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Lady Celeste

Buckhead Development- Peachtree Rd explosion.

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Okay, I had to start some controversy related to development. We have our pro-Buckhead, pro-Midtown and pro-Downtown crowds. I was reading in the AJC today about the newly announced hotel and condo buildings for the Buckhead district. It is amazing the amount of development going on in such a small district.

By February, 19 high-rise developments in Buckhead will be somewhere in the zoning or development process, according to Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook, who represents part of Buckhead.
This is an amazing number when you consider that some cities don't have this many proposals. One must ask though, how will this amount of development at or around Peachtree Blvd alter the character of Buckhead and it's neighboring "suburbs."

Some neighbors view the Hanover project warily as they measure the effects of the development wave expected to hit the Phipps/Lenox area over the next five years. "If there is anything else, it is going to choke everything," declared Walda Lavroff, zoning chair for the North Buckhead Civic Association.

But Shook, who said he met with Hanover officials several months ago, said mixed-use projects now under development are more balanced and economically viable than proposals of 10 years ago. The live-work-play design cuts down on traffic, and the residences and businesses benefit from their proximity to each other.

"It's a fascinating evolution," the councilman said.

I remember the fuss over the twin to the Park Avenue condo tower. It's great that we are seeing so much development going on in Buckhead but one must wonder what affect this will have on the infrastructure. Sure, ever building annouced is not 60 stories or taller but the amount of construction slated will make for a beautiful skyline....but we all know that a city a skyline does not make. Sure Buckhead is served by two Marta rail stations and several buslines either through Marta, the BUC and even the hispanic transit system (although this system is not limited to hispanics), but what affect wiil this have on the already trying traffic in the area?

Should the city council be stirring some of this development towards Midtown or Downtown?

Will the added stress to infrastucture make Buckhead less attractive?

What affect does this have on other parts of the city.

Can Buckhead handle so much development at one time?

These and other interesting questions I poise to many of you very enlightened and thought provoking posters in the greater Atlanta area.

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19 proposals is quite a lot for one area in Atlanta. However, when you consider the amount of "open land" in Buckhead (meaning, you can look out and see the sunset from street level) it isn't really that crowded.

Why can New York and Chicago sustain this type of density but Atlanta cannot? Traffic congestion will certainly be a problem and I'm sure more people will opt for mass transit. That combined with the mixed use development should alleviate some of the snarled traffic issues. Also, think of all the tax revenue that will be generated from those luxury units and hotel room taxes...should be plenty of money for city services to keep the plumbing functional :P .

If all 19 are approved, Buckhead may truly become the city's first dense urban live-work-play district that so many complain Atlanta is lacking.

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I agree, good for buckhead, although the BOA Plaza area could maybe "borrow" 3-4 of those proposals.

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Some of this has been on the drawing boards for several years while developers waited for sewer capacity and other infrastructure improvements to happen. It's my understanding that the new development can be supported from that standpoint, and as ryancs says, there's certainly plenty of space in Buckhead (and all over intown Atlanta, for that matter). In addition to the highrises, there's a tremendous amount of low and midrise development going on in Buckhead, and frankly that suits me better. GA 400 really put the hurt on Buckhead in a big way and I think the area is just starting to recover.

My big concern is the traffic. I live in Buckhead and work at the Perimeter, and I would hate to see Buckhead traffic reach the levels we have to endure out there. :shok:

I also wonder if the school situation may have to be addressed. There are excellent public and private schools in the area now but they are probably getting close to capacity.

It's my impression the City Council has been working hard for years to steer development to other parts of town. A high percentage of Buckhead's tax dollars go elsewhere and prominent Buckheadians often support other areas of the city through major civic projects like the Aquarium, the Botanical Garden, the High Museum, etc. While the Beltline will go through Buckhead, it's also a major effort to steer development elsewhere. I'd like to think it's not a zero sum game and that as Buckhead grows it will continue to support other areas of the city as well.

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19 proposals is quite a lot for one area in Atlanta. However, when you consider the amount of "open land" in Buckhead (meaning, you can look out and see the sunset from street level) it isn't really that crowded.

Why can New York and Chicago sustain this type of density but Atlanta cannot? Traffic congestion will certainly be a problem and I'm sure more people will opt for mass transit. That combined with the mixed use development should alleviate some of the snarled traffic issues. Also, think of all the tax revenue that will be generated from those luxury units and hotel room taxes...should be plenty of money for city services to keep the plumbing functional :P .

