The center has had several strong identities over the years, and each one has resonated at different times with different audiences, he said.
“I think that all retail environments evolve,” Phillips said. “The ones that are really successful long-term retain a sense of place and identity.”
The Shops Buckhead is part of what was a $1 billion, eight-acre redevelopment on one of Atlanta’s prestige corners, West Paces Ferry and Peachtree roads. It was built by California developer OliverMcMillan, which bought the property in 2011 from a Georgia developer whose project was stalled by the Great Recession.
OliverMcMillan reimagined it on a grand scale and opened the mixed-use development of high-rise residences, offices, restaurants and shops in 2014, with a proclamation by then-mayor Kasim Reed that this was a sign that the recession was over.
The office portion of the development includes the headquarters for shapewear company Spanx.
The splashy mass openings of more shops through 2015 was slowed, and builders filed more than $3 million in liens for unpaid work, but those issues were worked out.
OliverMcMillan was acquired by Brookfield Residential Properties in 2018.
Phillips said he was pleased with the purchase. The development is a central location in what is becoming a walkable urban community, and Buckhead has an identity that is recognized even internationally.
“Buckhead is what people know about Atlanta,” he said.