The struggling and ridiculed mixed-use complex called The Shops Buckhead Atlanta likely will be renamed Buckhead Village – matching the old nightclub neighborhood it largely replaced – and will add more affordable and community-friendly options, the CEO of its new owner said.
Matt Bronfman, principal and CEO of Jamestown, the real estate company that bought the complex last year, discussed the plans at the Feb. 6 annual luncheon of the Buckhead Business Association, held at the 103 West event facility.
“Buckhead Village—and I am calling it Buckhead Village,” Bronfman said to loud applause as he discussed the complex. “People have gone back and forth on [the] name. I think the true name of the project should be Buckhead Village.”
Bronfman said he’d like to “wave a magic wand” and clear out many of the luxury-market tenants of the six-block complex, which runs along Peachtree Road between East Paces Ferry and Pharr roads. He said its future is more “accessible” retail with “more staples,” and will include a bookstore, a coffee shop, more greenspace and use of rooftop spaces.
“There were mistakes made in how it was done…[A] mistake in the past was thinking there was a need for, call it a Rodeo Drive in Buckhead,” Bronfman said. “…It’s not enough of a community center.”
Among the complex’s problems, he said, “is people don’t want to linger. And we want projects where people are comfortable just staying and hanging out.”
Jamestown’s track record with mega-redevelopments of Ponce City Market and the Westside Provisions District are the approaches he said he has in mind. The Buckhead vision won’t be identical, but it will have the themes of attracting foot traffic and the general public.