By Tony Wilbert, Skyline Views
ATLANTA (Oct. 31) - Conor Sen gets it. He gets the importance of cities having a strong urban core, a reliable and safe public transportation system and quality development across its metro area. So, when after he attended Thursday's grand opening of Avalon, the brand-new $600 million mixed-use development in Alpharetta, we really wanted to know what he thought.
At the festive event, Sen told me what he saw impressed him - from the quality of the materials used on the buildings' exteriors and interiors to the quality and range of tenants. "I can't find anything I don't like about Avalon," he said. (The Wilbert Group handles public relations for Avalon and its developer/operator, North American Properties.)
Sen, whose review of Atlanta's response to the small dusting of snow that shut down the city last winter is epic, shares several thoughts on Avalon in Creative Loafing's Fresh Loaf column today. Here's the nut graf.
After attending the development’s opening ceremonies and walking around, it felt like the first place built for affluent Millennial families. It's got a Whole Foods, a Lululemon, and an Antico Pizza. There’s Ford Fry's El Felix and gigabit internet. I have to admit, even as an avid intown person who likes to hop around town, it felt convenient to have so many amenities in one place. Unlike many poorly designed real-estate developments in metro Atlanta, which feel like a mish-mash of random commercial tenants next to each other in a generic complex surrounded by oceans of parking lots, Avalon was designed with a demographic and experience in mind, and the execution reflects that. Sure, you have to drive to Alpharetta to get there, but once you're there, it's walkable. It's the kind of place where, for a lot of people, when they think of Alpharetta their only reference point will be Avalon.
The entire column is worth a read. Check it out here.