Friday, March 27, 2009

Streets of Buckhead Destined For The Death Watch?

Streets-Of-Buckhead-Delayed-AgainBen Carter's "The Streets of Buckhead" appears destined for yet another delay, possibly until Fall 2010. This week brings word that at least two retailers have left the project though the possibility exists that others will utilize their "terminate" clauses if the economy does not improve. Originally scheduled to have opened this Spring, it was delayed to this Fall, then next Spring and according to Ben Carter himself, may now be pushed till Fall 2010 to open at a time when both their occupancy is higher and the economy is better. For now, all we Atlantans have is the sketch to the left and a gigantic construction zone. Repeat Atlanta!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

This sucks! Potentially, it seems like an awesome idea! Would really like to see a finished product.

The Educator said...

I agree with the writer who feels that the potential loss of the Ben Carter project really sucks! Atlanta really needs a show piece. It would be really nice if Atlanta reared its cosmopolitan head with the likes of Newbury St (Boston), The Magnificent Mile (Chicago), Rodeo Dr. (LA), etc. The loss or delay of this very great idea is very unfortunate! Hopefully, the economy will improve sooner than later. Atlanta really needs to come into the 21st century!

DaveInATL said...

I agree with you TheEducator but I'm not really if this was the project. I think the Midtown Mile is definitely closer to what the city needs and wants but with the collapse in all areas, whether its in Buckhead or Midtown, the situation seems tough.
While Ben Carter can build a great project, my fear is that Streets of Buckhead would become a higher end replica of Atlanta Station, too planned without the aura of a naturally evolved landscape. It really is unfortunate though.

Anonymous said...

Let it rot. It was a stupid concept in a stupid location. Atlanta is not Beverly Hills and will never be. If they started working harder on things that really appeal to the mass market they would have a hit, instead they have millions of unfinished square feet of Gucci and Fendi stores. HAHAHA

Anonymous said...

Let's be real - plenty of large Atlanta projects have failed in the past. There is no reason to believe that this couldn't happen to Streets of Buckhead. Atlanta has a long history of overreaching, of trying to emulate what it is not just for the sake of trying to be a "world" city. Too bad it has to look to other cities in order to gain some remsemblance of an identity instead of coming up with its own.

KLo said...

The fencing was removed because of vandals and the two shops that "pulled out" did so because their parent company, IT Holding SpA, had gone into bankruptcy protection. It had nothing to do with Atlanta or the project itself.
The spaces are already filled with a high-end jeweler and two well-known names in women's apparel. (source: Atlanta Business Chronicle March 27)
No need to put this on "death watch" as you call it, Carter is using his own money and equity for it; financing is already in place and there are plenty of high-end retailers that still are not in the Atlanta market (Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Harry Winston, De Beers).

Anonymous said...

"Atlanta" isn't building the Streets of Buckhead. A developer (Ben Carter) is behind it so this idea of "Atlanta" trying be like some other city is rather juvenile.

As far as the problems and delays, do you think the worst recession in our lifetimes has a little to do with that?

Anonymous said...

OH NOES!!!!

Work slows on huge Streets of Buckhead project

By RACHEL TOBIN RAMOS

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Balfour Beatty Construction has laid off eight hourly employees and several engineers and assistant project managers who were working on the Streets of Buckhead project.

Jeff George, vice president of the company’s Atlanta commercial group, said the layoffs were due to construction delays on the Ben Carter Properties’ project.

“We’re trying to manage Ben’s money as best we can,” said George. He hopes to rehire the workers when progress resumes on the site.

The Streets of Buckhead is a massive redevelopment of the west side of the Buckhead Village.

Work on the $650 million first phase of the project has all but stopped as Carter renegotiates contracts with contractors and works with retail tenants, such as jeweler Van Cleef & Arpel, on when to open. It could be as late as fall 2010, he has said.

Last week Carter also said contract renegotiations netted about $10 million in savings, mostly because raw material costs have plummeted from their peak two years ago.

George, who is in charge of building the project, said a fall 2010 opening date is still feasible. The large construction cranes on the site will remain. He added that Carter is current on all payments.

“This job’s going to happen,” said George. “I’m convinced this job will move forward. There’s no doubt in our minds.”

Carter has scaled back plans from his original projections. Current plans call for luxury retail shops, upscale restaurants and apartment towers in the neighborhood that was once known as a popular party district.

Anonymous said...

Let's give Ben Carter, and his vision a chance. He has put up tons of his own money. He justs wants to same 10M in construction costs, with his contractors. Any thing to help bring that area of Buckhead back to life, and be a safe destination, this time around.

Anonymous said...

A sanitized Atlanta is just what I want. I was so scared of those "thugs" that came to Buckhead during the super bowl. I'm so happy Ben will make them go away. Now I can drive down from Forsyth county and have a nice safe experience in Buckhead.

GIVE ME A BREAK

Reactionary said...

I drive by this thing every day. The only people profligate enough to shop there would be cash-rich rappers and professional athletes. That does not appear to be the target demographic. (Go to www.streetsofbuckhead.com to see what I'm talking about.)

The construction fencing has been painted over. I suspect all those ultra-high end retailers who used to be listed there have set land speed records running away from the place. The customer base just isn't there.

And never was. Atlanta remains a nice Southern town, notwithstanding the determined efforts of its public and private elites. All the LA/NYC wannabees just need to go back from whence they soiled their own nests.

I am sorry to see this end though. I was looking forward to scrounging up all my loose change and buying a $250 tie in an atmosphere of complete solicitude, seeing as I'd be the only customer all week. Then I could go admire it under the gaze of an under-employed wait staff bringing me my $100 plate of appetizers and $25 glass of wine.

La dolce vita!

Anonymous said...

Let's face it. This project was all about creating hundreds more mediocre condos to sell under the guise of bringing "luxury" retail to Atlanta. Now that the condo market has flooded, this project no longer stands to make money. Greedy developers should rot for what they have done to our city--tearing down architectural landmarks and trees to create generic space selling things we Atlantans don't need. Is it too late to turn this area into a park?

No wonder every house on Valley Road is for sale right now. Either the wealthiest Atlantans are desperate for cash as a result of their development follies or they have enough money and sense to get the hell out of this town.

I just hope Carter sticks around and honors his promise to Buckhead. We can't afford to have a giant dirt hole in the center of our community!

BuckheadKiwi said...

The economy is bad right now, but I still think this development has a chance. There are more wealthy people in Atlanta than many people think. (non rapper/athletes) They are just all hiding in the 30327 zip code in Buckhead. Also Tuxedo Park is a pretty big holding zone for "Old Money Atlanta". The only other place I can think of in the city limits would be the area around the Capital City Club in Brookhaven. No rappers in sight there... =P

Reactionary said...

Atlanta's old money is hunkered down behind gates and security patrols. It is also old money in the literal sense. They are not really people who "go shopping" any more, to the extent they ever went.

There was a time in Atlanta when a cab would drive up to Lenox or Phipps, an elegantly dressed woman in her 50's or 60's would step out, come back after a couple of hours with a bunch of shopping bags, and head back to West Paces. I haven't seen that in quite a while. Maybe others have.

Atlanta just doesn't strike me as a Rodeo Drive kind of town. Actually, I wonder at this point how much Rodeo Drive is like "Rodeo Drive." If any schlep can walk around and gawk, the real money is probably elsewhere.