmart but Whole Foods would qualify.

Bigger samples at growler stores - Growler stores can now offer or sell four ounce samples, limited to 16 ounces total. The samples can be of growler beer or as part of an education class. Blind Murphy pushed for this change and is the only growler store in town currently offering such classes.

Growler stores will also be allowed to sell 16 ounce plastic cups of beer from their stores at city-sponsored downtown events. But only growler stores located in the downtown district are eligible. That means currently this change benefits only, you guessed it, Blind Murphy.

The city also passed changes to rules governing outside events with alcohol and those who might carter such events.

Photo credit: Steve Jerman (creative commons)

Avalon’s tax abatement – incentive or icing on the cake?

North American Properties has secured a lucrative tax abatement package for their Avalon property in Alpharetta. Granted by the Development Authority of Fulton County, the abatement reduces Avalon’s tax assessment by 50%, gradually phasing back over ten years. The net result is a huge property tax savings for North American Properties.

The plan is implemented as a sale-leaseback transaction. The Development Authority purchases Avalon using bonds valued at $550 Million. The property is deeded to the authority and leased back to North American Properties. Lease payments service the bonds.

Since the Development Authority is a tax-exempt organization they pay no property tax on their interest in Avalon. North American Properties isn’t tax-exempt and is subject to tax on their interest in the lease. As part of the deal the parties agree that this value is a fraction of the market value of the property, or 50% in this case. That value increases by 5% each year.

Abatement packages like this are controversial. The Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation has sued multiple times over projects in downtown Atlanta and Buckhead. One such case went to the Georgia Supreme Court. Projects in Alpharetta are rare. But with Avalon’s bond price tag hovering at half a billion dollars, the abatement deal ranks right up there with the biggest in Atlanta.

Proponents of tax abatements argue that they are valuable incentives used to lure development and jobs to an area. An argument could be made that the abandoned Prospect Park site was a blight requiring incentives to encourage development. In Avalon’s bond application they claim the project will create 1000 temporary construction jobs and 1,100 full-time equivalent when phase 1 is complete.

Opponents might argue that these incentives are often just icing on the cake for a developer. Many of the deals approved by Fulton’s Development Authority have come after a project is well underway. That argument could be made for Avalon. They have already purchased the property, got the site plan and zoning approved, demolished the old structures and have signed leases from tenants. The site is “going vertical” soon. Property tax abatements were never discussed as a condition of Avalon coming to Alpharetta.

At the end of the day, North American Properties will pay substantially less property tax to Fulton County, Fulton Schools and the City of Alpharetta. Alpharetta’s tax digest will be reduced by hundreds of millions of dollars for a few years. Is it a legitimate incentive to bring a huge project to Alpharetta? Or is this just an extra helping of gravy for a developer?


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