Thursday is opening day for Buckhead Atlanta project

The massive $1 billion Buckhead Atlanta project will hold a grand opening ceremony on Thursday.

The invitation-only event, which starts at 10:30 a.m., will feature the opening of the streets and first major wave of retailers within the development. Here’s your primer on the project and what to expect:

What is Buckhead Atlanta?

Buckhead Atlanta is a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use neighborhood covering six city blocks and eight acres in the heart of the Buckhead Village. The project features in its first phase 370 high-end apartments, luxury retail and dining and office space that will include the headquarters of shapewear company Spanx. Planning for a second phase is in the works.

The project started its life as the Streets of Buckhead, a $1 billion-plus mini-city atop Buckhead former rowdy bar scene, that also veered heavily toward world-class luxury retail. It also included plans for ritzy hotels and residences. That project stalled after the recession started, and California-based OliverMcMillan took over at the end of 2010 and restarted the project on a smaller, but still ambitious scale.

What is happening Thursday?

A grand opening celebration will include the opening of Buckhead Avenue and Bolling Way within the complex. Hermes and the Fado Irish Pub were the first two tenants in the development, and have occupied space on Pharr Road for several years. But Thursday marks the opening of several new retailers, including Canali, Brunello Cucinelli and Warby Parker, as well as the relocation of Hermes to a new space.

What else is coming?

Developers of the project say that stores and restaurants will have open on a rolling schedule, made possible because the project isn’t an enclosed mall but a neighborhood stretching out over several blocks. In the coming months, top international retailers such as Christian Louboutin, Alice+Olivia, Akris and Jimmy Choo and restaurants including Lugo Cucina Italiana, American Cut and The Southern Gentlemen will open their doors.