It’s official. The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, the upscale retail, restaurant and office center in the heart of Buckhead, earlier this month changed its name to the Buckhead Village District.
“It’s the name we grew up with. It resonates with the community and the property’s location in the heart of Buckhead as a central community district,” said Michael Phillips, president of Jamestown, the Buckhead-based real estate investment and management company that bought The Shops from San Diego-based developer OliverMcMillan in 2019.
Jamestown Principal and CEO Matt Bronfman announced the name change at the Buckhead Business Association’s annual luncheon in February (at the time, he said, the development would be called Buckhead Village, named after the area it’s located in). Bronfman said the name change would take place in March or April, when Jamestown would announce a rebranding launch, but it was delayed, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spread out over six blocks, The Shops includes 400,000 square feet of office space, including Spanx’s headquarters; 290,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and 370 high-rise apartment homes and penthouses, according to its website.
In September 2014, seven years after its predecessor development’s groundbreaking ceremony, the Buckhead Atlanta project finally opened. Construction on the development, originally owned by Ben Carter of Buckhead-based Ben Carter Properties and called the Streets of Buckhead, ceased in February 2009 due to the recession.
In August 2012, OliverMcMillan took over the project, which was scaled down some and renamed Buckhead Atlanta, with The Shops name added mainly to market its restaurants and stores. Over the years the restaurants have had mixed results with some, such as Thirteen Pies, closing and others, like Le Bilboquet, thriving.
The Buckhead Atlanta name, chosen by OliverMcMillan to brand the development nationally, has been criticized by residents since it was adopted. Individuals attending the association’s luncheon applauded Bronfman’s announcement, and others commented this month in tweets responding to another media outlet’s tweet announcing the name change.
“Anything is better than Buckhead Atlanta,” one man said. “Telling people where something is there became ‘who’s on first?’”
Another man added, “Anything is better than The Shops Buckhead.”