What a contrast to 2009: The owner of a prominent Buckhead corner is forgoing a surefire longtime tenant — the Cheesecake Factory, which has done good business on Peachtree Road for years — to roll the dice on luring a fresh concept or even a high-rise property. Yeah, the dessert emporium that overlooks the reactivated Buckhead Atlanta project is getting the boot. Peter Blum, managing partner for the 3024 Peachtree Road property, told the AJC the Cheesecake Factory has been an "exemplary" tenant and was all set to sign a long-term lease and overhaul the building, replete with an enclosed patio. What's happening at Blum's property next door — the former ESPN Zone space — gave him confidence to go another direction. It's exciting news for the health of Buckhead's commercial real estate market, but is the gamble a wise move?
In an interview with the AJC, Blum effused optimism: "We feel strongly this is going to be a very, very great area," he said of the former nightclub district. Blum leased the ESPN Zone space, set to be torn down, for a mammoth Restoration Hardware that'll be built on site. Instead of the Cheesecake Factory, he envisions an "iconic" retail client taking the space, or scrapping it for a high-rise development at the busy Buckhead crossroads. Fear not, cheesecake zealots: The restaurant will continue operating at the location until it can find a suitable replacement in the area. The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Cheesecake Factory Inc. has been snooping for space at Lenox Square — perhaps a more suitable environ for a chain eatery anyhow.
· Investor wants 'icon' at Buckhead site [AJC]