Friday, January 23, 2015

Vintage Buckhead Building Welcoming Numerous New Names

The nine-story office building at 550 Pharr Road is getting at least three new non-office tenants.

You all know 550 Pharr Road, the building that stares at you once you turn left onto Pharr Road from Piedmont Road. Once a popular office building, 550 Pharr was for many years the home of consulting firm North Highland, but lost them to Terminus 200 in 2011. By 2012, the building had fallen into foreclosure. 

Investors brought in LA-based Coe Architecture and unveiled exciting plans that would turn the outdated office building into exciting and modern looking apartments.   Sadly, those plans (which renderings show would have added a street level pool and many balconies, among other updates) fizzled.  

A new group of investors purchased the building early last year and plan again to  lease it as an office building.  City of Atlanta building permits show a flurry of activity at the property with a number of businesses either open, or opening, in the building.  At least two medical offices and one marketing firm are now located within 550 Pharr.

In addition to the office space, additional leases were executed with fitness and restaurant tenants.  

Hastings, Minnesota Anytime Fitness plans to open a new 6,000 square foot gym on the street level of the building. Anytime Fitness, located in suite 100, is actively signing up "Charter Members" and will reportedly be one of the largest locations in metro Atlanta.  For what it's worth, Anytime Fitness is closing in on 100 locations in the state, with new locations also reportedly opening soon in Brookhaven, Cumming, Woodstock, Alpharetta, Johns Creek and a handful of other locations in smaller cities around the state.  
Progress photo of Anytime Fitness in Buckhead posted yesterday 
Anytime Fitness, as its name suggests, allows for members to workout "anytime."  Each Anytime Fitness location is open 24 hours / 7 days a week, similar to Workout Anytime, but different than mega facilities like LA Fitness and LifeTime Fitness that operate under more restrictive hours.  

There is no doubt that gym ownership can be a lucrative business, but one has to wonder just how many gyms an area can support.  Buckhead is already home to two LA Fitness locations, an Orangetheory Fitness, The Forum Athletic Club and a host of other small and medium sized specialty clubs. All of these options are in addition to those offered to apartment and condo owners within their buildings and to many office workers at their offices.  

Buckhead has already seen the failures of Crunch Fitness at Tower Place and Retro Fitness at Two Buckhead Plaza, but hopefully this latest addition will find its own niche and thrive.  Anytime Fitness hopes to open in March.  

A second, but different, fitness facility will also open in the new 550 Pharr.  CORE Buckhead, currently located at 359 East Paces Ferry Road will relocate to suite 440 in 550 Pharr. CORE's current home is reportedly slated for demolition as part of the ongoing redevelopment around Buckhead Village and Buckhead Atlanta.  
Inside CORE's current Buckhead studio 
"CORE is a boutique movement studio offering private and semiprivate Pilates, GYROTONIC® and Redcord instruction."  

The nearly 3,400 square foot  facility is being custom-designed and plans to open in the coming weeks.  

Bangkok Station, Thai Grill & Bar will also open in the street level of the tower in suite 101. The 7,600 square foot restaurant will feature an outdoor garden and patio along paired with a rustic, loft-like interior.  Images on the restaurant's Facebook page even show a mock train track being construction on the patio.  
Progress on the mock-train track 

Bangkok Station will feature authentic Thai fare such as "Khao Sawy" (Northern Thai Noodle Curry Soup) Gai Tod Hat Yai  (Gai = chicken, Tod = deep fried and Hat Yai = a city in Songkhla province of Thailand.)  According to the restaurant's new Facebook page, the restaurant may also feature some "Asian Fusion" dishes as well. 
Artist rendering of the dining room and bar at Bangkok Station
While a full menu is not yet available, photos of planned dishes and what looks to be a very modern, yet authentic interior, give me high hopes for this restaurant.  With established favorites like Nan Thai Fine Dining in midtown and Little Bangkok on Cheshire Bridge, Bangkok Station need only compete with Annie's Thai Castle in Buckhead.   

Current plans call for Bangkok Station to open "in March." 


Anonymous said...

I still miss the Pharr Library, the classiest club in town.

Jenny said...

What does "authentic" interior mean? This is nothing like what you'd find in Thailand. Not that that's a bad thing... just a meaningless term.

Alan Cason said...

^^^What they said!

Alan Cason said...

^^What THEY said!

Atlantan99 said...


My apologies, what I was getting at was that I liked their theme of "station" with the mock-train tracks and similarly blended interior. Perhaps a better word would have been polished or professional. I'm sorry for the confusion as I agree it does not appear to be "authentic" in the sense that it's not something you'd stumble across in Bangkok.

Thanks for your comments and readership.

Jeremy M said...

I imagine what they're calling "Khao Sawy" is actually Khao Soi, a curry soup from northern Thailand and Burma, which is super yummy.

Anonymous said...

The restaurant is an addition to several successful restaurants this group owns in Thailand. There is a famous Thai restaurant in Bangkok located in the train station. This will be a very authentic restaurant with a large choice of unique Thai cocktails

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