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Developers eye Forsyth County for 750,000 square-foot arena, retail, hotel space

Krause Auto Group announced Monday it wants to create a mixed-use development that would contain retail shops, dining options, and more.

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A "world-class entertainment hub" that would include a 750,000 square-foot arena is being proposed for Forsyth County.

For weeks, there's been chatter about whether or not the National Hockey League could potentially make a return to Atlanta. And while a deal for a metro Atlanta team hasn't been confirmed -- the possibility of a space like "The Gathering at South Forsyth" is fueling more rumblings.

Krause Auto Group announced Monday it wants to create a mixed-use development that would contain retail shops; dining options; lodging and residential space; and an arena that will bring "top-tier events" to the area.

Among the groups comprising the development team for the project is SCI Architects, which specializes in "the design of multi-use sport and entertainment facilities," according to the company's LinkedIn page. The company, by its own estimate, has been involved with more than 100 such projects across the globe, including multiple ice hockey arenas.

Vernon Krause, CEO of Krause Auto Group, said in a news release that he "envisioned creating a place for community members to meet and enjoy life." The new complex would be located at the intersection of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and Union Hill Road, along GA-400. 

Just last month, ESPN hockey anchor John Buccigross, hinted at an NHL team coming back to Atlanta -- more specifically Alpharetta. 11Alive spoke exclusively with Alpharetta Mayor Jim Gilvin who said he would love to see the idea come to fruition, despite having not yet spoken directly with anyone from the league.

And while Alpharetta isn't South Forsyth -- it does align with what 11Alive's Maria Martin was able to find out in March -- that IF hockey were to return to the area, the proposal for it would be a new facility in the suburbs.  

“The community of South Forsyth holds great meaning for me," explained Krause. "As a global entertainment hub, The Gathering at South Forsyth will provide residents, employers and visitors with the ability to see their favorite musician, experience a family-friendly ice show or eat at a James Beard-awarded restaurant without having to sit in their car for hours."

“The development will include the best in advanced technology, sustainability, walkability and connectivity – all within a comfortable and accessible setting,” he added.

READ | Alpharetta mayor responds to chatter about whether NHL team could return to metro Atlanta

The news release said the site was originally zoned for a mall, but it never came to fruition. Alfred John, chairman of the Forsyth County Commission, said a project of this magnitude would enhance the area.

"This best-in-class development will create a halo effect that will raise the County’s visibility and provide added economic growth opportunities,” he added.

Developers plan to file a request for an overlay district on April 25. It will presented at the Forsyth County Commission work session that day. Listening sessions for public engagement will be set in May. 

Here's what the plan from the development team includes:

  • 1.6 million square feet of commercial and retail space
  • A 750,000 square-foot arena
  • A 100,000 square-foot community center
  • A 7,500 square-foot fire station
  • 450 hotel rooms with meeting spaces 
  • Residential units

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