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'We absolutely love it': Here's what some had to say about the big debut of Halcyon
Visitors walk the grounds of Halcyon, the mixed-use development in south Forsyth County that made its public debut on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. - photo by Ben Hendren

Weaving through the stores and open areas of Halcyon, visitors shopped, grabbed lunch or simply walked around and checked out the new development.

After years of planning and construction, several retailers and restaurants in mixed-use development opened their doors on Wednesday, Sept. 18 complete with lots of activities, live music and giveaways.

“This is the opening of the first wave of restaurants, retail, various boutiques in Halcyon, and it’s a day where the community can come out and see what’s been happening here over the last couple of years,” said Phil Mays, with Halcyon developer RocaPoint Partners.

Halcyon was first approved in 2015 and construction began the next year. Once complete, the 135-acre, $370 million project will include a trailhead for the Big Creek Greenway, 300,000 square feet of office space, 665 new homes and townhomes, two hotels, a dine-in cinema, a parking deck, open space, community greens and a 7,700-square-foot Market Hall with a variety of eateries.

The development allows open containers on-premises if alcohol is bought from one of the tenants and has a special focus on dogs, including lots of programs welcome to furry friends and water bowls all around.

“I think it’s been long wanted and needed by the community to have somewhere in the area for people to come and congregate and be able to hang out and relax, get something to eat or drink, exercise off the greenway – the greenway does terminate into our site – and a place to go with your friends and your family,” Mays said.

A total of nine restaurants, retailers and boutiques opened on Wednesday, and nearly two dozen more have announced their planned opening.

“It feels fantastic,” said Charles White, with RW Design & Exchange, which was opening its doors on Wednesday ahead of a full opening next week. “I know there has been a lot of build-up to this point, and we absolutely love it, love the developers and the folks opening today and the folks opening in the near future. We feel very confident about what it’s going to bring for the future.”

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Interior design firm R&W Design was one of the first tenants open for the public debut of Halcyon on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. - photo by Kelly Whitmire
Visitors could tour CMX CinéBistro's dinner-and-movie experience at Halcyon on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. - photo by Kelly Whitmire
Other tenants were still making final preparations as Halcyon made its public debut on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. - photo by Kelly Whitmire

The anchor tenant of Halcyon is CME CinéBistro, which will offer a full sports bar – CMX Stone – and chef-driven meals for viewers in the theater’s nine screens.

Though an opening date was announced for 2017 at the project’s groundbreaking, the development was delayed primarily by wet weather conditions, including a particularly rainy 2018.

It appears the extra time gave the public time to get excited for the project, with hundreds of visitors stopping by throughout the day to check it out.

Among those attending the opening were Keith and Brenda Hall, who not only said they were excited to see the new stores but are planning to move to the soon-to-open 55-plus housing on site.

“It’s going to be a big community, is what I think. It’s going to be great, especially if you’re living here and can come down [to the stores],” Keith said.

The Halls said they are moving from Cherokee County after wanting to downsize and looked around the area for apartments before their son told them about what was coming to Halcyon.

“We came up here and saw all the things that were being built and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to make a lifestyle change right now,’” Brenda said.

Halcyon is the most visible and largest of a spate of mixed-use – or live-work-play – developments planned or approved in Forsyth County in recent years.

“I just think it’s an opportunity for Forsyth County to expand in a positive way, not just for the sake of expansion, to have unique opportunities for businesses and customers alike,” White said of Halcyon. “I think Forsyth County needs more and more of this type of development.”

Mays said he is excited to see what the future holds for Halcyon and what kind of impact it has on south Forsyth.

“For the people here, it will give them an awesome place to go and to shop, to eat, to relax, to exercise,” Mays said. “Then, for Forsyth County itself, it’s a great economic engine as far as a tax revenue generator and quality of life generator for the county as well.”