Artist rendering of “Buckhead Atlanta.”

Commuters driving past the Buckhead Village the morning of Aug. 7 saw cranes moving over the Buckhead Atlanta development, a sign that a project delayed by the economy is finally moving ahead.

OliverMcMillan, the San Diego-based real estate company behind the 1.5 million square foot development, confirmed that at 7 a.m. construction crews got to work on the site.

When it’s finished, Buckhead Atlanta will be a mixed-use development combining residences, restaurants, retail and office space.

Balfour Beatty Construction will build the development, spanning six city blocks. Hermès, a French fashion company, will be among the development’s first tenants, the company announced.

It’s a stark contrast to what has long been Buckhead’s most prominent symbol of the Great Recession. The former Streets of Buckhead development, which stalled in 2010, gained new life when OliverMcMillan took it over in May of 2011.

Atlanta officials praised the project’s progress.

“For years, we have anticipated the start of construction on the transformative Buckhead Atlanta, which, when completed, will be a sign of Atlanta’s resilience and innovation,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a press release. “A rejuvenated Buckhead will not only attract the nation’s top developers and retailers but thousands of new consumers and residents. I congratulate OliverMcMillan and everyone involved and wish them well on this project.”

District 7 Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook said it’s an important day for Buckhead.

“Construction on Buckhead Atlanta marks the rebirth of this vibrant area,” Shook said in the press release. “This is a huge step forward for the Buckhead Village and for Atlanta. The added sidewalks and pedestrian focus will be a big attraction for businesses, employees and residences. I could not be more pleased with this project.”

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of