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NAP Brings in Retailers


ATLANTA â Retail development in Atlanta hasn't exactly returned like gangbusters since the ending of the Great Recession. But one of the biggest mixed-use projects in the US underway right now is touting that it's already 90% preleased, a big feat in a soft retail market. North American Properties announced that it signed a slew of retailers to almost fill out the first 400k SF of retail in the $600M Avalon project in the affluent Atlanta suburb called Alpharetta, including Whole Foods Market, Regal Cinemas, Anthropologie, lululemon, vineyard vines and Crate & Barrel. NAP has secured a commitment from Lilly Pulitzer for phase II (another 100k SF of retail), says NAP's Mark Toro, who we caught during a prep meeting with his staff on the eve of ICSC's New York show.


Avalon is one of the big mixed-use projects undertaken at a time when Atlanta's economy was wallowing in recession and a soft recovery. Despite that, it and Jamestown Properties' Ponce City Market (a redevelopment of an old Sears warehouse in Midtown Atlanta) have announced huge leasing wins while under construction. NAP purchased a site that was supposed to be another mixed-use project, but died during the credit crunch. And now Mark says retailers have gained confidence that Avalon is a real project and no longer a dream.