Theater in redevelopment plans of Garden Hills Cinema property

By John Schaffner

Some Buckhead locals have fretted over word that the former Garden Hills Cinema and surrounding shops on Peachtree Road at Rumson Road will be torn down to make way for a bank office building, removing a cherished piece of local history.

Well, the former cinema—along with the other shops—will eventually become construction dust. But the “boutique” mixed-use building Brand Properties plans to put there will include not only ground-floor retail with condominiums above, but will also include a new theater for feature films as well as business presentations.

The new development will also include a branch of Brand Bank, which was established by the Brand family in 1905 and bought the Buckhead property last fall. This will be Brand Properties’ first intown development and the bank’s first branch outside Gwinnett County.

Brand Properties was not able to purchase the two adjacent restaurants — Fellini’s and La Fonda — which will remain on the south end of the property.

Jova/Daniel/Busby architectural firm is drawing up plans for the project. Once the plans are completed, the surrounding neighborhoods of Garden Hills, Peachtree Heights East and others will be able to review them.

Once construction begins, it should take about 18 months to complete.

New boutiques coming to Lenox Mall

Simon Property Group, Inc. has announced that Bulgari and Michael Kors will be opening their first Atlanta boutiques at Lenox Square Mall, likely this summer and fall. In addition, Phipps Plaza will soon be home to Valentino, which is also new to the Atlanta market.

Bulgari will occupy 2,100 square feet in Center Court at Lenox Square. BVLGARI is considered synonymous with the finest Italian style—jewels (in precious and semi precious materials), watches, a range of leather goods, silver gifts and perfumes.

Michael Kors, a leading American fashion designer for luxury accessories and sportswear, will open in about 3,000 square feet in Center Court at Lenox Square. The company’s heritage is rooted in polished, sleek and sophisticated American sportswear with a jet-set attitude. Michael Kors products include apparel, accessories and beauty. Michael Kors is scheduled to open this fall.

Valentino, scheduled to open at Phipps Plaza this summer near Court of the South, includes men and women’s ready-to-wear collections. The ready-to-wear collections are positioned in the upper-end of its market segment. Intended for the clients with strong buying power, they are only sold at exclusive and prestigious retail locations in the world’s leading cities.

Tower Place offers new Wi-Fi service

First Mile Communications, a provider of high-speed Internet access has expanded its product set to include wireless local area network (Wi-Fi) services to owners and operators of Class “A” office buildings.

The first building to take advantage of the new service in Atlanta is Tower Place 100 in Buckhead.

First Mile is providing managed Wi-Fi connectivity services in the ground floor common areas, conference facility and outdoor seating spaces of Tower Place 100, a 612,000 square foot landmark building located in the heart of Buckhead. Tenants and patrons of Tower Place can stay connected to the Internet via their portable computers and other Wi-Fi enabled devices while away from their offices.

Atlanta-based First Mile Communications’ managed Wi-Fi offering is powered by the company’s proprietary metro Ethernet network.