By John Schaffner

Come the spring of 2009, Buckhead residents—especially those who live in northeast Buckhead—will have a new opportunity for dining and shopping just a mile or so up Peachtree Road at Sembler’s $500 million TOWN/Brookhaven mixed-use development.

Sembler broke ground Oct. 18 on the 52-acre development on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University.

Construction of the project, which will include approximately 600,000 square feet of retail space, some 150,000 square feet of office space, 1,560 residential units and a dozen or more restaurants, is scheduled to be completed by late spring 2009.

TOWN/Brookhaven will be Sembler’s first TOWN-concept center. Other Sembler developments in Georgia include the Edgewood Retail District, Perimeter Place, Lindbergh Plaza, Cumming Town Center and the ongoing redevelopment of The Prado in Sandy Springs, scheduled to reopen in October 2008.

Jeffrey S. Fuqua, Sembler’s president that 11 local restaurants already have agreed to open at TOWN/Brookhaven, including Atkins Park Tavern, Genki Noodles and Sushi, Mirko Pasta, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Nuevo Laredo Cantina, Raving Brands’ The Flying Biscuit Café, Rays on the River, The Real Chow Baby: New American Stir Fry, Rolling Bones Premium Pit BBQ, San Francisco Coffee Roasting Co., and Sogno Gelato.

“We are especially thrilled about these early commitments, since one of our main goals at TOWN/Brookhaven is to create an environment that highlights local restaurants instead of only national chain outlets,” Fuqua said. Great local restaurants will appeal to our retail tenants, and will expand the dining options for the people who live in TOWN/Brookhaven’s residential units, Oglethorpe students and our Brookhaven, Chamblee and North Buckhead neighbors.”

TOWN/Brookhaven, located between both the Brookhaven and Chamblee MARTA Stations, will be served by regular shuttle service to and from MARTA, reducing car traffic.