Avalon Closes $126.5 Million in Construction Financing

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ATLANTA, Aug. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- North American Properties - Atlanta, Ltd. (NAP), developers of Avalon, today announced that construction financing has been closed and vertical construction has begun. NAP, in joint venture with Sarofim Realty Advisors, secured $126.5 million in financing for Phase I, comprised of an $86.5 million syndicated senior loan by Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America accompanied by a $40 million mezzanine loan provided by JP Morgan Asset Management. Eastdil Secured arranged the financing package.

Site work is well underway, and vertical construction has begun, one month ahead of schedule. October 2014 will mark the grand opening of Avalon, the Southeast's preeminent experiential development — a place where specialty retail, entertainment, restaurants, residences, offices, hotels and public spaces come together to create a truly unique experience.

Avalon's Phase I retail space is now 75 percent leased. Recently added retailers include: Giovanni Di Palma's Antico Napoletana, Bantam + Biddy by Chef Shaun Doty, Tommy Bahama, Vineyard Vines, Exhale Spa, West Elm, Kinnucan's Specialty Outfitter, Sage Boutique, Free People, Janie and Jack, C. Wonder and L'Occitane.

"The collection of restaurants and retailers we have assembled is phenomenal," said Mark Toro, managing partner of NAP. "I can't wait to see the first buildings coming out of the ground. Avalon is the first project of its scope to start construction since The Great Recession in the entire United States. It's a very exciting time."

Here is a look at the most recent milestones the NAP team has reached at Avalon:

  • Retail Leasing: In addition to the retailers listed above, Avalon has executed leases with Anthropologie, Arhaus, Athleta, Banana Republic, Bocado Burger Bar, Cru Food and Wine, Destination Maternity, Dry Bar, Everything But Water, Fab'rik, a new Chef Ford Fry concept, Flywheel, GAP, Gymboree, Kona Grill, Lululemon, Luxury Nail Spa, Marlow's Tavern, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Orvis, Paper Source, Pinkberry, PNC Bank, Regal Cinemas, Ted's Montana Grill, Van Michael Salon and Whole Foods. Pre-leasing for the Phase II luxury retail expansion is already well underway, and Phase II is scheduled to open in Fall 2015.
  • Gigabit Community: Avalon will be the first mixed-use gigabit community in the Southeast. Using an all-fiber-optic smart infrastructure design known as "Fiber-to-the-Premises" technology, Avalon will deliver residences, guests and tenants internet speeds over 100 times greater than typical offerings, along with digital HD television and VOIP technology. Avalon's technology platform will have the same speed and capacity as Google Fiber's initiatives in Kansas City and Austin.
  • For-sale Residential: Town urbanist Lew Oliver, builder Monte Hewett Homes and Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International have teamed up to design, build and sell the single-family homes at Avalon. The team has gathered a waiting list of more than 600 prospective homebuyers for the 101 homes to be built. Initial concepts for the homes are available by contacting Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International. The first peek of model homes will be available in June 2014, and in October 2014 the first resident will move in.
  • Luxury Rental Homes: 250 luxury rental homes will be built above the Phase I retail, and are as highly sought after as the single-family offering. The first units will be available for occupancy in January 2015.
  • Office Leasing: More than 50 percent of the office-over-retail has been leased. New tenants include Wakefield Beasley and Associates and Integrated Care Management. In addition, there has been tremendous interest in the 750,000 square feet of build-to-suit space planned in Phase II from employers seeking to provide an unparalleled work environment for their associates, while future-proofing their operations with Avalon's fiber-to-the-premises technology. Greenstone Properties is leasing the Phase I office over retail space, and will develop and lease the Phase II mid-rise office buildings.
  • Hotels: NAP is rapidly advancing two hotel opportunities planned for Phase II of Avalon. A boutique hotel will be located over retail, and NAP is in discussions with several brands to create a unique offering to extend the Avalon brand. In addition, NAP has responded to a City of Alpharetta request regarding a public-private partnership for a conference center and full-service hotel. Stormont Hospitality Group is working with NAP to advance the hospitality aspects of Avalon.
  • Construction: Hoar Construction is the general contractor for Avalon, with Plateau Excavation serving as site-work subcontractor and Precision Concrete as concrete subcontractor. Benning Construction will build Regal Cinemas, and Young Contracting will build Whole Foods. NAP's construction division, NAP Contracting LLC, will construct the multifamily component.

About Avalon:

Avalon is a new experience in the timeless art of living well. In the heart of Alpharetta, this sustainably-designed, 86-acre development with more than 500,000 square feet of retail, a 12-screen theater, boutique and full-service hotels, Class A office, single-family residences and luxury rental homes infuses resort-level hospitality throughout a walkable, seamlessly connected community of shopping, dining, entertainment, living, and working. It's more than just another place to go, it's a place to be—a hub of local art and activity that delivers the luxury of the modern South. At 2.4 million square feet and more than $600 million, Avalon is one of the largest projects currently underway in the United States. You can find more updates on Avalon at its website, Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter profile.

About North American Properties:

Founded in 1954, North American Properties is a privately-held, multi-regional real estate operating company that has acquired, developed and managed more than $4.5 billion of retail, multifamily, mixed use and office properties across the United States. Headquartered in Cincinnati, with offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Fort Myers, Fla., the company has developed 19 million square feet of retail and 13,000 apartment units in 13 states. Currently, North American Properties has eight projects totaling more than $480 million of development in five states. In metro Atlanta, North American Properties owns Atlantic Station, Avalon and BOHO4W. For more information, please visit http://www.naproperties.com.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Hagin The Wilbert Group 678-642-4301 (C) ehagin@thewilbertgroup.com

Source:North American Properties