Officials behind Ariston — the development long pitched for 16 acres next door to the Mall of Georgia — told the AJC that ground is expected to be broken this month. SPECIAL PHOTO

Julio Jones’ Mall of Georgia development is moving forward — and soon

The Mall of Georgia-area mixed-use development backed by Atlanta Falcons superstar Julio Jones is about to take flight.

Officials behind Ariston — the development long pitched for 16 acres next door to Gwinnett County’s favorite mall — told the AJC that ground is expected to be broken this month. 

Plans call for nearly 300 “Class A luxury apartments,” restaurants and retail space, and a 110-room Hilton Garden Inn. 

“Ariston reflects our commitment to creating a pedestrian-friendly community that will encompass luxury apartment living, brand-name hospitality, dining and entertainment immediately adjacent to the dominant retail node in Gwinnett County,” Jon Guven, another principal investor in the project, said in a news release.

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The project raised eyebrows when it was initially proposed in 2016, and not just because of Jones’ involvement. The original vision was much larger in scale: nearly twice as many apartments, office space, a “family entertainment center,” and a 21-story hotel that would’ve become Gwinnett County’s tallest building.

The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners approved a scaled-back version last October but the site has remained quiet since.

Officials behind Ariston — the development long pitched for 16 acres next door to the Mall of Georgia — told the AJC that ground is expected to be broken this month. SPECIAL PHOTO

Pollack Shores Real Estate Group — which built three apartment communities at The Battery Atlanta — has been chosen to develop Ariston’s residential component. A total of 285 apartments are included, the first of which are expected to be available in May 2020. 

Officials with Ariston — which is Greek for “the best” —  also announced that the development will have a pedestrian connection to the nearby Ivy Creek Greenway, a popular 3.4-mile trail. 

The plans approved last fall call for about 100,000 square feet of commercial uses. 

“We look forward to Ariston becoming a community destination that attracts new jobs and investment dollars to Gwinnett County,” Gwinnett Chamber CEO Nick Masino said in a news release.

The development will be built on the corner of Mall of Georgia Boulevard and Woodward Crossing.

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