Toro Development Company (TDC), the team behind mixed-use destinations Avalon and Colony Square, this week announced plans to develop a 43-acre site in Johns Creek.
The TDC team will apply its learnings from Avalon and Colony Square to create a “Third Place” for Johns Creek and support the city’s recently-passed Town Center Vision and Plan, a multi-phased development strategy focused on bringing new retail, dining and entertainment experiences to the community, according to the announcement.
Located at the intersection of Johns Creek Parkway and McGinnis Ferry Road, at 11650 Johns Creek Parkway, TDC’s project site is currently home to two mid-rise office buildings formerly occupied by State Farm Insurance Co. The site is also part of Johns Creek’s future Town Center, which is anchored by City Hall and will span 192 acres, weaving together quality housing, restaurants, retail and offices through new public pathways and parks.
TDC will purchase 43 acres of the 54-acre property from a fund sponsored by New York-based U.S. Realty Advisors, which has owned the site since 2013. U.S. Realty Advisors began actively seeking the right partner to redevelop the property after State Farm’s move to its new headquarters in Central Perimeter.
“We recognized the incredible opportunity of this site and sought out Toro Development Company, knowing this team would maximize value by delivering a mixed-use project that would resonate with the Johns Creek community and work in concert with the City to advance the Town Center Plan,” David Grazioli of U.S. Realty Advisors said in a press release.
TDC will redevelop the dated office campus into a walkable mixed-use environment. While site planning is just beginning, TDC will infuse its signature approach to community building by activating the public realm with events, designing a resort-level Concierge program and bringing retail and restaurants to the street level, with residential overhead.
Early concepts include chef-driven restaurant patios that spill into wide sidewalks, residences over retail that make this a true 24/7 community, verdant greenspaces with soft seating and an event plaza with a stage for weekly live music and entertainment. These efforts will give Johns Creek residents “a Third Place to gather and feel connected to their community outside of home (first place) and the traditional office (second place).”
“Suburban office campuses are a dying breed,” Mark Toro, Principal and Chief Vision Officer of TDC, said. “We will transform this property by introducing a mix of uses that will buzz with energy, excitement and connectivity. Johns Creek deserves a place to call its own, a Third Place where people come together to celebrate first dates, birthdays, marriage proposals and everyday moments that bring invaluable meaning to our lives.”
In the coming months, TDC will engage the community to learn about the types of experiences they are looking for. TDC is focused on planning the right mix of uses that complement the city’s Town Center Vision and Plan, which includes five key themes: arts, culture, wellness, sustainability and innovation. Because of the walkable, open-air nature of TDC’s plans for this site, along with the site’s interconnectivity to other facilities in the Town Center, the project will support the Johns Creek Vitality initiative and promote the health, wellness and the happiness of the community.
“We have spent the last year carefully studying potential development sites throughout the Southeast. We are being very selective, and this one has all the right pieces to become a transformational mixed-use destination,” said Toro. “It’s important to know this isn’t going to be Avalon 2.0. While we will certainly apply best practices, this is about creating a place that is special and unique to this community. We are excited to work with the mayor and council over the coming months to create Johns Creek’s Third Place.”
In addition to Toro, TDC is led by John Kelley, Richard Munger, Vicky Boyce, and Carla Cox. While working together at North American Properties Atlanta, the team led the turnaround of Atlantic Station, the ground-up development of Avalon, and the redevelopment of Colony Square. This mixed-use project in Johns Creek marks the first in the newly launched company’s portfolio.
At Avalon, a $1 billion mixed-use community also located in a North Fulton suburb, the team created a new urban model for walkable, mixed-use development. The 2.4 million-square-foot community includes 570,000 square feet of retail, curated with an incredible lineup of chef-driven restaurants and top retail brands like Apple, Whole Foods, lululemon and Tesla; 750,000 square feet of Class A office; 527 luxury multifamily homes; 101 single-family homes; and a full-service 330-key hotel and conference center. Avalon has been named one of the top 10 retail destinations in the country.