There are 33 major developments now underway or recently announced just along Peachtree in Buckhead, Sam Massell said in his annual “state of Buckhead” address to the Buckhead Business Association earlier this month, and that doesn’t include developments like the St. Regis on West Paces Ferry, the PARC at Buckhead on Alexander, the EON on Piedmont and many others under construction.
“Not so incidentally,” the president of the Buckhead Coalition added, “this Peachtree count when I gave this report last year was only 21.”
He told the group this will bring Buckhead’s totals to 5,945 hotel rooms, 25,194 apartment/condominium units, 8,437,060 square feet of retail space and 24,680,783 square feet of office space.
“I can look out my office window in Tower Place and see cranes for new 30-, 40- and 50-story buildings,” he added, referring to the Terminus, Sovereign and Mansion projects. “It’s exciting to me that our community is growing to be one of the country’s most complete mixed-use arenas, where people can live, visit, work and play with fulfillment of their dreams.”
Recalling when he got married in the early 1950s, the Atlanta native said, “I reasoned Buckhead was destined to be the greatest place in Atlanta to live and my bride and I rented a one-bedroom apartment on Adina Drive at Lindbergh at $65 per month,” where he said he recently participated in the grand opening of mid-rise residential units at the same site costing up to $400,000.
When it is reported that Atlantans have an average commute of 35 minutes, Massell reported it needs to be said that some Buckhead residents have an average commute of less than four minutes. “Living in the Realm, the Eclipse, the Paces 325, the Park Avenue, the Park Regency, the Phoenix, the 2828 Peachtree and others, it is just a few steps to the office, to the restaurant and to the shop.”
“Our quality of life is like a magnet, Massell said, drawing people in, and the key developers are providing the supply to meet the demand. They have faith in our future and are supported by lenders who grab the opportunities,” he added. “Our history, quarter after quarter, is one of the highest occupancy and highest rates in every category: office, multi-family, retail and hotel.”
Turning his attention to the problems at Buckhead Village, Massell said, “With the current administration, we have received police presence, the fire marshal, the building inspector, the health inspector and more, which made it unprofitable for those marginal clubs that were violating various city ordinances.”
He admitted the present appearance in the Peachtree/Paces Ferry area is “seedy” due to the vacant nightclub properties, “but this is all about to change,” referring to the plans announced by developer Ben Carter and the work of the Buckhead Alliance and others.
“Buckhead south, around Peachtree and the AMTRAK station is well-established and has more on the drawing boards,” he said. “Buckhead east around Piedmont and Lindbergh is booming with brick and mortar. Buckhead north and northwest both have new projects underway and Buckhead west, around Howell Mill and Collier is experiencing several land assemblages for future growth,” he explained. “One of the good phenomena of our present position is that growth is not at the expense of residential interests,” he said, “because the expansion we are experiencing has not encroached on the neighborhoods and a healthy coexistence prevails.”