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Surf ATL project finds footing with financial group

We’ve been following the Atlanta wave pool project for awhile now for a few reasons. First, it’s a community-first wave pool project which is rare in the developer world, and second it will be Georgia’s first surf park.

This week, the Surf ATL group announced a partnership with Commenda Real Estate and Commenda Capital to access the financial muscle necessary to see the project through.

“CRE is excited to join the Surf ATL team and for the opportunity to help bring this family-oriented regional development to fast-growing Forsyth County,” said Alan Abrams, Co-Chief Executive Officer of CRE. “Surf ATL is going to be a boon to tourism and outdoor sports in the metro area and will enhance metro Atlanta’s position as a key player in the water-sports and entertainment arena.”

Running through the center of the city, the Chattahoochee River keeps Atlanta just aquatic enough to be of interest to a relocated surf community. Three major lakes within an hour-and-a-half drive of downtown also mean wakesurfing is a popular go-to for locals. The surf park location in Forsyth County is just north of the city.

Robert Hanson and Spencer Broome are spearheading the project. We asked Spencer to give us an update.

Tell us about this latest advancement.

We’ve built a strong relationship with the Commenda team over the last few months and believe their deep experience will bring value to Surf ATL and help push our development forward. Plus, they genuinely believe in our vision and the community we are fostering in the Atlanta area.

How have things advanced in the past year?

We’ve advanced in many areas over the last year from both a project and community perspective. From a project side, we’ve raised investment and created strong relationships with our county of choice which is Forsyth County along with our preferred partners in technology and development.

From a community side, we’ve hosted meetups, gatherings, trips, and surf sessions and most importantly, connected and fostered the stoke that is already present here in our area.

The best advancement from the last year has been providing an avenue for surfers of different forms and backgrounds from across the metro Atlanta area to meet like-minded folks who they never knew before well before our surf park ever comes to fruition. My favorite thing is seeing people who met at an event or through Surf ATL get out on the water to surf or spend time together outside our forums. That is a true community. And that is only the beginning as we continue to introduce new people to surfing.

What are your goals for the surf park?
From the beginning, our vision has been about more than a surf park — about a feeling, a connection, and a community. The joy of riding waves is real and our goal is to continue to connect, grow and, foster it through all possible avenues.

We are building the home for all things surfing in the greater Atlanta area — wave pools, wake surfing, surf skating, and ocean surfing. We are building this for current surfers and for future surfers so more can feel what we feel.

We will have experiential programs, training, trips, and events. We’ll focus on philanthropy and sustainability. We’ll be a gathering spot for our diverse population. We’ll be a community — a surf community right here in the greater Atlanta area.

What do you need to do before you break ground?
We are working to finalize the exact location within Forsyth County and from there we will work through zoning, further pre-development, and permitting but with the belief and support from the county we know we are aligned on breaking ground as quickly and efficiently as possible

When can we expect waves?
Our goal is 2025 which we believe with our current momentum and support from the county will come to fruition.

Main image by Ben Dutton

Robert Hanson (left) and Spencer Broome will bring a different kind of wave pool to Atlanta.

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