ATLANTA — Atlanta is a “city of doers” and “fertile ground” for investment, the managing director of a Bohemian-based investment group with Atlanta holdings told a local civic organization on Thursday.
“Atlanta is a unique place,” Douglas McMahon, managing director of Tavistock Group, told the Buckhead Business Association (BBA).“We think it defines opportunity. There is an inherent optimism and hope in Atlanta. We think it’s definitional because how Atlanta was recreated after the War.
“It is a magnetic presence, particularly in the southeast, that we believe as business people has a similar dynamic to New York City in the 20th century,” McMahon added. “If you are matriculated in a college anywhere in the southeast, where are you going to go for your first job? Atlanta’s got to be at the top of the list.”
Founded in 1975 by Joe Lewis, Tavistock Group owns a number of properties in Atlanta, including the St. Regis in Buckhead and the Residences, which it acquired in 2011. The group, along with consulting chef Gerry Klaskala and chef de cuisine Christopher Grossman, last month opened Atlas restaurant at the St. Regis to replace the Paces 88 restaurant.
“Do not underestimate the opportunity for the audacity of the outsider,” McMahon said. “This is a city that does embrace change. This is a city that does embrace outsiders.”
“Buckhead has an unfair competitive advantage. It is an idealized version of the way people want to live whether they live here or not,” McMahon said. “They get to dine here, they get to shop here; they might live in Gwinnett or Alpharetta or they might be visiting from Chattanooga or Jacksonville. Buckhead in and of itself is a luxury brand.”