By John Schaffner

For decades it has been known as the “Buckhead Village,” or just the “Village.”

For many months now, after developer Ben Carter started buying up property in the Village with plans to turn it into Atlanta’s answer to Rodeo Drive, it has been called “Buckhead Avenues.”

But with the August 3 groundbreaking just days away, Ben Carter Properties has decided to change the name of the $1.2 billion redevelopment to “The Streets of Buckhead.”

The redevelopment will begin at the intersection of Peachtree and East Paces Ferry roads and will feature retail, residential, hotel, and office space as part of the mixed-use project’s first phase. Grand opening is slated for fall 2009.

According to Carter’s people, the name Buckhead Avenues was chosen originally as a way to preserve geographic identity. Buckhead Avenue is a cross street within the footprint of phase one of the redevelopment. It also was to convey a “sense of elegance, which later will be embodied by the high-end retailers the development is attracting,” it was stated.

One reason prompting the name change, however, was a legal complaint filed in February by fellow Atlanta real estate company Cousins Properties Inc., which claimed the Buckhead Avenues name would cause confusion with its “The Avenue” retail franchise. While Carter recently reached a settlement with Cousins on usage of “Buckhead Avenues,” he decided a new name for the project was in order.

“We understand that brand identity is very important, and in looking at the bigger picture, we realized that the project had grown beyond a single street name,” said Ben Carter, founder and chairman of Ben Carter Properties LLC. “We are Peachtree Road, Pharr Road, East Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead Avenue, Bolling Way, and North Fulton Drive.

“Buckhead is one of Atlanta’s most sought-after addresses, and we believe ‘The Streets of Buckhead’ better conveys this project’s concentration of high-quality street-oriented retail and restaurant concepts, all in a charming and walkable sidewalk setting,” Carter added.

The Streets of Buckhead will include a 175-room full-service hotel and a 125-room boutique hotel, up to 1,000 residential units, and 500,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The project will span seven city blocks over eight acres and is designed as an urban, pedestrian-friendly retail experience meant to rival famed destinations such as Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue, Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive and Boston’s Newbury Street.