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Avalon's Grand Opening Has Everything but Singing Donkeys

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Avalon — Alpharetta's $600 million, 86-acre answer to Atlantic Station — is nearly complete, and there's no way a piddly one-day grand opening party will suffice for the development that claims to be "a new experience in the timeless art of living well." That deserves at least two days of festivities, maybe three. Oh heck, let's just round it up to four. Four days and nights of nonstop celebrations starting on October 30 with everything from a Georgia/Florida football viewing party to rock concerts to trick-or-treating/trick-or-drinking. You can just hear how that planning meeting must have gone down: How about some chef demos? Sure. Add those in there. Fashion shows? At the top of every hour. Singers, songwriters, an indie-alt-folk group and a yet-to-be-named-but-awe-inspiring headlining musical act. Darned tootin'. You can't have an opening this epic without some fireworks, can you? Definitely not. Jazz entertainment, DIY crafts for kids and adults, local art demonstrations, a Fall Festival, yoga in the park, Sunday Funday lawn games, a 16-piece big band and a fighter jet flyover synchronized to "Proud to Be an American"? ALL OF IT! Wait a minute, those fighter jets might be over budget. Yeah, let's cut those. Everything but the jets.

Outside of the four days of partymania, there's a lot going on at the North American Properties project — 500,000 square feet of retail, 800 single-family homes, office space and apartments so stellar that people are apparently willing to drop $5,070/month. The "carefully curated" collection of retail and restaurants includes Whole Foods, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Lululemon, Antico Pizza's second location and Sean Doty's Bantam & Biddy. The 2.4 million square feet also includes a 12-screen Regal Cinema, a hotel, spas, gyms, salons and other amenities.

Alpharetta residents will no doubt eat it up. The question is, can all of these bells and whistles convince Atlantans to trek up and check it out? Anybody planning on a visit?

· Here's What $5,070/Month rents at Alpharetta's Avalon [Curbed Atlanta]
· Could Avalon Dilute The Caché Of Intown Retailers, Eateries? [Curbed Atlanta]