10/22/18 - Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) runs for a first down on the opening drive of the Falcons agains defender New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple (24). The Atlanta Falcons played the New York Giants in an NFL football game Monday, October 22, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Scaled-down version of Julio Jones’ Mall of Georgia project approved

Gwinnett County officials approved Tuesday a significantly scaled back version of the Mall Of Georgia-area development backed by Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones.

The original vision for the project known as “Ariston” called for more than 500 apartments, a 25-story hotel and more to be built on about 16 acres near Woodward Crossing and Mall of Georgia boulevards. Rezoning for the project was originally approved in 2016. 

PHOTOS: See the original renderings for the Ariston project

The project site and those involved remained quiet until May, when the development group — whose principal investors include Jones and Jon Guven of Guven’s Fine Jewelry — filed a request to change the zoning conditions. That was necessary because the new plans drastically reduce the scope of the project. 

As approved Tuesday, about 285 apartments are now included. The hotel — which would’ve become the tallest building in Gwinnett — is now proposed to be just four stories.

“It is a national brand ... ready to come online as soon as possible,” Shane Lanham, an attorney representing the developers, said of the hotel.

Original plans also called for 162,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery store, as well as 76,000 square feet of office and a 50,000-square-foot “family entertainment center.” New filings include a total of about 100,000 square feet of commercial uses.

The sizable parking decks included in the original proposal were also nixed.

The change in conditions passed 4-0. Commission John Heard — whose District 4 includes the area where the project is proposed — abstained from the vote. 

Heard said his employer, architecture and engineering firm Phillips Partnership, is involved in the project.

A new site plan for the Mall of Georgia-area development backed by a team that includes Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones.

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