Don’t call it Halcyon 2.0, but it could be close.

Following six years of planning and discussions, a nearly 140-acre town center concept called Coal Mountain is poised to break ground in coming months and push the reaches of metro Atlanta’s development boom ever northward, toward the North Georgia Mountains.

National homebuilding behemoth Toll Brothers has Forsyth County’s approval to build Coal Mountain Town Center on acreage roughly seven miles northeast of downtown Cumming, due west of Ga. Highway 400 and Lake Lanier, about 50 miles from downtown Atlanta.

NAI Brannen Goddard; designs, Nelson Worldwide

The name pays homage to the area’s unincorporated Coal Mountain community with roots in the 1830s—but never any coal.

As designed by architecture firm Nelson Worldwide, the project would meld retail, offices, and other uses, while benefiting from proximity to Ga. Highway 400, a nearby Walmart, and North Georgia Premium Outlets mall, a Simon property that annually attracts about 6 million shoppers, developers have said.

How the masterplanned community could link to existing greenspace and a nearby school. NAI Brannen Goddard; designs, Nelson Worldwide

Toll Brothers officials told the Atlanta Business Chronicle this month they expect to break ground on Coal Mountain Town Center this fall and start delivering townhomes and single-family homes in mid-2025. The overarching is goal is create for north Forsyth County what Halcyon brought to the relatively affluent, fast-growing county’s southern fringes, only with designs influenced by the area’s agricultural history.

That would include a master-planned social hub with an emphasis on greenspace and pedestrian connections (with parking lots) alongside more than 700 housing units.

Toll Brothers officials told the ABC the current breakdown for Coal Mountain includes 222 single-family homes, 219 townhomes, 300 apartments, 20,200 square feet of offices, and more than 70,000 square feet for retail.

A 15,000-square-foot brewery space is reportedly also in the mix.

Forsyth County Commissioners unanimously approved plans for Coal Mountain Town Center in December, setting the stage for Toll Brothers to begin work on the development, as Appen Media reported. The project’s scope is so large, it drove county leaders to create a new zoning district called the Coal Mountain Town Center Overlay.

NAI Brannen Goddard; designs, Nelson Worldwide

Meanwhile, a few miles south of the Coal Mountain proposal, Forsyth’s county seat Cumming has seen initial offerings at its own mixed-use city center open in recent weeks. That project’s envisioned as an improved downtown for Cumming built from scratch.

In the gallery above, find more Coal Mountain context and depictions of how the community could look and function.


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