Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones puts his arm around Guven’s Fine Jewelry founder Jon Guven during a Wednesday afternoon press conference at the Georgia State Capitol.

The mixed-used mega-development planned near the Mall of Georgia now has a name, and it’s inspired by the project’s most famous financial backer — Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones.

It will be called Ariston. That’s Greek for “the best.”

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“We want this to be the best,” Jones said at a brief press conference Wednesday at the Georgia State Capitol. “The very best.”

The development will pack a mix a shops, office space, apartments, condos and a 25-story hotel onto 16 acres at the intersection of Woodward Crossing and Mall of Georgia boulevards. The property is a stone’s throw southeast of the actual mall.

Also included will be a 50,000-square foot family entertainment center that officials said will boast “luxury bowling, sports theatre, arcade, private event space, restaurant and “multi-faceted entertainment options.”

The hotel would be the tallest building in Gwinnett County and include seven floors of condos and a rooftop bar.

A massive mixed-use development near the Mall of Georgia was approved in September by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. (Credit: Ivy Creek Partners LLC)

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners approved plans for the project in September, and developer Ivy Creek Partners announced a week later that Jones was a “principal investor.” 

Jon Guven of Guven’s Fine Jewelry is also an investor.

“It started off as we wanted to do a family entertainment center up there just to have something to do,” Jones, who lives in Gwinnett, said Wednesday. “Because I know being on the team, guys had to take their kids like 45 minutes to really go Downtown to really hang out, do things. We just need something up there in that area.”

Ivy Creek’s Jonathan Garza said Wednesday that the project will be built in phases and construction is likely to take four years. Officials hope to break ground on the first phase sometime in the next month or so.

In all, the $200 million development would feature 162,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery store. It also would include 76,000 square feet of offices and 541 apartments.

Wednesday’s press conference came on the same day Jones was being honored by the state’s General Assembly. About two weeks removed from foot surgery, the wide receiver wore a walking boot but said his foot was “good.”

He also said he’ll remain an integral part of the Ariston project.

“It’s good for the community up there in Gwinnett County,” Jones said.

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AJC