ALPHARETTA, GA-In one of the largest spec-built, mixed-use ventures ever attempted in this corporate-oriented community, Thomas Enterprises of Newnan has started site clearing at a 64-acre tract in this affluent North Fulton County city for its $700-million Prospect Park. Alpharetta is 30 miles north of Downtown Atlanta.

The first phase of the 2.21-million-sf venture at the northwest quadrant of GA 400 and Old Milton Parkway is tentatively scheduled to open in spring 2008 with 750,000 sf of retail, 350,000 sf of office, a 143-room hotel, an 82-unit condominium complex, 13 restaurants, a 75,000-sf multiplex cinema, a 13,000-sf spa and a two-acre gardens and conservatory enclosure.

“No other place like Prospect Park exists in this part of the country,” says Thomas Enterprises owner Stan Thomas. “Prospect Park is being developed specifically for people who want to combine a suburban lifestyle with luxury, service and upscale shopping.”

The North Fulton County area was selected for the project because it “represents some of the highest household incomes in the nation,” says Kevin Case, Thomas Enterprises senior vice president of development. Brandon Beach, president and CEO of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, calls the project “an extraordinary development.”

Thomas has developed 20 million sf of retail valued at $2 billion since he started his privately held company in 1987. Prospect Park has been in the planning and design stage for five years. The final design is a compromise Thomas and the City of Alpharetta worked out. <pThe developer initially planned a total 2.4 million sf that would have included 759,000 sf of retail and restaurant space, 527,000 sf of office, 564 condominium homes and 150 hotel rooms, as previously reported. When Alpharetta officials balked at the project's size, Thomas revised the master plan to a total 2.21 million sf that included 780,000 sf of retail and restaurant space, 400,250 sf of class A office, 464 condo units, a 136-room hotel and a 3,700-seat movie theater.

Thomas says he is negotiating with national retailers to lease up about 450,000 sf of the total 750,000 sf before actual groundbreaking begins this summer. Area retail brokers familiar with the Alpharetta submarket tell the rent range will probably run from $25 to $35 per sf, depending on location and size of the stores. The retail component of Prospect Park is expected to compete intensely with merchants in Midtown and Buckhead, 20 miles from the Thomas project, area retail brokers tell

The 350,000 sf-office component will have two mid-rise buildings housing 200,000 sf of class A product with another 100,000 sf over the retail sector. Thomas Enterprises is handling the office leasing and management.

The 82 condos at the Stanbury Residences are priced from $1.5 million. The 143-room Stanbury Hotel will be owned and managed by Thomas Enterprises and is being developed in partnership with Atlanta hospitality consultant Hal Thannisch of Thannisch Development Services and custom interior designer Paul Duesing of Dallas-based Duesing Partners.

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