Charlotte’s SouthPark seeking branding tips from Buckhead

The city of Charlotte is looking to Atlanta’s Buckhead community for tips on how to brand its SouthPark community to become a household name across the country.

According to an article in the Charlotte Observer newspaper, Charlotte’s Chamber of Commerce members hope the mixed-use area of retail, office, hotel and residential “will become as recognizable as the prestigious Buckhead community in Atlanta.”

SouthPark mall is similar in significance to Lenox Square, with SouthPark having more square feet of space but fewer stores. Buckhead has much greater surrounding commercial and multifamily development. Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell, invited to speak before the Charlotte SouthPark Chamber recently, laid out his methods of promotion, which are credited with branding Buckhead nationally. He explained his formula was simply to “create, execute and announce.” He also emphasized the need for energy, stating, “Mostly you must have passion about your subject.”

He explained that Buckhead is marketed by the nonprofit Buckhead Coalition, made up of 100 chief executive officers of major area firms.

Massell offered a “sister communities program” between SouthPark and Buckhead but warned, “I’m competitive and protective and I’ll never let you catch us.”

Robin Loudermilk now Aaron Rents CEO

Aaron Rents Inc. Chairman and CEO R. Charles Loudermilk has relinquished his role as CEO to his son Robert C. “Robin” Loudermilk Jr. Loudermilk Sr. will continue as chairman of the Buckhead-based furniture and electronics rentals retailer.

Loudermilk Jr., 49, has been president and chief operating officer of Aaron Rents since 1997. He joined the company in 1985 as an assistant store manager.

“Aaron Rents has been a major part of my life since I founded the company 53 years ago and I plan to assist Robin and the fine Aaron’s team in further growing the business and increasing value to our shareholders,” Loudermilk Sr. said.

Coalition contributes to nonprofits

Buckhead Coalition president Sam Massell delivers a $3,000 check from its Buckhead Guidebook advertising proceeds to Susannah Balish, president-elect of Buckhead’s Junior League. The same amount was given to Atlanta Speech School and Weinstein Hospice. The Guidebook is in its 14th year, and has won eight awards. The Coalition doesn’t keep any of its revenue, but over the years has contributed $78,500 of the book’s profits to Buckhead institutions.

Topping out of St. Regis set for July 10

The St. Regis Hotel & Residences is nearing completion. On July 10, a topping out ceremony will be held for the 26-story building, located at 88 West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead. When open in spring 2009, the structure will consist of 15 floors of luxury condominiums above eight floors of St. Regis hotel rooms. At this time, 46 of the 51 condominums have been sold. Each residence will occupy at least one corner of the building. St. Regis will also feature a 40,000-square foot pool piazza, entertainment lawn, grotto bar and café.

Merger creates No. 2 office tenant rep firm

The newly combined Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. and The Staubach Co, moves the new firm into position to claim the second-largest tenant rep firs in Atlanta office real estate, behind CB Richard Ellis, Inc. The merged firms, which will operate as Jones Lang LaSalle, will be housed on three floors in Regent Partners’ new 3344 Peachtree in Buckhead.

The merger immediately boosts Chicago-based Jones Lang’s tenant rep business in Atlanta, which has not been its strongest business. It is Staubauch’s forte.

Jones Lang will now have the largest project management and facility management practice in the Southeast. Jones Lang already was Atlanta’s biggest property management firm.

Stout Irish Sports Pub opens on East Andrews

East Andrews LLC opened its latest venue, Stout Irish Sports Pub, on June 6 at 56 East Andrews Drive, Suite 16, the former location of McDuff’s.

“We created Stout Irish Sports Pub as the perfect complement to all of our other venues,” says Steve de Haan, president of East Andrews LLC. “After traveling to Savannah and New York to research other bars’ style and culture, we feel we have re-created an Irish sports pub that is authentic, yet comfortable to hang out, drink and watch sports.”

The renovated Buckhead neighborhood pub offers over 50 beers, dark ales, lagers and rich stouts on draft. The main bar features 19 TVs, a pool table and dart boards. The lower level game room offers three additional pool tables, Pac Man & Galaga and more. Food is served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., and the bar remains open to 2:30 a.m.