If all 19 are approved, Buckhead may truly become the city's first dense urban live-work-play district that so many complain Atlanta is lacking.

I AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hmmm

Lets see:

Yes. The city council needs to redirect some of this development towards Downtown. I would love to see the Garnet area grow by way of a TAD. But then again if I were Czar the entire city would be a TAD.

Yes. The added stress to infrastructure will make Buckhead less attractive... for motorist but possible more attractive for pedestrians.

I believe that Buckhead's growth will have a positive effect on the entire region (from Birmingham to DC). More here is less out west, in New England, or in the Mid-Atlantic or Great lakes regions.

More here is simply... more here.

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Okay, I had to start some controversy related to development. We have our pro-Buckhead, pro-Midtown and pro-Downtown crowds.

Celeste, just an afterthought on this. I think of myself as pro-Buckhead, mainly because I like its location and weird diversity. But I also think of myself as strongly pro-Midtown and pro-Downtown. I've lived and worked in all three areas and see them simply as different faces of the city rather than as competitors. Downtown was there first, of course, and then Buckhead and Midtown grew up more or less simultaneously as the city spread north. Yet all three districts are integral to the entity known as Atlanta.

What I'd personally like to see is the ongoing knitting together of the entire Peachtree corridor as our "central city", with continued rejuvenation of the intown suburbs which surround that linear core. If you cruise around town, we've got staggering amounts of vacant and underutilized space. I think we just need to (a) fill it up and (b) CONNECT it up!

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Celeste, just an afterthought on this. I think of myself as pro-Buckhead, mainly because I like its location and weird diversity. But I also think of myself as strongly pro-Midtown and pro-Downtown. I've lived and worked in all three areas and see them simply as different faces of the city rather than as competitors. Downtown was there first, of course, and then Buckhead and Midtown grew up more or less simultaneously as the city spread north. Yet all three districts are integral to the entity known as Atlanta.

Andrea, this is exactly how I feel. I am amazed at how some people can become so attached to one part of a city that is only 132 sq miles. It takes all three....while distinct....to make a whole. Besides, Manhattan is so different than Brooklyn which is so different than the Upper West and East Side....but they are all NYC.

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Count me in on this description of what makes up the city how the different areas relate to one another. My only difference is that I haven't spent much time in Buckhead relatively so I simply don't know it as well as the other areas but I view infill development there as totally positive for the city. (I'd give my left eye to have 3344 in the CBD though :shades: )

I also like your point about the amount developable land in the city which gives Atlanta the potential to become quite an impressive city.

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Sure Buckhead is getting a lot of growth, but the Centennial Olympic park area is just fabulous!! I drove past it on Monday afternoon (Day after Christmas) and while every other area of the city was devoid of pedestrians, Centennial was hopping with families enjoying the park and the aquarium, and people around CNN Center and Phillips Arena. Downtown has not been totally neglected; IMO, The Centennial District is the most exciting and vibrant areas of ATL, and will get even more exciting in th future what with the Centennial Park towers, (hopefully more buildings), the Worle of Coke, and Possibly the Nascar HOF (If they put it there, I'm not sure) In 5 years, the Centennial district will totally rock!!!!!!

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19 proposals is quite a lot for one area in Atlanta. However, when you consider the amount of "open land" in Buckhead (meaning, you can look out and see the sunset from street level) it isn't really that crowded.

Why can New York and Chicago sustain this type of density but Atlanta cannot? Traffic congestion will certainly be a problem and I'm sure more people will opt for mass transit. That combined with the mixed use development should alleviate some of the snarled traffic issues. Also, think of all the tax revenue that will be generated from those luxury units and hotel room taxes...should be plenty of money for city services to keep the plumbing functional :P .

If all 19 are approved, Buckhead may truly become the city's first dense urban live-work-play district that so many complain Atlanta is lacking.

You're right, it's not really "that crowded." As you say, there's a lot of open land. But from what I saw on a recent visit, the infrastructure just isn't there. There are a few "main" roads that seem to get pretty clogged with traffic.

New York sustains density (and frankly, not all that well sometimes) because of a massive public transportation system used by a large percentage of the population. In many instances, the subway system is perfectly sufficient to get from point A to B with a short walk to your destination. The city's streets were built on a grid, with wide avenues and traffic lights that are synchronized relatively well. Considering the number of cars and taxis, traffic moves relatively well.

Atlanta's marta system just isn't that vast. It's not that easy to take the train/bus and then walk to where you really need to go, so it's hard to eliminate the need for the automobile. Also, since there are only a few main avenues, these cars seem to have nowhere to go.

