Alpharetta developer thinks ‘new normal’ with mixed-use project

Alpharetta is considering changes to North and South Broads Streets. CITY OF ALPHARETTA

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Alpharetta is considering changes to North and South Broads Streets. CITY OF ALPHARETTA

The coronavirus is changing construction projects for a post-COVID-19 world, developers say.

The Maxwell, a mixed-use project under construction at South Main Street and Devore Road in Alpharetta, will feature substantial square footage and outdoor areas for improved social distancing, said Jason Joseph, managing director at Mayfair Street Partners, the firm providing retail and restaurant space. And office tenants may be downsizing because more workers will work remotely in the future.

Mayfair, along with residential developer The Providence Group, started construction on The Maxwell last fall. Its location is an extension of downtown, and will be complete with a street sign reading, “Welcome to downtown Alpharetta,” said Eric Graves, senior engineer in Alpharetta’s Community Development department.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in early fall, said Joseph. The developers are building 44,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space where tenants will have significant outdoor shopping and dining areas, he added.

Nearly 30,000 square feet of office space and 138 residential condominiums and townhomes are also planned.

In May, tenant Neal Freeman, founder of LakePoint Sports, is set to start building an 11,000-square-foot entertainment and simulated golf recreation space called Fairway Social.

“We’ve had a little bit of luck with the space plan,” said Joseph. “Fairway Social’s simulator golf (bays) hold 10 people or less and create a great opportunity for smaller size social distancing.”

Freeman owns Lakepoint Station amusement center in Emerson, Georgia, and is former president of Watkins Real Estate Group, which developed 50 Publix shopping centers. “Because of Lakepoint being closed [during the pandemic] we’ve had a lot of time to analyze what’s the new norm,” said Freeman. “Fortunately, I’m a clean and disinfectant freak.”

Joseph said a potential office tenant has reduced the amount of space it needs because many employees will continue to work remotely when the public health emergency ends.

“Having face-to-face interaction is still critical,” said Joseph. “We are still seeing the demands for (office) space. I don’t think anyone really knows how it’s going to be yet.”

Mayfair Street Partners is also behind the luxury boutique Hamilton Hotel, currently under construction in downtown Alpharetta. The 119-room hotel is in the Hilton Curio Collection.

Janet Rodgers, president of Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau, said The Maxwell is an asset to the extension of downtown.

“We love people investing in our community and creating tourism driven businesses,” said Rodgers.