Buckhead Atlanta Moving Ahead at Brisk Pace
January 17, 2014
Buckhead Atlanta Moving Ahead at Brisk Pace
Atlanta Business Chronicle

By Douglas Sams and Amy Wenk Three years ago, a $1 billion mixed-use project once touted as a slice of Rodeo Drive in ritzy Buckhead was the talk of the city— because it was an eyesore. Construction had stalled amid the deep recession. The only thing moving cranes that loomed over the six-block project was the wind. Today, the development known as Buckhead Atlanta is bustling with more than 800 construction workers, and the first stores are on pace to open this summer. The project celebrated the construction milestone Friday, giving contractors a moment to take stock of how difficult the project has been — and how far it’s come. “Those involved from the beginning thought this day would never come, that this project would never start again,” said Al Petrangeli, division president and regional CEO of Balfour & Regional CEO of Balfour Beatty Construction. After languishing for more than a year, the project was taken over by OliverMcMillan in 2011. Last summer, Buckhead Atlanta landed the headquarters of Spanx Inc., the women’s underwear company, and secured a $167 million construction loan — one of the largest originated in the United States last year. “The most important thing out here is not the buildings,” said Dene Oliver, OliverMcMillan CEO. “The most important thing is going to be the sense of community and place.” The project also underscores greater construction activity in the city, where new mixed-use developments and residential towers are once again starting to dot the skyline. “This feels like a city should feel,” Mayor Kasim Reed said. “The city is up off its knees again.”

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