When I was a kid, in the mid-60’s, I remember the Buckhead Village
was not much more than a row of stores: a hardware store, shoes, and a men & boys clothing store. Across the street on the south corner of Paces Ferry and Peachtree was a huge Sears store, very modern, with walls of white marble! But a Sears on fancy Pace’s Ferry?
Also, my Mom would take us to Henri’s Bakery (pronounced the French way) to get chocolate eclairs, because it was only a couple of blocks from my father’s real estate law office in a strip mall on Roswell Rd.
In 1980, Peter Gatien opened the infamous Limelight club
around the corner in what came to be known as the Disco Kroger strip mall. It was ultra-fabulous with guests like Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, and Debbie Harry. The dance floor, reportedly, was at once over an aquarium with sharks swimming below, or over a cage with tigers. By the time I got there, part of the dance floor was Saturday Night Fever colored lights from below. Then Gatien went off to open Limelights in New York, Chicago, and London.
Buckhead became chic with cafe’s, restaurants and a few bars. The bars took over in the 90’s and were a lot of fun, until everyone in the world heard about it. Then Peachtree became almost a parking lot on Saturday nights and recurring violence ended it all.
They tore down almost every building in a 6 block area beginning in 2007 so a developer could recreate Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive. That project blew up with the great recession leaving, literally, a giant mess of a hole for almost 5 years.
With all of that in the past, next spring Buckhead Atlanta will have recreated itself again with a 6 block, 8 acre, 1.5 million square foot upscale development including 300,000 sf of luxury retail,restaurants, and cafe’s, 100,000 square feet of offices, and about 370 high rise residences.
The retail is set to include a flagship store for Hermes, Paris, Georgetown Cupcakes, the Shake Shack, NY and the flagship store and headquarters of $1 billion Spanx corporation. Many others have yet to be announced, but Hermes sets the tone.
Across the street, Restoration Hardware is currently building it’s new six story Atlanta flagship store.
- Atlanta Metro and Peachtree Changing Before Our Eyes (christianrossatl.wordpress.com)
- The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta Hires Buckhead High-Rise Expert to Lead New Sales Team (virtual-strategy.com)
- Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta sold (bizjournals.com)
- 11.9.13 … Some Buckhead history and some perspective on “American Nations” … So is Buckhead typical of the Deep South? (teaguenc.wordpress.com)