Equity One Inc., a Miami-based real estate investment trust (REIT), recently added to its presence as a major retail player in Buckhead with the $68 million purchase of Buckhead Station, its second retail center purchase in Buckhead in a year.

The March 9 purchase of Buckhead Station, located on the Buckhead Loop between GA 400 and Piedmont Road, reportedly is one of the companies largest purchases the REIT has ever made and is part of what the company says is its new strategy to focus on the nation’s strongest retail markets, including Atlanta.

In March of 2006, Equity One purchased Piedmont-Peachtree Crossing shopping center on Piedmont Road between the Loop and Peachtree Road — home of what is affectionately known as the “disco Kroger” — for $48 million from Minerva Investments.

In addition to buying up established shopping centers, Equity One also has plans in the metro Atlanta market for new centers, including ones in Union City, South Fulton and Canton.

The two Buckhead shopping centers account for around 400,000 square feet of retail space on 25 acres. The newer Buckhead Station has 233,739 square feet and is home to Bed, Bath & Beyond, T.J. Maxx, Old Navy, DSW shoes, Toys “R” Us, and other national retailers.

The older Piedmont-Peachtree Crossing, a 152,239-square-foot shopping center at 3330 Piedmont Road, includes a Cost Plus World Market, Starbucks, Jason’s Deli and other retailers and restaurants.

Equity One said both centers have the zoning in place to add retail, residential and office components, but the company said the Piedmont-Peachtree Center has the more immediate potential for adding retail density.

Although the company’s immediate plans for Buckhead Station are to operate it the way it is for the foreseeable future and see where the high-rise market goes in Buckhead, with zoning already in place, it is likely redevelopment will take place at some point in order to increase the density of the property.

Cousins sues Carter over

Buckhead Avenues name

Cousins Properties Inc. is suing Ben Carter Properties LLC for trademark infringement over Carter’s use of the name Buckhead Village for the $800 million redevelopment of much of the area formerly known as Buckhead Village.

Cousins claims the Buckhead Village name is too close to the name “The Avenue” that Cousins adopted in 1998 for that company’s retail concept. To date, Cousins has developed eight retail centers with the name The Avenue.

In the complaint filed Feb. 21 in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, Cousins stated that Ben Carter Properties has been asked by Cousins to cease use of the name Buckhead Avenues but has refused to change it.

Tivoli Properties hires

VP of development

Tivoli Properties, Inc., an Atlanta-based real estate development and management company, hired Doug Jones as vice president of development.

Jones began his career with Trammell Crow Company in Charlotte, N.C., where he oversaw the development of more than 3.5 million square feet of commercial real estate in five years. He provided project management and new business development services for companies such as Microsoft, Bank of America, United Healthcare, Exxon Mobil and Speedway Motorsports. Prior to joining Tivoli, Jones was the director of development for the Southeast region for Intrawest ULC, where he helped develop resort destinations, single-family residential communities, condominiums, hotels and master-planned resort communities.

Tivoli Properties was founded by Scott L. Leventhal and John W. Jones. Tivoli’s primary focus is on the development of condominium high-rises, urban condominiums and multifamily housing, primarily in Atlanta’s intown and Buckhead housing market. Through its subsidiary entities, it also develops single-family and multifamily subdivisions and provides third-party construction and development management services.

— John Schaffner