Published on March 31st, 2016 |2
Edens may be helping Buckhead CID’s expansion into West Village
Coincidentallly, 2012 was the year South Carolina-based Edens bought its first piece of property in the West Village, the Buckhead Market Place on West Paces Ferry Road, which is anchored by the Whole Foods market. Edens reportedly paid $40 million for the center.
Since then Edens has bought up several other major pieces of West Village property over the past four years, including the 2.6-acre Andrews Square shopping and entertainment district for $19.1 million in 2014 and five parcels totaling less than 1 acre in recent months for $10 million.
Herbert Ames, Edens vice president for southeast operations, recently was made one of the newest members of the board of the Buckhead CID. Although Edens does own a shopping center within the CID boundaries—across Peachtree Road from Phipps Plaza—arguably most of the company’s holdings are outside of the present CID boundaries.
Edens, which has proven favorable to the CID expanding its territory into the West Village area, may be the main reason the CID is closing in on its goal of signing up 75 percent of the property within the West Village. The date attached to that goal was March 31.
As of the last BCID meeting, Programs Director Tony Peters reported they were only $650,000 shy of the goal in terms of property values and that there were verbal approvals for $430,000 of that, leaving the CID just $220,000 really shy of the goal. Indications were that negotiations at the time were very close on that $220,000 and
At the January meeting of the CID, Peters gave a brief review of progress made to date. In 2014, there were 10 executed documents worth about $3.5 million in value. As of January 2016, there were 39 executed documents worth about $17.6 million in value.
Regarding the three possible signers, he had earlier mentioned, two of them have requested documents to be executed, valued at around $489,000. Some owners are still on the fence.
It is anticipated that a report will be made at the CID’s April 15 meeting that may well reflect that the goal has been met and the CID can move forward with its expansion into the West Village.
BuckheadView sent emails to Peters and CID Executive Director Jim Durrett seeking to discuss how much of the total pot needed Edens has agreed
to and how much of a role Ames has played in helping to get to the CID’s goal.
BuckheadView asked if it helped having a board member that is buying up blocks of West Village properties. Not unexpected, neither Durrett nor Peters even acknowledged the emails, much less agreed to discuss the matter with BuckheadView.
Another BCID board member, Robin Loudermilk, who also owns properties in the West Village, has openly talked in CID meetings about working with Peters to try and get property owners to agree to pay the additional property taxes in order to get improvements within the West Village, such a streetscape improvements, lighting, sidewalks, etc.
There are other players buying up property in the West Village, but many of those are replacing retail uses with primarily new residential developments. Residential property owners do not pay into the CID, only commercial property owners do. Edens is a commercial developer and property owner and does not do residential developments.
The Hanover Co. is underway on a residential building with street-level retail next to the Buckhead Theatre. Loudermilk will control the retail in that development. Alliance Residential Co. has
announced and shown plans for a 12-story apartment building at the site of the Henri’s Bakery and Café.
Just outside of what has been traditionally considered the West Village, JLB Partners bought a 3-acre collection of low-rise commercial buildings to redevelop as a mixed-use project anchored by a residential building.
Across West Paces Ferry Road from the traditional West Village, Terwilliger Pappas has been in talks to redevelop a 4-acre site that includes retail businesses such as Flywheel Sport. The developer is looking at a mixed-use project with apartments, retail and possibly a hotel.
And, the Atlanta Business Chronical has reported that an unknown developer is in the early stages of acquiring the former Rio Bravo restaurant site at Irby Avenue and Roswell Road (now a parking lot).
But Edens has been leading the pack in buying up West Village properties with the goal of redeveloping most as commercial/retail projects. Edens has already filed an interior demolition permit with the city to begin redevelopment of Andrews Square. It plans to renovate and bring in new tenants, such as local farmers market Lucy’s Market, according to sources.
Edens also recently acquired properties including: the former Lagerquist Gallery, 3235 Paces Ferry Place; former Brina Beads store, 3231 Cains Hill Place; three stores at 45 Irby Ave., including Beth Ann Boutique and Makeup Studio, Sabot and the former Razzle Dazzle; the Sherwin Williams paint store, 3090 Early Street, and The Pool Hall, 30 Irby Ave., a 1940s bar.
Some West Village store owners and oldtime residents and visitors fear changes are coming to the historic neighborhood and West Village is going to lose its popular swarthy tone. Time will tell.