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Go Big: What is Ben Carter’s Crater?

Posted on Sep 18, 2013 by in Life Lessons, Sales and Marketing | 0 comments

I am starting a new series lovely called “Go Big”.  The general idea around this blog series is to celebrate ideas, people, and companies in Atlanta that are dreaming big, thinking big, and going big (regardless of success or failure).  As I have continued my education around “transformational ideas, companies, and people” I continue to come back to a willingness to not play it safe, a vision others don’t see, and yes, a willingness to fail.  Let’s all agree, no one wants to fail, but the question I am asking and even challenging myself is this: are you starting off trying to “not fail” or are you starting off trying to “go big”.  There is a real difference.  Have you heard the saying “trying not to lose versus trying to win”.


A few summary points about Ben Carter (Properties), Streets of Buckhead, and Buckhead Atlanta:

– In 1838, Henry Irby purchased 202 1/2 acres surrounding what is now Buckhead Village from Daniel Johnson for $650.

– By 1996 Buckhead Village nightlife was like “Mardi Gras, complete with nightly arrests, puking in the streets and [drunk] college students”.

– In 2006–07, Ben Carter bought parcels in the area in order to develop the Streets of Buckhead.

– Original plans by developer Ben Carter Properties called for a $1.5 billion upscale mixed-use development.

– On May 2, 2011, OliverMcMillan Inc. purchased the land from Ben Carter Properties. Baupost Group LLC, a Boston hedge fund, provided $300 million.

– OliverMcMillan plans to change much of the original plans: they are “not seeking a Rodeo Drive-type development” and “the level of restaurants and retail might be somewhat different”. It is to be an “urban village” woven into the Buckhead Community.

Think about this for a moment.  Henry Irby looks like a genius paying $650 bucks for Buckhead village – will Ben Carter / OliverMcMillan look smart for spending what most people peg around $700 million to remake Buckhead village.  Have I enjoyed walking each night and passing by what basically was a big hole in the ground with a fence around it (Crater) – of course not – however – as I post this blog and I must celebrate that Ben Carter (his team) and his company sat down and said we are going to remake, rebuild, rethink, Buckhead Village, dare I say “Go Big”.  Think what you want about it, but the next time you start judging someone’s failure stop and ask yourself if you are super busy trying to “not lose”.

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