Alpharetta continues to blaze the trail for business growth and development wins in the North Atlanta area.
Just in the last three months, it has seen mega-million-dollar purchases of Sanctuary Park ($265 million), EndoChoice ($210 million), and Avalon ($500 million). With an improving economy and a shrinking supply of Class A office space, there may be much more to come.
Alpharetta’s vacancy rate for Class A office space is a little more than 8 percent, which is both a blessing and a curse. While certainly preferable to the alternative, it also makes it harder to compete with other cities looking to attract the corporate campuses that Alpharetta has for years.
However, help is on the way. Near Windward Parkway a new project dubbed “Edison” will add over 200,000 square feet of office space in the form of corporate campuses, aimed at attracting a millennial workforce. Two buildings will house conference space, gyms and cafeterias in addition to outdoor recreations space.
Additionally, Avalon is well underway with its second phase of development, which will include the region’s first conference center, 90,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, a 330-room hotel, 250,000 square feet of Class A office space, and 276 multifamily units. According to the developer, North American Properties, it is also already 80 percent leased, anchored by Microsoft.
The same architect for the Avalon community, Wakefield Beasley & Associates, is currently working with Fuqua Development on a 62-acre mixed-use project along GA 400 that has idled for years. The development proposes 430 apartments, 70 townhomes, 78,000 square feet of retail, 36,800 square feet of restaurants and 500,500 square feet of office space.
While the state of the economy and the quality of life Alpharetta has to offer are certainly driving factors in the recent growth it has seen, its elected officials are doing their part as well to encourage business growth.
Its signature project, City Center, will soon begin the next phase of its construction, which will include 104,000 square feet of retail, 168 residential units and up to 29,950 square feet of office. The city has also purchased land in the downtown area designated for additional parking to support the influx of additional activity. All of this is surrounded by at least seven private residential projects that include condos, apartments, townhomes and single-family houses.
For the Alpharetta Chamber’s part, it is doing everything it can to keep pace with the growth. More business in the city means there is a greater need for Chamber services, including networking, marketing and educational opportunities. The volume of events to meet those needs is at an all-time high, as is membership.
Through a partnership with the Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Chamber concluded last month its annual Alpharetta Restaurant Week, showcasing some of Alpharetta's finest eateries through a weeklong program. Over 4,000 people participated from the community and tried something new to support their local restaurant scene.
One of the Chamber’s newest programs, set to launch in early 2017, is a partnership between the Chamber and the city's Economic Development Department. Alpharetta Mayor's Circle, modeled after Atlanta Committee for Progress, aims to align the city’s top employers under one name to help steer the vision for future Alpharetta projects and provide a unified voice for the business community. The inaugural year will be co-chaired by Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle and MedAssets founder John Bardis.
So, while Alpharetta has exploded with new and growing business the last few year, every indication is that we’re just getting started.