Atlanta Business Chronicle
By: Gary McKillips, Contributing Writer
As the city of Alpharetta continues growing, developers are finding it fertile territory for new projects. From just over 3,000 in 1980, the city’s full-time population has risen 22 times to nearly 66,000, according to 2020 U.S. Census figures. Alpharetta has shown the third largest daytime population increase of any city in the country, according to a national data analytics website, and the city nearly doubles in population during the workday. Alpharetta trails Doral, Fla., adjacent to Miami International Airport, and Redmond, Wash., outside Seattle’s Microsoft world headquarters, for daytime growth.
The city’s growth is in part due to its workforce, quality of life, schools and access to technology, said Kathi Cook, director of community and economic development for Alpharetta, adding that the area appeals to residents as well as employees, who also enjoy the parks, trails, restaurants and other amenities. These factors have spurred the development of several new projects in the area, including:
– Northwinds Summit, at the northwest corner of Georgia-400 and Haynes Bridge Road;
– Lakeview, previously known as Tech 360, also at the intersection of Haynes Bridge and Georgia 400;
– The Mix at Haynes Bridge and Morrison;
– Ecco Park, a townhouse development at the entrance to North Point Mall; and
– Windward Park, which will feature townhouses, office space, a condominium building and the already completed Hilton Hotel.
Joe Bucher of Southwest Value Partners also purchased 5555 Windward Pkwy., which includes 52 acres and is permitted one million square feet of office space, according to Cook, adding that several small office developments in downtown Alpharetta are in the planning stages or under construction as well.
Pope and Land Construction’s Northwinds Summit project, zoned for 1.2 million square feet, is one of the largest in Alpharetta. The project will include a 150-room hotel, 140 apartments, 30,000 square feet of retail space, restaurants and 23 townhomes, according to Jennifer Koontz, managing director of leasing and advisory services for Pope and Land.
Also, part of the development are The Heights at Northwinds, an apartment and retail complex, and 2000 Summit Place, a 60,000 square-foot development, both scheduled to break ground later this year or early in 2022, said Koontz.
Pope and Land has owned the Northwinds property for 30 years, she added. “We were waiting for the market to be ready to have an urban destination from an office standpoint.”
She said her company worked closely with the city in planning Northwinds, as the Alpha Loop walking trail will connect Northwinds Summit to Avalon and downtown Alpharetta.
Just approved by the Alpharetta City Council is a $160 million mixed-use project known as The Bailey. To be built by Alux Properties, the project, located at 2650 Northwinds Pkwy., is focused on wellness and is expected to include a technologically advanced fitness and rehab facility. In addition, the five-acre Bailey will have offices, retail and restaurants, and a boutique hotel.
One of the more unique projects in Alpharetta is 154 Kimball Bridge Rd., in the Avalon corridor, which involves the transformation of the71-year-old former Bailey-Johnson school. The school opened in 1950 to accommodate Black students from Sandy Springs, according to Fred Kay of KB Partners.
“We are going to do an adaptive reuse of the school. Of the 40,000 square feet, 20,000 square feet are in a one-story building and an additional 20,000 feet are in what was an old gym,” he said. That area will be transformed into Class A office space. In addition, “we are going to build a 120,000-square-foot timber-frame building similar to the T-3 building in Atlantic Station.”
Kay said the project will be one-of-a-kind in Alpharetta. “We think we have something different, unusual and special,” he added. “The timber building will offer a lot of environmental benefits, and saving the school is another big part of the story.”
Lakeview also continues to move forward, according to Cook. The project is slated to gain its certificate of occupancy this month, and developers are seeking restaurant and retail tenants for the 62-acre development, north of Georgia-400 and Haynes Bridge.
In addition to the already completed Hilton Hotel, the 500,000-square-foot Windward Park development will include 186 townhomes, retail and office space, as well as a condominium. Also granted a permit, according to Cook, is the new Ecco Park development of 99 townhomes at the entrance to North Point Mall.
The pandemic has not hampered development in Alpharetta, said Cook, adding that many tenants have returned to their offices, which means, “we’ve had a large number of companies in the past few months looking for space.”