A hotel on Buckhead’s Lenox Road has been declared in default on a nearly $46.6 million mortgage loan balance and a sale on the courthouse steps is scheduled for Oct. 5.

The default on the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center at 3405 Lenox Road, across the street from Lenox Square mall, was described in a Sept. 8 legal notice in the Fulton County Daily Report, the county’s legal organ. (The hotel is not to be confused with the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead hotel just down the street at the corner of Lenox and East Paces Ferry Road.)

The Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center as it appeared in a 2018 Google Earth image.

The hotel was the subject of a $50.5 million mortgage loan in 2016 on a 10-year term, according to the legal notice and real estate records. Since then, $3,944,777 of principle has been paid, leaving a balance of $46,555,223, according to real estate records. According to the legal notice, the owner failed to make monthly payments starting in November 2020 “and thereafter,” triggering the default and demand to pay the entire amount.

The owner and borrower is PHF II Buckhead LLC, a Delaware-based company connected with Atrium Holding Company in Arizona. The holding company is an affiliate of Alpharetta-based Atrium Hospitality, which owns and operates hotels under several brands, including Marriott, and which lists the Lenox Road hotel on its website as part of its portfolio. Atrium and the hotel chain Marriott International did not respond to comment requests.

The hotel site as it appears in Fulton County online property records.

The current loan-holder is LNR Partners LLC of Florida via a trust and another LLC, according to the legal notice. Edwin Garrison, an Atlanta attorney representing the loan-holder, declined to comment.

Other legal notices published last month referenced a cash sale on the courthouse steps for Sept. 7. There is no explanation of why that didn’t happen and the new date announced. According to the legal notice, Marriott and PHF II Buckhead LLC have a right of first refusal on a sale.

In March 2020, the hotel furloughed 145 employees, according to an Atlanta Business Chronicle report. The hotel building dates to 1975, according to county property records, and has gone through several ownership changes and rebrandings over the decades.

You can’t help but notice the new Hyatt Centric Buckhead if you travel GA400 below Peachtree Street. The new building stands apart from the rest of the skyline, but it is right in the middle of the action. The 1 acre site is between Lenox Square Mall and GA400. PATH400 crosses GA400 here via the the Gordon C Bynum Jr. Pedestrian Bridge.

The Hyatt Centric Buckhead will be near restaurants and shopping, but the connection to PATH400 could be the big draw for the new property. PATH400 provides guests an easy route to Buckhead’s Tech Corridor, MARTA, Lindbergh, and many of Buckhead’s green spaces. Upcoming connections to the Atlanta Beltline to the south and Sandy Springs’ path system to the north will further increase the value of this amenity for hotel guests.

Hyatt Centric Buckhead Details

According to Hyatt’s mission statement, “Hyatt Centric hotels help fuel guest discovery, located in the heart of the action with passionately engaged team members always on-hand to serve up insider knowledge and provide local expertise.” The 16-story Hyatt Centric Buckhead will house 218 guest rooms and 4,400 square feet of meeting space when it opens in early 2022. The hotel will feature a rooftop bar and restaurant in addition to the lobby bar and restaurant, pool, and fitness center.

The project was designed by New York-based Cooper Carey and developed locally by Songy Highroads. Atlanta-based Reeves+Young is handling the construction.

Lenox Square and Buckhead, 1968 vs. 2021

The Hyatt Centric Buckhead is the next step in the evolution of the Lenox Square Mall area and the Buckhead skyline.

Photo by Jamison's Photography, courtesy Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center