North American Properties Follows Atlantic Town Center Investment with Rebuilding Plans for Mixed-Use Alpharetta Project

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor After the successful acquisition of Atlantic Town Center in December, for which North American Properties formed a joint venture with CB Richard Ellis Investors, NAP is strengthening its strategy of identifying and investing in Atlanta ‘blue [...]

After the successful acquisition of Atlantic Town Center in December, for which North American Properties formed a joint venture with CB Richard Ellis Investors, NAP is strengthening its strategy of identifying and investing in Atlanta ‘blue chip’ retail projects in A-plus locations with its most recent purchase: Alpharetta’s Prospect Park.

Former site developer Stan Thomas envisioned a major mixed-use project that was to become a luxury destination for tourists, residents and shoppers; the project was to include $1.5 million homes and a luxury hotel on top of the retail component. The only thing to actually get built on the site is a parking deck for a proposed Whole Foods store, but that too was abandoned once Thomas ran out of cash and financing and filed for bankruptcy protection for the site.

North American Properties, on the other hand, has a scaled-down mixed-use center in mind for the 106-acre site at the Georgia 400 and Old Milton Parkway. Plans have been revealed for a smaller, vibrant retail and residential environment that, according to NAP managing partner Mike Toro, will be responsive not only to the current retail and real estate market but also to the needs of the community. Toro, who admits being on familiar ground, as he helped the city of Alpharetta in zoning 1.3 million square feet of retail space, will partner with the previous head of leasing for the original Prospect Park project, Ron Pfohl, in spearheading the project.

This second recent purchase of a high-profile mixed-use project in the Southeast reflects North American Properties’ strategic turn toward aggressively seeking new opportunities and investments after a rather conservative approach in the years 2008 and 2009. NAP’s efforts to reach out to the community have so far paid off: Atlantic Town Center’s retail sales have increased at a rate three times the national average.