An illustration of One Phipps Plaza, the 13-story office tower that is part of a larger redevelopment of the upscale Buckhead mall owned by Simon Property Group. Global aluminum maker Novelis will occupy the top three floors when the building is slated to be finished in September. (Simon Property Group)

Construction of a 13-story office tower that is part of a major makeover of Buckhead’s upscale Phipps Plaza mall is nearing completion. Its first tenant is set to move in this fall with a fresh take on office design it hopes will lure workers back after two years of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Novelis, a global aluminum maker and recycling company, will occupy the top three floors of the One Phipps Plaza building, totaling 90,000 square feet. The 500 local employees who will work there, including the C-suite, will not have assigned desks or offices. Instead, the company is going with a “hoteling” concept — where everyone reserves a desk or conference room when they need them.

“No one will have any permanent space, including myself,” said President and CEO Steve Fisher during an April 13 topping out ceremony by Simon Property Group, owner of Phipps Plaza mall.

“We want to create an environment where people can really spend time creating, collaborating and connecting when they are in the office,” he said.

One Phipps Plaza is part of a larger redevelopment at Phipps Plaza. The former Belk department store was demolished to make way for the mixed-use project, which will also include a Nobu hotel, a Life Time athletic club and a new food hall called Citizens. All are expected to be completed this fall.

Novelis is the only tenant with a lease right now. Simon Property Group officials said it is negotiations with other tenants and has other prospects.

A view from One Phipps Plaza office tower looking down over the new Nobu Hotel. Both projects are part of a new mixed-use development at Phipps Plaza. (Dyana Bagby)

“The office building, Nobu hotel, Life Time — these are all features that did not exist at Phipps Plaza, and right now they are very important to the consumer, the employee, to the guests, the traveler,” said Patrick Peterman, senior vice president of development and asset intensification with Simon. “We’re able to meet all those demands with this project.”

The project broke ground in 2018 and has been slowed by the pandemic. Its mix of uses will help add to the “vitality” of Buckhead as an urban district, said Jim Durrett, executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, who attended the topping out ceremony.

“It’s exciting to see more infill development in the core of Buckhead helping to bring more people to the core, which will allow us to do even more to increase the walkability of the district and to connect more people with opportunities for jobs, shopping for dining and living,” he said.

Patrick Peterman, left, of Simon Property Group, and Novelis President and CEO Steve Fisher talk at the April 13 ‘topping out’ ceremony at One Phipps Plaza. (Dyana Bagby) Credit: Dyana Bagby
A public green space will be located outside One Phipps Plaza, at left. The green space with connect the tower with Phipps Plaza’s entrance, at center, and a new Life Time athletic club, at right. (Dyana Bagby)
An aerial view of the mixed-use development at Phipps Plaza mall that’s slated to be completed this fall. (Simon)

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.