The Gwinnett County Convention and Visitors Bureau is putting plans to build a sprawling mixed-use development at the Infinite Energy Center on hold and is looking for a new developer to partner with as North American Properties leaves the project.
The developer and the convention and visitor’s bureau announced the split in a joint statement.
“Sometimes the hardest decision involves not rushing an exciting project, but we are confident in this choice. 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,” GCVB Chief Executive Officer Preston Williams said. “The response in the marketplace to what is happening on this campus has been extremely positive and we look forward to bringing on another development partner in the coming months to carry it through to completion.
“North American Properties helped us cast the vision for what this campus could become, and we are grateful for that, but we both agree that a new partner will be needed to carry it through to completion.”
The announcement is a major blow for the plans to create a mixed-use development at the Infinite Energy Center. North American’s Revel development had been in the works for the last few years, and it would have includes 865,000 square feet of Class A office space, 300,000 square feet of 900 residences, a movie theater, several restaurants, a food hall and a bowling alley.
The two new parking decks built at the Infinite Energy Center this year, the second of which is expected to open this month, were built to accommodate Revel.
North American’s exit likely means Revel itself will be scrapped as a new developer will work on its own mixed-use proposal. The development’s website, experiencerevel.com, was still live Tuesday afternoon.
North American President Mark Toro said the Revel project was a victim of a realignment of the development company’s focuses.
“We are realigning our strategy to focus on the acquisition and repositioning of mixed-use destinations and the ground-up development of multifamily communities. North American Properties Atlanta has a significant track record of success in both areas,” said Toro.
“Gwinnett County has been a great partner and the future redevelopment around the Infinite Energy Center will be a wonderful addition for the residents of Gwinnett and the greater region. We wish everyone involved the very best and we will work closely with Gwinnett as we transition away from Revel. This has been a very difficult decision for NAPA; however, our strategic realignment requires we deploy our resources in different ways as we create community with the repositioning of existing mixed-use destinations rather than new ground-up retail development.”
The shake-up will not impact all of the plans for the Infinite Energy Center. A planned Westin hotel that will connect to the center’s convention space and the arena is still set to break ground in January. And an expansion of the convention space is still slated to proceed.
Both of those projects had been planned before North American was brought in to develop Revel.
“Concord Hospitality has been strategically expanding its footprint in the greater Atlanta market and we have had our sights set on finding the right location in Gwinnett County for some time,” said Mark Laport, president and CEO of Concord Hospitality, which is working on the Westin hotel. “The success of bringing such a premier hotel brand like Westin to Gwinnett is a direct result of successful collaboration on the part of the county and the key leaders at the Infinite Energy Center, and the dedicated team within the Explore Gwinnett Tourism Office
“We are proud to not only bring the Westin Atlanta Gwinnett Hotel to this vibrant area, but humbled by being part of adding both job growth and ongoing incremental economic impact through state and local tax revenue.”
Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau Board Chairman Richard Tucker said, “The expansion of the Infinite Energy Center is an exciting project for Gwinnett County. A tremendous amount of work has gone into the planning and execution of the master plan for the business and entertainment center of our county.
“We wish North American Properties Atlanta the very best as they move forward with other projects while welcoming Concord and Westin Hotels as they break ground on a flagship hotel for our campus. We remain excited and diligent in our continued efforts to expand the business and entertainment opportunities for the Infinite Energy Center.”