Alpharetta's Big Project Part Deux

image: North American Properties
So, the big news out of Alpharetta lately has been the release of the site plan for the new Avalon development.  You may want to check out their promotional video as well.  Very well put together with the always catchy Temper Trap song Sweet Temptation as background.  You can comment on the plan here on the Alpharetta City website and Mark Toro will be presenting the project to the public at 7pm on Monday 2/13 at Alpharetta City Hall.  Mark seems like a good guy and his presentation will probably be top notch.  Unfortunately, I can't make it.
This project is better than what is there now.  It's not better than the original Prospect Park plan in my opinion.  All in all, it has a long way to go to earn my full approval (but what the hell does that matter).  For what it's worth, here's My feedback...
Pro
  • Thus far, a well executed marketing and promotional plan.  NAP knows what they are doing on the retail side and will no doubt put together a product that will work in Alpharetta.
  • Nice use of terminated vistas on the central avenue.  Retail has figured it out, now we just need our transportation engineers and subdivision developers to figure it out.
  • Bold move with the apartments given the current mood in Alpharetta toward anything non-single family.  These apartments will be leased with a quickness.  
Con
  • Far too much land area dedicated to parking.  I hope they are planning on using the space as a land bank for future mixed use buildings.
  • A 14 story building is a show stopper in Alpharetta.  Nothing on this property should be go over 6-7 stories.  NAP will get some serious backlash if they want to push the height.
  • Does Alpharetta really need another movie theater?  Good grief!  Also, what will the back end of the movie theater look like from Westside Parkway?
  • Poor use of the detention ponds.  Take the Historic Old 4th Ward Park pond as an example of great use of a detention pond.  I know.. the site is topographically challenged and the detention ponds can only go in so many places but where's the creativity?
  • Townhomes should surround the park instead of the single family homes.  The little park does nothing to increase the value of the single family homes that have their own little yards already.  However, the townhomes would see an increase in value.  
  • Townhomes should face out along Westside Parkway.  This entire project seems to look in on itself.  That could be a byproduct of the fact that it is surrounded by multi-lane arterials that not even the most ardent traffic engineer would want to stare at all day, but that's no excuse.  They should be designed more like the Lake Deerfield townhomes along Deerfield Pkwy where the buildings on the outside address the street.  There is nothing that can help the situation along Old Milton.. you're stuck with a 6 laner + turn lanes.  However, Westside can be done well and the right addressing of the street could really change the feel through that stretch of road.
  • The outparcels are very concerning and leave uncertainty.  What will be there? They are too close to the residential.. the residential should interact with the main project and not be plagued with uncertainty of what will be developed right next door.  

Maybe some of these concerns will be addressed and questions answered at Monday's meeting.  Either way, thanks to Mark Toro and NAP for bringing life to this project and working to engage the public.