By John Schaffner
Van Cleef & Arpels tops a list of six newly announced high-end retailers, an internationally known Vietnamese restaurant and a New York-based fitness center that will join previously named commitments to the 500,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space at The Streets of Buckhead, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2009.
But as those announcements were being made by Ben Carter Properties, the developer and marketer for the upscale $1.5 billion redevelopment of the former Buckhead Village, it was reported locally that unless financing is in place for the proposed Baccarat Hotel & Residences by December, Carter will drop that boutique hotel and fill the Peachtree Road void in the project with additional retail.
Also, the proposed 1 Hotel & Residences reportedly will be delayed 18 months because Ben Carter cannot get the financing for the two hotel projects. Carter is said to be talking to at least two other five-star hotel organizations.
With the new announcements, The Streets of Buckhead is reportedly about 50 percent pre-leased with retail. The goal is to hit 70 percent by the end of the year, according to the Carter organization. The most recent announced additions:
• Van Cleef & Arpels — Founded in 1906 by Alfred Van Cleef and brothers-in-law Charles and Julien Arpels on the Place Vendome in Paris, Van Cleef & Arpels is one of the world’s top jewelers, with prices as high as $115,000. In its first Atlanta store, Van Cleef & Arpels will occupy 3,200 square feet.
• Brunello Cucinelli — The 1,734-square-foot boutique will offer luxury cashmere and knitwear for men and women — items can cost as much as $12,000 — and will be adjacent to previously committed retailers including Bottega Veneta and Oscar de la Renta.
• Bonpoint — The French fashion house will offer high-end fashion for babies and children, including girls’ blouses, skirts, dresses and totes and boys’ blazers, sweaters and slacks, in a 1,100-square-foot space.
• Billy Martin — The western-lifestyle brand will offer upscale apparel, boots (at prices up to $4,000 a pair), belts, buckles, accessories, jewelry, home décor and furnishings in its 1,887-square-foot store.
• Arthur — The French “homewear” and beachwear boutique will offer pajamas, robes, socks and other clothing items associated with comfort and relaxation for the family, including $49 boxer shorts, alongside a beach collection that includes swimsuits, beach robes, beach dresses and linen apparel.
• Christofle — Based in Paris and founded in the 19th century, the 1,500-square-foot boutique will carry a collection of jewelry for men, women and children; home accents such as picture frames, candelabras and desk accessories; flatware; and other collectibles and gift items. A five-piece Marly Bleu tableware place setting costs $1,850.
• Le Colonial Restaurant — With locations in Chicago, New York and other cities, the restaurant offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine served in a Colonial French setting, with the essence and romance of Southeast Asia circa 1920.
• Equinox Fitness Center — The acclaimed New York-based fitness club will feature high-end workout facilities, signature classes, luxury amenities and services, and personal trainers in a 30,000-square-foot facility.
Those additions, the first announced in about six months, join a lineup that includes Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Oscar de la Renta, Etro, John Lobb, Loro Piana, Vilebrequin, Domenico Vacca and Optical Shops of Aspen, along with restaurants such as New York mainstays Japonais and La Goulue.
From the beginning, Ben Carter Properties has projected 14 fine-dining restaurants and several hundred residential units as well as the addition of one or more premium hotels over the course of the project.
To this point, the primary financing for the project has Carter’s own investment and a CB Richard Ellis Inc. Strategic Partners Fund.
“For decades, Madison and Fifth avenues in New York and the Magnificent Mile in Chicago have offered world-class storefront shopping and dining for the discriminating consumer,” Ben Carter said. “The Streets of Buckhead offers many of those same luxury retailers, as well as luxury amenities and services in a street-level, open-air environment to create a truly unique experience for the sophisticated customer.”
He added that The Streets of Buckhead “will provide shopping opportunities that are unmatched in Atlanta or the region. As one of the wealthiest areas of the country, Buckhead residents should be able to shop for luxury goods without traveling to other cities. The Streets of Buckhead will give millions of visitors to Atlanta each year access to luxury brands that are available in only a few select places around the world.”
The Streets of Buckhead mixed-use project is designed to transform a seven-block area into a walkable streetscape, offering more than 80 boutiques, trendy restaurants and sidewalk cafes. The 8-acre site is bordered by Pharr, Peachtree and East Paces Ferry roads and North Fulton Avenue.