I'm all for density, and I think the 19 new skyscrapers would "look" fantastic, but I'm not sure the current infrastructure is ready for it.

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Sure Buckhead is getting a lot of growth, but the Centennial Olympic park area is just fabulous!! I drove past it on Monday afternoon (Day after Christmas) and while every other area of the city was devoid of pedestrians, Centennial was hopping with families enjoying the park and the aquarium, and people around CNN Center and Phillips Arena. Downtown has not been totally neglected; IMO, The Centennial District is the most exciting and vibrant areas of ATL, and will get even more exciting in th future what with the Centennial Park towers, (hopefully more buildings), the Worle of Coke, and Possibly the Nascar HOF (If they put it there, I'm not sure) In 5 years, the Centennial district will totally rock!!!!!!

I agree with you on this one. I visited COP for the first time back in October, and I thoroughly enjoyed the area. Next time I go I'll have to make it to the aquarium and do some walking around the area.

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You're right, it's not really "that crowded." As you say, there's a lot of open land. But from what I saw on a recent visit, the infrastructure just isn't there. There are a few "main" roads that seem to get pretty clogged with traffic.

New York sustains density (and frankly, not all that well sometimes) because of a massive public transportation system used by a large percentage of the population. In many instances, the subway system is perfectly sufficient to get from point A to B with a short walk to your destination. The city's streets were built on a grid, with wide avenues and traffic lights that are synchronized relatively well. Considering the number of cars and taxis, traffic moves relatively well.

Atlanta's marta system just isn't that vast. It's not that easy to take the train/bus and then walk to where you really need to go, so it's hard to eliminate the need for the automobile. Also, since there are only a few main avenues, these cars seem to have nowhere to go.

I'm all for density, and I think the 19 new skyscrapers would "look" fantastic, but I'm not sure the current infrastructure is ready for it.

And this is what I believe will eventually limit development in Buckhead because I think the infrastructure is already somewhat strained.

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And this is what I believe will eventually limit development in Buckhead because I think the infrastructure is already somewhat strained.

When y'all say infrastructure do you mean streets? I ask because to me traffic management, especially for commuters and those who have to pass through on their way to some other area, is the big hurdle Buckhead will be facing in the years to come.

In terms of other infrastructure such as water, sewer, power, rail service, fire/police/medical services, etc., it's my impression they're okay.

I do think they may need another school or two, although there may be existing buildings which could be recycled.

The neighborhood could definitely use more parks, too -- they've got Chastain, which is the largest park in the city, Atlanta Memorial, which is also good sized, and some smaller parks like Bagley, Shady Valley, Blue Heron and Tanyard Creek, but they are all pretty stressed. (The PATH Trail at Chastain averages 250 joggers, dog-walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers per hour).

The traffic issues in Buckhead are complex. I live near Lenox so most of my commutes are short (a mile or two) and traffic is not much of a problem. However, if you live in another part of town and need to get to Buckhead for work, or if you have to traverse Buckhead to reach another area, the traffic can be awful.

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We are talking about infrastructure as if it is a static thing. The funny part is, if you read a history of New York, they were having the exact same conversations 100 years ago that we are having right now, albeit in a different medium. There are plans to expand Peachtree Rd to look more like a boulevard, the Peachtree Streetcar will help and when/if traffic gets overwhelming, something else will be done. There is far too much capital invested in Buckhead, and the other two CDB's for that matter, for the business community to sit on their butts. Remember, neccessity is the mother of invention.

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Just to keep up with the growing Buckhead area. I was amazed to actually see written the number of developments going into place along Peachtree St/Rd in the Buckhead District alone. I started to thread to discuss the number of developments under construction or proposed in Buckhead District. Sam Massell....the "mayor" of Buckhead said in an earlier article that there were 19 highrises under some form of development in the Buckhead area.....now we have a list. :)

From the Atlanta Business Chronicle on 1/20/06:

Mayor's Corner

"Gold" discovered on Peachtree

Sam Massell

Special to Atlanta Business Chronicle

Peachtree Street runs from downtown to Buckhead, where it becomes Peachtree Road. Atlhough Buckhead has long had prominent occupants in this area, it appears the smart money has just discovered gold along this ridge. As the Buckhead Market Report goes to press, there are an unbelievable 21 major Peachtree Buckhead developments under way.

Here's our promenade for 2006-08:

1. 1830 Peachtree -- Mayflower: Urban Realty's proposed development is a 16-floor condominium project.

