Just when you thought you’d seen it all in Atlanta development, Robert De Niro comes to town, swinging a ceremonial hammer.
The legendary actor, along with his Nobu Hotels cofounders, Nobu Matsuhisa and Meir Teper, played a starring role Thursday in Simon’s groundbreaking of the forthcoming Phipps Plaza mixed-use redevelopment.
The Buckhead shopping center is undergoing a transformation from upscale mall to a mixed-use property that will include: Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Atlanta; a 90,000-square-foot Life Time athletic club; a 13-story, 350,000-square-foot Class A office building; an outdoor event venue; a multi-purpose courtyard; new restaurants; the new AC Hotel Atlanta Buckhead; and The Domain at Phipps Plaza, a collection of mid-rise luxury rentals.
“Phipps Plaza has long been a luxury icon in the Southeast, and this expansion will further elevate its exceptional position by creating a reimagined destination ... unlike any other in the region,” said David Simon, chairman and chief executive officer of Simon, in a press release.
Nobu Hotel will include 150 rooms, a rooftop swimming pool, spa, and conference space, as well as Nobu Atlanta Restaurant, a 10,000-square-foot Japanese eatery.
The project will “elevate Phipps Plaza from a renowned luxury center to an unparalleled, globally recognized, mixed-use destination, which still offers brands that simply can’t be found elsewhere in Atlanta,” said Trevor Howell, CEO of Nobu Hospitality, in a press release.
The Beck Group will serve as architect and general contractor for the redevelopment, which is expected to open its initial phase in early 2021.
In an interview with reporters, De Niro, 75, praised the longevity of the Peach State’s film credits. And he predicted the Nobu infusion at Phipps will be “great.”
Find scenes from Thursday’s ceremony—and renderings previewing what’s to come—below: