By Kathy Dean
Townhomes and condos are the perfect lifestyle choices for many Intown residents. The best the city has to offer is right outside their doors, and they can walk to neighborhood parks, shops and restaurants. And the low maintenance of condo living gives them more time to enjoy themselves.
Availability, however, has been an issue. With the high demand for Intown housing, townhomes and condos have been at a premium. Now sharp-eyed developers are taking notice and doing something about it.
The real estate market is picking up in Atlanta, according to Anne Schwall, Vice President of Developer Services with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, particularly when it comes to condominiums.
“The new construction condo market has given buyers the opportunity to purchase a product that was previously unavailable in Atlanta,” Schwall said. “These condominium projects offer buyers more square footage and outdoor space, enticing those homeowners looking to leave behind the maintenance and upkeep of a larger, single family home to simplify their lifestyle without sacrificing indoor and outdoor living space.”
She added that buyers seem to recognize the scarcity of high end, luxury condos in Atlanta, and the benefit of purchasing these homes throughout the construction process. An example is One Museum Place, a collection of 44 residences directly across from the High Museum of Art. Fifty percent are already under contract and the project hit its presale goal with over $30 million in sales. The residences range from 1,700 to 4,800 square feet, and have a magnificent outdoor lanai fully outfitted with a sink and gas grill. In addition, fifth floor residences have access to rooftop terraces where owners can enjoy breathtaking views.
The location of Seventh Midtown, on the corner of Seventh and Peachtree, is within walking distance of Piedmont Park and the Fox Theatre. Homes range from 1,805 to 2,874 square feet, and each unique floor plan offers beautiful views and plenty of space for entertaining. Every home includes an oversized outdoor terrace the finest of finishes, including Pedini European cabinetry, silestone countertops, Waterworks fixtures and Wolf/Sub Zero appliances.
“Seventh Midtown has been met with great success as a result of the improving condo market,” Schwall said. “It’s now over 60 percent under contract, and construction is expected to be finished by January 2016. Seventh Midtown will be Midtown’s first completed new construction luxury condo project in years.”
Phase One of The Atlantic residences in Atlantic Station is now 75 percent sold. The building is among the tallest in Atlanta, and provides sweeping views to residents of condos in the 46-story high-rise. The long list of amenities includes a full size pool and poolside terrace with stacked stone fireplace, and each home features floor-to-ceiling glass windows. One bedroom condos start in from $300,000; two bedrooms from $376,000; three bedrooms from $614,000; and penthouse from $1.3 million.
Paula Burr, Onsite Sales Associate at Monte Hewett Homes, has also seen a strong rise in the market where townhomes and condos are concerned. “It’s undeniable that the locations are desirable, but a lot of it is about the lifestyle choice with a townhome. People don’t need to worry about any exterior maintenance, since the homeowners’ association handles it all. It’s a lock-and-leave deal.”
And that’s exactly what makes it perfect for people who want to simplify their lifestyles, including older folks who no longer have kids to worry about, and younger couples who are busy with their jobs, according to Burr.
Monte Hewett Homes has two townhome communities underway. Ansley at Piedmont, a cozy community of seven townhomes in one building, is right across the street from Piedmont Park and the Botanical Gardens. Two homes are already under contract, and an end-of-the-year completion date is set for the other five. The three-story townhomes offer 4,505 square feet of modern living space that includes four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths. “For both Ansley at Piedmont and St. Andrews, the big draws are the location and the walkability to everything in the neighborhood,” Burr said.
St. Andrews will be a larger community of 32 homes set in the heart of Buckhead on East Andrews Drive between by West Paces Ferry and Roswell Roads. The project is so new that no plans or pricing is available yet, but the location makes it very desirable.
“There’s a pent-up demand for well located mid-rise and high-rise development,” said David J. Tufts, President, The Marketing Directors, LLC. “Today the market is hot with little to no new product.”
Tufts noted that while construction lending has been the big constraint in the marketplace, townhomes have been the first and easiest multifamily for-sale product to get financed. As the apartment market gets softer and sale prices firm up, he expects to see more apartments converting to condos.
The six units of 5th & Piedmont Townhomes in Midtown are nearly sold out. The existing historic home on the site has been renovated and reconfigured into two units, and four new homes are being constructed beside it. The three-story townhomes, just steps away from Piedmont Park, start at $790,000.
“The high finish level and modern style has been very well received,” reported Tufts. “5th & Piedmont has three out of the six townhomes under contract at this time, and occupancy is expected in October.”
MODA R-town has firm sales for 30 of the 46 townhomes, with first delivery in 2016. The new construction project offers three- and four-level townhomes with two or three bedrooms, as well as high style flats, starting from the low $300s. Tufts said that the modern style, Reynoldstown location and great amenities, including a saline pool, have made it a hot property.
“We have a priority waitlist developing now for MODA Decatur,” Tufts said of a similar project to the one in Reynoldstown. “The residences will feature outdoor fireplaces, rooftop decks and a signature saline pool, only steps away from Downtown Decatur.” The four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath townhomes will be available from the low $500s.
John Wieland Homes also has two townhome communities in the works. Square at Glen Iris, in the Old Fourth Ward near Ponce City Market, and The Mews at North Decatur, near Emory’s Clairmont Campus. Both projects will place luxury townhomes in sought-after neighborhoods.