2. 1968 Peachtree -- Piedmont Hospital's 34,000-square-foot expansion is currently under construction.

3. 2020 Peachtree -- Shepherd Center's 181,000-square-foot expansion is currently under construction.

4. 2233 Peachtree -- Aramore Tower: Kairos Development Corp.'s 14-floor, 118-unit condominium is under construction.

5. 2440 Peachtree -- Regents Park: Carter's 21-unit townhouse project is currently under construction.

6. 2795 Peachtree -- Gallery: Coro & Novare Group Inc.'s 27-floor 203-unit condominium is under construction.

7. 3040 Peachtree -- Ovation: Trammell Crow Co.'s 19-floor, 267-unit condominium building is under construction.

8. 3050 Peachtree -- Two Buckhead Plaza: Stafford Properties Inc.'s 192,184-square-foot office building is under construction.

9. 3232 Peachtree -- Buckhead Place: Coro's proposal includes 148 units of condos plus 81,000 square feet of retail.

10. 3280 Peachtree -- Terminus: Cousins Properties Inc.'s 27-floor, 648,000-square-foot office/retail project is under construction.

11. 3324 Peachtree -- Realm: Novare Group Inc.'s 406-unit, 37,000-square-foot condo/office/retail is under construction.

12. 3344 Peachtree -- Tower Place: Regent Partners' proposed development is a 48-floor, 300-office/condo project.

13. 3366 Peachtree -- The Buckhead Church: North Point Ministries' 185,000-square-foot church is under construction.

14. 3376 Peachtree -- The Mansion on Peachtree: Mansion Centre Holdings LLC's project includes 42 floors of hotels and condos.

15. 3500 Peachtree -- Phipps Tower: Crescent Resources LLC's proposed project is a 20-floor office building.

16. 3630 Peachtree -- Pope & Land Enterprises Inc.'s proposed project includes 425,000 square feet of offices, 150 condo units and retail.

17. 3630 Peachtree -- Novare Group Inc.'s proposed development is a 249-unit condo project.

18. 3655 Peachtree -- 3655 Peachtree: Mays Development Co.'s 13-unit condo project is currently under construction.

19. 3680 Peachtree -- Brookhaven Manor: John Willis Homes Inc.'s 33 units of townhouses are under construction.

20. 3747 Peachtree -- Lenbrook Square: Lenbrook Square Foundation's proposal is a 24-floor, 142-unit expansion.

21. 3750 Peachtree -- Canterbury Court: All Saints/St. Luke's Assisted Living 51-unit, 44-bed expansion is currently under construction.

This is just a list of development along Peachtree. Buckhead is really a hot market in the overall hot Atlanta market. :shades:

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Do you think its possible, with all this development along Peachtree, that the "Buckhead" skyline will eventually connect to the midtown skyline (the Symphony cluster)??

Here's hoping!

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I also like your point about the amount developable land in the city which gives Atlanta the potential to become quite an impressive city.

Personally, I think Atlanta is already an impressive city. It already has an amazing, beautiful skyline. I am so excited that it is fast becomming a cosmopolitan, upwardly mobile, and exciting city instead of being known more for shopping centers and look alike subdivisions. I've seen the proposals and all that is going on, and I am very impressed. GO ATLANTA!

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It was a great article. I always enjoy the featured topics in The Atlanta Business Chronicle. I suggest that everyone here subscribe. The website is nowhere near as informing as the newspaper.

You could also add the St. Regis Hotel.

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This is GREAT news for Atlanta (especially Buckhead). I can't wait to see what the skyline looks like with all of these built.

That said, I really want to see Buckhead and Midtown's skylines to connect up. This would make the city's skyline as a whole look even bigger with the gap between the two areas closed or narrowed (not to mention it would begin to appear as one rather than two skylines).

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This is GREAT news for Atlanta (especially Buckhead). I can't wait to see what the skyline looks like with all of these built.

That said, I really want to see Buckhead and Midtown's skylines to connect up. This would make the city's skyline as a whole look even bigger with the gap between the two areas closed or narrowed (not to mention it would begin to appear as one rather than two skylines).

The area around Lenox and Phipps seems to be getting more dense than in southern Buckhead where the interstates "collide." I think it's kind of funny how you go behind some of these high rises and you are in a residential district.

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In the ABC, there is a ton of information regarding skyscrapers, businesses, and the club scene. Also, it mentions that there will be 19 residential towers of 15 stories or higher that will be in developmental process by mid-February.

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