Buckhead Atlanta ULI Project of the Year
October 3, 2014
Buckhead Atlanta ULI Project of the Year
Atlanta Business Chronicle

After being stalled for many years during the recession with a gaping hole and idle cranes in the middle of Buckhead, the reimagining of the recession-derailed Streets of Atlanta into Buckhead Atlanta became a reality with the Sept. 18 opening.

This project turned around when San Diego-based developer OliverMcMillan purchased the land and started developing Buckhead Atlanta, named Urban Land Institute Atlanta’s Project of the Year, into an upscale, mixed-use development featuring 275,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and cafés, more than 125,000 square feet of luxury office, and approximately 400,000 square feet of high-rise residential.

“There were numerous challenges along the way with Buckhead Atlanta, starting with defining the right deal structure to resuscitate the project, analyzing the existing structure to determine how it could be reused and repurposed, reprogramming and redesigning the development, rebranding it and launching new leasing initiatives after multiple years of marketing, attracting construction financing and then restarting construction midway through development rather than ground-up,” said OliverMcMillan Managing Director of Development Hunter Richardson. “These combined efforts have led to Buckhead Atlanta being 80 percent committed in terms of commercial space and off to a strong start with residential leasing.”

With the first five retail stores opening last month, a plan is in place to open a store or restaurant every week through the end of the year.

By balancing the pedestrian experience with automotive convenience, Buckhead Atlanta uses traditional and contemporary architectural elements. Use of lush, mature landscaping brings scale and precision to each street junction and blends with the existing environment.

Those charged with designing the project include architects at Gensler, Pappageorge Haymes and Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates Inc. Hoerr Schaudt served as the landscape architect.

Jim Van Duys, associate with Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates (SRSSA), said when Oliver-McMillan took over the project in 2011, it brought a new vision and new program to the development.

“Adapting the existing construction from the original design concept to incorporate that new program and reflect the new architectural vision was the greatest design challenge for SRSSA on the project,” Van Duys said.

Helping make this deal possible financially, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, CIT Finance LLC and SunTrust Bank all served as equity partners.

Richardson said it was OliverMcMillan’s intention to design a district that will thrive in the heart of Buckhead for the next 100 years.

“We engaged four architecture firms so that our buildings would fit into the existing fabric of Buckhead and look like they were developed over time and drawn by different hands,” he said. “We’re proud of the redevelopment of the Buckhead Village for its walkability, mix of uses and economic sustainability.”

Buckhead Atlanta

Location: Buckhead

Scope: More than 1.5 million square feet, comprising six city blocks

Developer: OliverMcMillan

Blaine Kelley Jr.

Age: 84

Founder, The Landmarks Group

Wife: Sylvia

Children: Katharine Kelley, Blaine Kelley III, Alan Kelley — all three have careers in real estate

“My family comes first. I give my wife credit for starting everything good in my life. And I have been very, very lucky to have some super children — two sons and a daughter — and they’ve been leaders and active in real estate.”

Link to original article here.

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