Buckhead Atlanta Lands Italian Label
January 10, 2014
Buckhead Atlanta Lands Italian Label
Atlanta Business Chronicle

Another first-to-market retailer plans to join Buckhead Atlanta, just as the long-awaited project speeds up for its summer debut. Luxury Italian label Etro looks to open a boutique at the mixed-use project, located on 8 acres at Peachtree and East Paces Ferry roads. San Diego developer OliverMcMillan recently filed plans in Atlanta for the roughly 2,200-square-foot store. It will take a spot off Buckhead Avenue. It’s further proof that Buckhead Atlanta can compete in the shopping mecca that is Buckhead. Some had wondered whether it could thrive in close proximity to Simon Property Group Inc.’s premier malls, Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. But, OliverMcMillan is showing it can land national and international concepts that are new to the market. “This adds to Buckhead’s brand,” said Sam Massell, president of the Buckhead Coalition. “It is proving to be what we predicted. It really will be a distinct destination.” Although the Etro brand can be found in department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, it has just a few boutiques in the United States. That includes locations in New York, including one on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, as well as stores in Miami and Los Angeles. Etro was established in 1968 and today sells women’s and men’s clothing, fragrances and home items. The brand is sure to shake up the Buckhead fashion scene, as its style could be quite a leap for the pleated khaki crowd, said one local retail expert. It’s one of a handful of retailers confirmed for Buckhead Atlanta, the anticipated redevelopment of the former bar district in the Buckhead Village. The project is years in the making, as it stalled during the Great Recession under its original developer, Ben Carter Properties LLC. Etro had been an original tenant. OliverMcMillan took over the project in 2011, and in the past year, has made tremendous strides to finally bring the project to fruition. The developer last summer landed its anchor office tenant, Spanx Inc., and secured a $167 million construction loan. Now, it’s busy building the $1 billion development. More than 600 workers are on site each day. A topping-out ceremony is planned for Jan. 17. The first stores should open around July. “We are making tremendous progress toward completing this beautiful, exciting destination for Atlanta,” Hunter Richardson, managing director of development for Buckhead Atlanta, told Atlanta Business Chronicle in a statement. “Etro’s start of construction on their new store is just the beginning of a busy year for us that will include the summer opening of our first retailers and restaurants. We’ll continue to have openings throughout the year and into 2015.” The project will have about 300,000 square feet of retail, or around 50 to 60 shops. They will range from luxury retailers like Etro and Hermes, to contemporary fashion labels, to local boutiques. A building permit was filed on Dec. 31 for the Hermes store. It’s costing nearly $1.7 million to build out. Buckhead Atlanta also will offer around 10 restaurants, including a new location of upscale French bistro Le Bilboquet, a Manhattan hot spot for 25 years. Georgia’s first location of Shake Shack, a hip Manhattan burger and hot dog joint, will join the mix. That restaurant is costing about $900,000, according to a permit filed Dec. 31. Buckhead Atlanta also will include apartments and office space. “Everybody’s really excited about it,” Massell said. “The community has sort of adopted the project as its own.”


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