The Buckhead City Committee’s push to break away from Atlanta now has a physical presence in a high-profile location, as the nationally watched cityhood effort prepares to come before Georgia lawmakers.
On Halloween, the BCC—formerly known as the Buckhead Exploratory Committee—unveiled an official, logo-bedecked headquarters on a corner of Peachtree Road across the street from Buckhead Village.
Food trucks, music, costumes, BCC “swag,” and promises that “this is just the beginning of something spectacular!” were in no short order, per a committee that defines itself as a nonpartisan, diverse group of Buckhead business and homeowners fed up with Atlanta’s leadership and recent crime woes.
The HQ unveiling could be timely. Supporters and stakeholders of Buckhead’s potential succession from the City of Atlanta are scheduled to testify Thursday before the Georgia State Senate and Local Government Operations Committee, per the BCC.
Cityhood adherents hope the Georgia General Assembly will grant the right to have the matter put before Buckhead voters in a year.
That November 2022 referendum, if the city bill passes, would ask Buckhead residents to decide whether their upscale district should de-annex from Atlanta, and then incorporate as “Buckhead City.” (The name “Buckhead, Georgia” was taken a century ago by a Morgan County town between Atlanta and Augusta.)
The cityhood movement—as led by wealthy New York City transplant Bill White, who’s used the platform to become a frequent national Fox News guest—has been roundly criticized by powerful Buckhead voices, including Democratic legislators and former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell and Jim Durrett, head of the Buckhead Coalition and CID. A study funded by cityhood opponents found removing tax-rich Buckhead from city coffers could financially devastate Atlanta and cast its school system into chaos, with $232 million subtracted from APS’ annual net revenues.
Meanwhile, the BCC feels the “divorce” from Atlanta is justified by crime spikes and their own financial study, completed in September, that shows the split is not only feasible—but likely beneficial for Atlanta, per the BCC. Their reasoning: “Any reduction in funds to the City of Atlanta due to the formation of Buckhead City will be offset by the reduction of responsibility for police, roads, and parks,” per a summary. “A smaller Atlanta…a smaller anything…is easier to manage.”
In any case, the BCC’s physical presence is now staked at 3002 Peachtree Road.
The HQ site once housed a Three Dollar Café during Buckhead Village’s rollicking nightlife heyday, before moldering as a vacant building for years and more recently serving as a European auto sales and service center.
Portman Holdings signed a long-term lease on the prime, 2.4-acre lot last year, however, with expectations of launching a two-tower hotel and apartment venture there, possibly beginning next year and opening in 2024, as Buckhead.com reported in 2020.
For now, it’s the little corner building with horns.
• Recent Buckhead news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)