By Melissa Weinman
For the first time in three years, OliverMcMillan CEO Dene Oliver came to Atlanta to talk about the progress of his company’s behemoth redevelopment project known as Buckhead Atlanta.
At the Buckhead Business Association’s annual luncheon Jan. 16, Oliver told members of Buckhead’s business community that his California-based company plans to invest $10 million into the streets, sidewalks and landscaping around Buckhead Atlanta. A “topping out” ceremony for one of the towers at the project was held on Jan. 17 with Oliver and city officials in attendance.
“The way we connect with people in an urban environment is on the streets and sidewalks,” Oliver said.
He said the experience of people-watching from a sidewalk cafe or walking between shops under shady trees is part of the experience he envisions. Oliver said the company is investing in 90 to 120 inch trees and granite curbs to provide a nice outdoor experience.
“Life on the streets and sidewalks is what will be so important here,” Oliver said.
He said the development will be built using quality materials, like stone instead of plaster, to give it the feel of an established area.
“It’s great design that doesn’t look like it’s all been done by the same person at the same time,” Oliver said. “We’re looking at bringing something to you that feels like it could have been there a while.”
Oliver said it was symbolic to see the cranes that have been looming over Peachtree Road for years begin working again in 2012.
“People have said, ‘you’ve been sort of quiet.’ We felt our actions were more important than our words,” Oliver said. “With the cranes being such a visual component, it was pretty hard to fake it. There isn’t a lot to say until you make them move.”
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