Written and photographed by Colleen McNally
Photo rendering courtesy of Avalon

10255287_10152428299423064_2706850609874635158_nAs the British legend of King Arthur goes, Avalon was a medieval, mystical paradise. We’ve come a long way since King Arthur’s day of knights and sword fights, yet the name Avalon still conjures up visions of a place where one might find all they need to practice the timeless art of living well. This once-mythical place now has a street address in Alpharetta, opening this fall.

Looking down a dusty path of the newly constructed mixed-use development, my eyes jump from a bulldozer to a giant bison, over each temporary sign indicating future luxury retail shop and restaurant locations. It’s only April 23, two years to the day from building permits, and Avalon is celebrating the end of Phase One with a Topping Out Ceremony. Although there is still much to flesh out before the October 31 opening, I can envision this upscale live-work-play suburban utopia. Stories above stores such as C. Wonder, Free People, lululemon and vineyard vines soars the luxury apartments Haven at Avalon and Class A office space. Comparing my view to the map in my hands, I identify my location as the intersection of 2nd Street and Avalon Boulevard, overlooking the soon-to-be Plaza and concierge.

Plaza - Ice Skating Rink - large-1Inspired by Rockefeller Center, the Plaza will include an ice skating rink through the winter holidays and a lawn for outdoor yoga and art fests in the spring. Guests will be able to drive cars right up to the Valet station to start their pedestrian-friendly day of work or play. Residents can walk to Whole Foods Market, get fit at Fly Wheel or clean up at Dry Bar before a big night out—all without having to leave their neighborhood.

As for Developer/Owner North American Property Group, there is plenty to celebrate. The privately held, multi-regional real estate royalty also owns Atlantic Station on the northwestern edge of Midtown and BOHO4W in Historic Fourth Ward Park.Soon Avalon will complete their metro Atlanta trifecta, as the final beam is placed on the final building. Now, the project is 97 percent leased with shopping, dining and entertainment spots sure to turn the heads of those used to heading to areas like Lenox Mall or Westside Urban Market. According to Avalon’s website, Avalon is projected to generate approximately $21 million annually in sales tax revenue, $4.5 million annually in new property taxes, $1.1 million annually in hotel taxes and more than 4,000 new jobs in permanent retail sector, white-collar and hotel service jobs.

The afternoon ceremony offered a taste of what Avalon has to offer, including tours of a completed apartment and bites from various restaurants that will soon call Avalon home – perhaps the community’s Holy Grail. You may recognize names of Atlanta favorites like Antico, Bocado and Marlow’s Tavern as well as some new names such as Charleston-based Oak Steakhouse, CRÚ Wine Bar hailing from Texas or The El Felix, the first OTP project of Chef Ford Fry’s empire. October can’t come soon enough.

2800 Old Milton Parkway