Published on November 14th, 2017 |1
Phipps Plaza to add Nobu Hotel & and Restaurant, office tower, health center
Phipps Plaza is about to undergo major new transformation into a premiere mixed-use development as Simon, the owners of the Buckhead mall, attempt to re-energize the space with a new luxury hotel, restaurants, an office tower and fitness complex.
Simon, a global leader in premier shopping, dining and entertainment destinations, announced plans Nov. 14 to create the Southeast’s premier mixed-use development at Phipps Plaza, headlined by the arrival of a new 150-room Nobu Hotel and Nobu Atlanta Restaurant.
Additional elements of the new development call for a curated dining experience, a 90,000 square-foot Life Time® Athletic healthy living and entertainment destination and a 12-story Class A office building, complete with a three-story lower level parking garage, according to a press release.
The cost of the projects, which Simon President of Malls and Chief Administrative Officer John Rulli told the Atlanta Journal-Constitutiomn is “probably north” of $200 million, is expected to begin in the summer of 2018 and open in phases throughout 2020.
The bulk of the new development will take place on what is currently the site of the Belk store on the north end of the mall. The Belk store, which replaced the former Parisian anchor store in 2006, will close next summer, Belk spokesman Andy Izquierdo told the AJC.
The new elements will be completely integrated into the existing footprint of Phipps Plaza, which will continue to be anchored by the extremely productive Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue
stores. Shopping and parking at Phipps Plaza will not be affected during the construction of the project.
Nobu is a luxury boutique hotel and dining brand whose Japanese fusion restaurants have won worldwide acclaim. The hotel will have 150 rooms, a striking rooftop pool, corporate conference space and spa facilities. Nobu Atlanta Restaurant will operate in a 10,000 square foot space.
The Nobu brand brings new star power to Phipps Plaza. The founding Nobu investors include actor and director Robert De Niro, film producer Meir Teper, renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa and well-known New York restaurateur Drew Nieporent.
Rulli told the AJC the latest additions to Phipps are part of a plan in the works for more than 10 years for the mall to evolve into a mixed-use development and entertainment center. That plan came in response to other planned luxury shopping rivals such as The Shops at Buckhead Atlanta at East Paces Ferry and Peachtree roads.
Rulli said Simon also is looking at a redevelopment of its Lenox Square mall across Peachtree Road from Phipps, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. Details of that project were not disclosed. “I can’t talk about it,” he said to the paper. “We are close to doing it. But you are going to see some pretty cool things happen at Lenox in the not-so-distant future.”
Simon has transformed Phipps Plaza in recent years by adding hospitality and residential components and sophisticated food offerings to an upscale collection of stores. Among those have been the 166-ooms/suites AC Hotel Atlanta Buckhead at Phipps and The Domain at Phipps Plaza, a 319-unit mid-rise of urban-style luxury residences with a variety of floor plans.
“Simon has been an exemplary partner to our city for decades,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “This new development project at Phipps Plaza is another example of the company’s ongoing commitment to and investment in Atlanta. As the Buckhead community continues to grow, projects like this will help create greater connectivity to the amenities our residents and visitors want – as well as more opportunities for businesses to thrive.”
“Today’s exciting news without question enhances Phipps Plaza as the luxury destination of choice for shopping, dining, entertainment and hospitality in Atlanta and the entire Southeast,” said Patrick Peterman, Simon’s Vice President of Development and Asset Intensification.
Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Officer of Nobu Hotels said, “We are very proud of our partnership with Simon, one of the world’s largest and leading owners and managers of high-quality retail destinations. They have a vision to create a dynamic lifestyle experience within Atlanta at Phipps Plaza and we are pleased to be a cornerstone for this. Our hospitality brand thrives on being a catalyst for global mixed-use destinations whether this be from hotel, restaurant, retail or residences.”
In Nobu, Phipps will boast what is likely to be one of the most expensive hotels in the city as well as a high-end Japanese restaurant that in New York and other global cities is a major attraction for celebrities and other high-profile guests.
Nobu operates about 40 restaurants and seven hotels with another nine hotels in the development pipeline in cities including Chicago, Toronto and Sao Paulo.
Additionally, healthy living, healthy aging, healthy lifestyle company, Life Time, will develop one of its signature, resort-like athletic clubs. The luxurious, three-level, 90,000-square-foot destination will feature the ultimate in studio, yoga and cycle classes, small group and personal training, a full-service LifeSpa, fast casual LifeCafe, Life Time Kids Academy and a lavish rooftop pool, beach club and bistro.
Founded by Chairman and CEO, Bahram Akradi, the Life Time development will be the seventh and most exclusive, premier location in the Atlanta market. The project also will incorporate Life Time Work, a subscription-based membership program for individuals and small groups that provides work, meeting, collaboration and social spaces within Life Time Athletic.
“Simon’s leadership in premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations is in perfect alignment with our objective to develop upscale, all-inclusive, healthy living and entertainment destinations that encompass the full spectrum of daily life of individuals, couples and families of all ages,” said Akradi.
Phipps Plaza boasts a mix more than 50 market-exclusive brands, including signature boutiques such as Gucci, Versace, Jeffrey, Giorgio Armani, alentino, Hugo Boss, Bally and Tiffany & Co., as well as anchors Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Phipps Plaza also offers award-winning dining options, including Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Michael Schwartz’s Genuine Pizza (coming soon), the Public Kitchen and Bar (coming soon), and ECCO (coming soon) Entertainment options include a 14-screen AMC Theatre and the Legoland Discovery Center.
Rulli told the AJC the idea is turn an enclosed mall into a shopping destination that meets the street. “Let’s turn Phipps inside out and create a Fifth Avenue streetscape,” he said. “All of these incremental moves are tied to this grander vision.”
Izquierdo said employees were notified Monday of the Belk store’s closure. Employees will be able to transfer to other stores if they desire, he said. Belk has about 20 metro Atlanta locations. Belk currently does not have a plan to replace the Buckhead store, but Izquierdo told the AJC, “We’re always open to looking for new locations that make sense.”