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New leasing team: ‘Next evolution’ of The Shops Buckhead Atlanta is upon us

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In quickly urbanizing Buckhead Village, JLL has a goal of “adding more activations and redefining luxury”

A corner restaurant at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.
Where “bistro tables on canopied sidewalks beckon.”
Photos courtesy of The Shops Buckhead Atlanta

Changes to the neighborhood have been drastic since The Shops Buckhead Atlanta debuted four years ago.

In Buckhead Village, 325,000 square feet of office space and more than 3,400 new residences have delivered (with another 1,500 under construction) since the haute shopping district ceremoniously arrived in 2014.

That’s according to officials with JLL, the leasing team behind high-profile developments around the city that include Underground Atlanta, Newport’s planned South Downtown overhaul, and The Battery at SunTrust Park.

The latest client on JLL’s roster: The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.

JLL recently won the exclusive leasing assignment for the district’s 300,000 square feet of street-level retail, which spans six blocks.

Moving forward, JLL’s leasing goals will be to “give a nod to the area’s roots as Buckhead’s town center and its storied history as a nightlife destination,” according to a press release.

It’s not clear, however, exactly how big the task at hand is now.

When asked via email, JLL reps declined to say how much vacant space is available, but they did note that conversations are ongoing with “local restauranteurs and retail options to bring the property into its next iteration.”

“The Shops Buckhead Atlanta was the initial catalyst for the radical transformation of Buckhead Village, and we’re now embarking on its next evolution,” JLL’s director of retail agency leasing, Coleman Morris, said in the release.

More broadly, she described Buckhead Village as “a dynamic ecosystem where you can walk to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, shop heritage brands, and have a burger at Shake Shack, or meet friends at the St. Regis and have dinner at Le Bilboquet.”

“Our goal with this evolution is to further immerse the six blocks within the everyday lives of its neighbors,” Morris continued. “We’re building from a great base and the next iteration will naturally unfold into something fun, useful, approachable, and quintessentially Buckhead.”

The district’s first years haven’t been without turbulence.

A mainstay, Hermès, as seen today.

Retail casualties have included Denim & Soul, Urban Wellness Spa, Thirteen Pies, American Food & Beverage, and upscale Corso Coffee.

The latter was replaced in December by Revelator Coffee’s the Mourning Dove Cafe, which shuttered about 10 months later, opting for a Westside location “to bring [the] concept to more people,” as Eater Atlanta reported.

The owner of women’s apparel boutique Hottie + Lord, Tutu Longe, complained to Bisnow about The Shops Buckhead Atlanta’s foot traffic last year, saying: “People don’t come here ... It’s not the store’s fault. It’s not [developer] OliverMcMillan’s fault. Atlanta’s a tricky city.”

For their part, OliverMcMillan reps have pointed out that some retail closures didn’t necessarily reflect on the Buckhead district, as they were part of broader corporate decisions to scale back.

Recent additions include Biltong Bar (a sister beef-jerky restaurant concept to Ponce City Market’s) and Atlanta’s most upscale coworking concept, the Swedish import No18, which is set to open in the spring.

The district’s website says 60 “designer stores and unique restaurants” are operational on site. It still counts big-ticket names like Jimmy Choo, Brunello Cucinelli, Hermès, and Tom Ford.

Morris, the JLL team’s leader, said leasing efforts will embrace “a broader view” going forward, seeking opportunities “for more of life’s little luxuries, such as enjoying time with friends on an outdoor patio, the experience of design, and discovery of what’s new and fresh.”

A planned second phase of retail at Bolling Way and Peachtree Road is still in the works, officials told Curbed Atlanta, “but JLL is currently focused on this [existing] phase for the time being.”