California developer takes over Streets of Buckhead

December 23, 2010
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A new developer is taking charge of the massive but stalled Streets of Buckhead luxury retail project.

OliverMcMillan, a San Diego firm known for mixed-used developments, is being brought in by financial backers to replace well-known Atlanta developer Ben Carter, who started the project in 2006 but was unable to keep it going amid the real estate bust.

“My whole team has put a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears into it,” said Carter. “We think we are certainly capable of getting the job done, but if they’re going to take over and do it themselves, we have to understand that.”

Dene Oliver, OliverMcMillan’s chief executive officer, declined to comment Thursday.

Sharon Gay, a partner in the government affairs practice of McKenna Long & Aldridge, said she met Dene Oliver in 2004 when Coca-Cola hired the firm to explore putting a retail and entertainment village on its land at Centennial Olympic Park. Though Coke decided not to do the village, Gay said, “I was very impressed with his creativity and experience in developing distinctive retail and mixed use projects. I would be very interested to see what they come up with for Streets of Buckhead.”

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