$500 million plan to revamp one of metro Atlanta’s biggest malls rejected

The Alpharetta City Council rejected a $500 million plan to redevelop the aging North Point Mall, voting 7-0 Monday to deny rezoning the 100-acre property.

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North Point Mall in Alpharetta, which opened in 1993, has struggled in recent years, especially with the arrival of Avalon, a nearby mixed-use development.

Plans called for demolishing 464,000 square feet of North Point Mall and creating an outdoor-centered village environment. The development would also have featured a 120,000-square-foot office building and an upscale hotel, along with 18 acres of green space.

“People living here, people working here, people staying here overnight, people enjoying the public spaces, none of which is happening today,” Terry Montesi, the CEO of Trademark Property Company, said in October.

“What we voted was to deny a project that didn’t bring anything of value to the city as far as what we currently have and maybe what we currently need,” Alpharetta Mayor Pro Tem Dan Merkel said. “A hotel, apartments, some shopping – it just wasn’t creative enough. And it didn’t bring enough of anything of value that was new to the city.”

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One point of contention between the city and the developer was the number of rental homes. Trademark proposed 875 apartments and 103 for-sale homes. During the City Council meeting Monday night, Montesi defended the number of rental units. “In this district, more is better,” he said. “To help the retail, it’s better. To help office space in the future, it’s better. The location is super important. This is the right location for multifamily housing.”

The Alpharetta Planning Commission already approved the project, but it still needed a vote from the City Council. If the project was not approved, Montesi has said, the entire mall property would likely have to shut down.

Mayor Jim Gilvin described the ratio of apartments to for-sale homes as “a little bit out of whack.” But Montesi has said fewer apartments would not make the project viable.

“The business climate today just doesn’t allow them to do a project with the components that we’ve learned need to be there for a successful mixed-use development,” Gilvin said.

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A spokesperson for Trademark said Montesi was not available for comment Tuesday. The developer has at least six months to submit another proposal for the property.

As for the future of North Point Mall, Gilvin said “it’s been a top priority for us in the city.”

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