OliverMcMillan Restarts Project
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Fresh evidence that the worst of the financial crisis is over has surfaced in Atlanta with OliverMcMillan ‘s plans to rekindle development of The Streets of Buckhead. The luxury mixed-use community came to a halt in 2009 when original developer Ben Carter Properties L.L.C. was squeezed by the credit crunch. Upon completion of the acquisition, OliverMcMillan will invest $300 million to bring the project to life.
OliverMcMillan will acquire the incomplete development from a multi-party group that is currently controls the property, including Ben Carter Properties. With eight acres to play with, The Streets will ultimately consist of an array of luxury commercial and residential offerings spanning six blocks in Atlanta’s tony Buckhead neighborhood. The pedestrian-friendly destination will feature two apartment towers encompassing an 376 residences, 40,000 square feet of Class A office space and 320,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants. “We’re seeing a strong interest among luxury retailers and local restaurateurs already,” said Jeremy Meredith, development director for OliverMcMillan. There will also be parking to accommodate 2,200 vehicles.
Loans for projects of The Streets’ scale are still difficult to come by, but OliverMcMillan is undeterred by the current state of the credit markets. “We have an investor who has committed to being able to put all the financing in place,” Meredith said. A construction loan will be part of the package, he added, but it will not be a prerequisite for starting the project.
OliverMcMillan’s acquisition of The Streets is on track to close in the next 60 days. The company plans to commence construction later this year and complete the project in 2013. The Streets marks OliverMcMillan’s entrée into the Atlanta development market. “We’ve had incredible support from the city and the community, and we look forward to getting started on something that’s been a hole in the ground for the last two years,” Meredith said.