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IN FINE FASHION: Buckhead Atlanta has been a long time coming.
The high-profile project, originally called the Streets of Buckhead, was billed as the Rodeo Drive of the South when it was conceived in 2006 by Ben Carter. An assemblage of six city blocks spread across eight acres in one of the most elegant parts of the city, the $1 billion mixed-use development was expected to open in 2009, but construction stopped when funding became an issue. OliverMcMillan purchased the property in 2011 and changed the name and refined the plans, expanding the retail component to 300,000 square feet.
The tenant roster remains true to Carter’s upscale vision. So far, Hermès, Akris, Brunello Cucinelli, Etro, Christian Louboutin, Canali, Helmut Lang, Jimmy Choo, Tod’s and Moncler are on board. OliverMcMillan is also looking for emerging retail concepts.
Stores will begin opening in September. Restaurants will account for 25 percent of Buckhead Atlanta, with dining options ranging from Shake Shack to American Cut. Spanx will open a new 100,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in the office space and will also operate a store.
“We’re creating for Atlanta something that people in New York and Boston and San Francisco take for granted, a beautiful, walkable retail area,” Dene Oliver, ceo, said. “Shopping here has been much more in the mall and shopping-center context.”
To reinforce the high-end image, OliverMcMillan hired Laspata DeCaro to create an advertising campaign for Buckhead Atlanta. The result is unusual for the real estate industry, which usually relies on clichéd images of couples clinking glasses in restaurants and women running with shopping bags. Oliver cited Laspata DeCaro’s “extraordinary portfolio of fashion advertising” as a reason for choosing the firm. The tagline for the ad campaign is “The Art of Southern Hospitality. Dress. Dine. Dwell.”
“They gave us carte blanche. They said, ‘We don’t want the cookie-cutter approach,’” said Charles DeCaro, co-creative director of Laspata DeCaro.