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Buckhead developers plan ‘hip’ hotel
by Caroline Young
cyoung@neighbornewspapers.com
June 22, 2012 02:31 PM | 1636 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Plans for a new boutique hotel in Buckhead are in the works.

Developer and former Aaron’s Inc. CEO Robin Loudermilk and Canon Equities President and CEO Dwight Bell came together to develop the 1.2-acre property on Roswell Road.

The lot, which sits next to the Buckhead Theatre owned by Loudermilk’s father Charlie, is an ideal space for a hotel, Loudermilk said.

“I think there’s a need for a hotel that is mid- to upper-scale,” he said. “We have not identified what brand it will be. That’s up in the air.”

Loudermilk said he is talking something in between a Fairfield Inn and the [nearby] St. Regis, and describes the atmosphere as “Buckhead Village hip.”

“We’re listening to the Buckhead market,” he said. “What does the Buckhead Village want? What do the people want? That determines the feeling of the hotel.”

One of the developers’ goals is to complement the theater and Loudermilk Park, and all of the Buckhead Village.

Loudermilk plans to have a restaurant and some retailers on the ground floor and an entertainment area mid-level to serve as a gathering spot for folks before going to the theatre or for after dinner.

“It needs to be a central happening,” Loudermilk said. “It can’t be New York; it can’t be Chicago. It’s going to be Atlanta-Buckhead Village hip.”

He stressed the importance of working together with surrounding developments like OliverMcMillan’s Buckhead Atlanta. Loudermilk said he talks to that project’s representatives all the time and since they do not have a hotel component, it works out well.

“We need to make sure we all work together,” he said.

Loudermilk said another goal is to connect the east and west village by revamping the Buckhead Village.

“It’s kind of like the Georgia Tech area,” he said. “With [Interstate] 75/85 going down the middle, it cut everything in half but then the bridge was built and it’s really vibrant now.”

Though the idea is solid and he and Bell have conducted extensive market research and are working on preliminary factors like room numbers in correlation to parking spots, Loudermilk said they are proceeding patiently.

“It’s not a done deal. It takes time for permitting, financing and construction," he said. “I think timing is coming upon us and we’re moving down the track.”

Loudermilk estimates doors will open in about two to three years.

“We can depend on a development by Robin Loudermilk to be of top quality and a credit to his community,” said Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell in an email. “Buckhead is fortunate to have the pride his heritage exudes.”
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