Developer drops out of major Gwinnett mixed-use project

A rendering of the proposed 'Revel' project on Gwinnett County's Infinite Energy Center campus near Duluth.

Credit: Gwinnett County planning documents

Credit: Gwinnett County planning documents

A rendering of the proposed 'Revel' project on Gwinnett County's Infinite Energy Center campus near Duluth.

North American Properties, the developer behind Avalon and other significant projects across metro Atlanta, has dropped out of a major Gwinnett County project.

The Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Tuesday that it was no longer partnering with North American on the so-called "Revel" project, a sprawling 118-acre development planned for the area surrounding Infinite Energy Arena.

GCVB officials said in a news release that the development is being “paused” while a new partner is selected, but the split raises serious questions about the project’s future.

“Sometimes the hardest decision involves not rushing an exciting project, but we are confident in this choice,” GCVB CEO Preston Williams said in the release. “We have one chance to get this right, and we are confident in the long-term viability of a mixed-use project on this site.”

The news release said North American was refocusing “on other areas of its business.”

“We wish everyone involved the very best and we will work closely with Gwinnett as we transition away from Revel,” North American’s Mark Toro said. “This has been a very difficult decision for NAPA.”

Revel was slated to include about 300,000 square feet of retail space, 865,000 square feet of office space and 900 apartments. Already announced tenants included a movie theater, an upscale bowling alley and a number of restaurants.

The development was meant to coincide with other improvements on the Infinite Energy campus, which is run by the convention and visitors bureau.

Officials said many of those projects would move forward, including a new parking deck that is already nearing completion; a dramatic expansion of the convention center at the Infinite Energy Forum; and a nearby Westin hotel.

“We remain excited and diligent in our continued efforts to expand the business and entertainment opportunities for the Infinite Energy Center,” GCVB board chairman Richard Tucker said.

North American Properties was behind the redevelopment of Atlantic Station and Colony Square Mall, both in Midtown Atlanta. It also created the Avalon development in Alpharetta, which was largely used a template for the Revel proposal.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle recently reported that North American was dropping out of a major project in Dunwoody called "High Street."

The news release issued Tuesday said the developer was refocusing its efforts toward “the acquisition and repositioning of [existing] mixed-use destinations and the ground-up development of multifamily communities.”