A massive crane started out as a symbol of growth and progress as it towered over the Residence Buckhead Atlanta project. Before it could achieve its goal, however, it became an icon for the worst financial crisis in decades.
The project was only supposed to take a few years to complete, molding residential, business, and retail spaces into what would be the future of Buckhead.
When the economy tanked, so did the project. The crane sat idle for years, a constant reminder of all that was lost.
For businesses next door to the project, it has not been easy.
Fadó, an Irish pub and restaurant, moved to its current location before the bubble burst.
Buckhead was an up-and-coming area, and the Residence project a perfect attraction to bring foot traffic to their door.
As the crane sat idle, Fadó had to make due with a clientele base less than anticipated. "It was a bit devastating to say the least," said Colm Reilly, the general manager of Fadó.
Reilly says, one of the reasons they were able to survive was their reputation as the premiere Irish pub in Atlanta.
Down the block, another business was not lucky enough to have that distinction.
The Music Class caters to parents of toddlers, exposing the youngsters to music at an early age.
Maire Lang started working for the company not long before the Residence project began. "We were expecting it to be done within a year or two at the time, um, and then it just stopped," said Lang.
For several years Lang and Reilly had a half finished building across the street, and wondered if it would ever get back on track.
Saturday, a year ago to the day work resumed, the crane that stood so long as a reminder of the stagnation of the economy was removed.
For Lang it is exciting to see. Parking has been one of the most difficult hurdles for the Music Class to overcome. She is hopeful the direly needed spaces will be available soon.
As for Reilly, like Lang, the potential customers are what has him optimistic. While the pub has kept its head above water for years, he is ready to see it truly prosper in the months ahead.
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1720 Valley View Drive