Ashton Woods’ massive and controversial housing development at the former Glenridge Hall site on Abernathy Road in Sandy Springs will begin Sat., May 7, according to a spokesperson.

A new rendering of Ashton Woods’ Aria redevelopment at the former Glenridge Hall site.

Now dubbed “Aria,” the Ashton Woods project has two main sections flanking Abernathy at Glenridge Drive. The part starting now is a 47-acre housing redevelopment and a new public park at the former Glenridge Hall mansion. The other part, which may start late this year, is a 29-acre mix of condos, apartments, detached houses and retail space next to the future Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters.

In addition, a third Ashton Woods redevelopment along Glenridge Drive, a 25-acre townhome project formerly known as Glenn West, is now being branded as part of the Aria project. That plan also includes new sports fields for the neighboring Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.

Overall, the project includes nearly 1,000 housing units, with 625 ownership and 355 apartments, according to information provided by Mike Busher, senior vice president of Ashton Woods Atlanta, through a spokesperson.

“We chose the name Aria to unify the community’s design concept of bringing nature and urban life together into a living symphony,” said Busher in a press release.

The redevelopment sparked neighborhood protests and lawsuit threats last year, starting with the surprise demolition of the 85-year-old Glenridge Hall mansion by its owners in advance of a sale. After Ashton Woods won redevelopment rights, its plan for high-density housing, especially apartments, along the Mercedes-Benz site drew protests. The plan involves cutting down a large section of forest.

Mike Rabalais, who long maintained the former Glenridge Hall estate, stands next to the demolished mansion’s ruins during an August 2015 site tour. (Photo John Ruch)

The city eventually approved the project, in part because Ashton Woods agreed to preserve 14 acres of the Glenridge Hall estate as a public park. That deal was cut by the Sandy Springs Conservancy, whose board chair, Steve Levetan, said in a press release that the Conservancy is “excited” by the construction start.

“The development signals the start of a process that will ultimately conclude with Ashton Woods’ dedication of significant parkland to the city,” Levetan said.

A draft site plan of Ashton Woods’ housing and a future public park at former Glenridge Hall site.

Woodland is featured in an Ashton Woods advertising video for the project, which shows a businessman meditating cross-legged in the woods.

The Glenn Woods project, proposed a few months later, also gained approval after Ashton Woods agreed to reduce the number of townhomes.

Land development on Aria’s first phase will continue into the fall, with future prep phase through 2017 and home construction lasting into the year 2020, according to a spokesperson. Updated site plans were not available.

Ashton Woods plans its first phase of home sales in winter 2017, Abney said. An Aria project website geared towards homebuyers has been launched at

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

2 replies on “Ashton Woods housing work at former Glenridge Hall to start May 7”

  1. Steve Levetan was “excited” by the project?? Every time that I hear the word “excited” used in a zoning context I get very, very nervous. “Excited” here means “destruction.” I’m appalled by the disregard for beauty and tradition, the density, the irresponsibility, the lowering once again of our quality of life.–Tm Reilly, National Wildlife Federation

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