By Gwyn Herbein
With its myriad of distinctive
neighborhoods, restaurants and cultural attractions, Atlanta is a city that
has something for everyone. The same can be said for the city’s selection
of condominiums. From couples looking to downsize from a house, first-time homebuyers
craving a slice of city life, or those who want the slower pace of suburban
living without the maintenance of owning a house, the condo market in Atlanta
can fit any budget and lifestyle.
At the height of the housing boom, neighborhoods like downtown, Midtown and
Buckhead built up the skyline with high-rise condos. These properties continue
to offer residents the best of Atlanta’s culture, sports and dining just
steps from their front door. For those looking to take a break from the hustle
and bustle of city living, there is no shortage of properties in Smyrna, Marietta
and other neighborhoods that offer their own charm and activities to keep residents
busy. No matter what your lifestyle, Atlanta’s condo market has the right
home for you.
Bright Lights, Big City
Many buyers are lured to condos in established intown neighborhoods like Midtown
and Buckhead because of their proximity to the city’s restaurants and
nightlife. At TWELVE Centennial Park, a 39-story high-rise, residents are just
minutes away from some of Atlanta’s best sports and event venues like
Phillips Arena and the Georgia Dome. “There’s convenience to living
intown that you can’t get in a suburban, single-family community,”
says Matt Smith of TWELVE. “There’s a huge variety of restaurants
and shops within walking distance. Our homeowners love being in the heart of
the city with all the activities, nightlife and sporting events.” For
those who enjoy spending time outdoors, Gay Bennett, also of TWELVE, notes that
the complex is situated right between Atlanta’s two biggest parks: Centennial
Olympic Park and Piedmont Park. Another draw to intown living is the ease of
getting around, both on foot and with MARTA. From TWELVE, which is just a block
from the Civic Center MARTA station, it’s an easy 13-minute ride to Hartsfield-Jackson
Atlanta International Airport.
Several intown properties have the added benefit of being mixed-use facilities,
offering residents multiple shopping and dining options right outside their
front door. “Condominiums promote efficiencies for people’s typical
routines as they are typically located in city centers or mixed-use properties
where retailers, restaurants, parks, dry cleaners, banking, grocery stores,
etc., are located a block or two away,” explains Jason Winburn of Daniel
Corporation, developers of the 12th and Midtown complex. This complex includes
the 1010 Midtown condos, a 35-story high-rise with units that feature panoramic
views of nearby Piedmont Park, as well as the Midtown and Downtown skylines.
For those who like a little culture, 1010 is only blocks away from the Woodruff
Arts Center, home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Alliance Theater and
the High Museum of Art.
One of the most unique aspects of the Atlanta condo market is that no two properties
are the same. While properties may share some of the same amenities, each integrates
itself into its respective neighborhood in a different way. Over the past several
years, the Westside neighborhood of Atlanta, also known as West Midtown, has
grown into the city’s go-to destination for boutique, furniture and art
gallery shopping. It’s also one of the city’s best dining destinations,
with well-established fine dining classics like Bacchanalia and newcomers like
JCT Kitchen serving up some of Atlanta’s best cuisine. Living in a complex
like the White Provision Residences puts homeowners right in the heart of the
Another area to consider is the Peachtree Battle neighborhood, which lies just
north of Midtown and south of Buckhead. Residents at the Astoria at the Aramore
can relax in their own private cabana at the development’s pool, or enjoy
dinner at the renowned Restaurant Eugene next door. “Our residents love
being able to walk their dog or jog in the historic Peachtree Battle neighborhood,”
says Jack Williams of Kairos Development Corporation. “Anyone who tours
these homes feels that there is nothing like it in Atlanta—unique plans,
large rooms and finishes that surpass expectations.”
Getting Away From It All
Because of all the intown building that occurred during the housing boom, new
residents may be tempted to think that luxurious condo living doesn’t
exist outside of Midtown or Buckhead. But the Atlanta condo market reaches beyond
the borders of these neighborhoods. Neighborhoods like Marietta, Vinings and
Sandy Springs boast beautiful properties with all the necessary amenities and
spectacular views of the city.
Located less than 20 miles from downtown Atlanta, the city of Marietta offers
residents just the right mix of small-town charm (the city was established in
1834) with big-city sensibilities. The gem of Marietta is Marietta Square, which
is often bustling with concerts, parades or other community-oriented events.
The newly opened Emerson Overlook is situated right in the heart of downtown
Marietta, just steps away from the square. “At Emerson Overlook you can
enjoy all that the Marietta Square offers, from Art Walks to concerts in Glover
Park, brunch in the local restaurants, buying fresh produce at the Marietta
Farmers Market and enjoying a play at Theater on the Square,” says Leslie
Williamson of NRT Development Advisors. Emerson Overlook also provides great
views of the nearby North Georgia Mountains, most notably Kennesaw Mountain.
Emerson Overlook offers one-, two- or three-bedroom units that range in size
from 1,093 to 2,648 square feet and have hardwood floors, 10-foot ceilings and
Located just northwest of downtown Atlanta and across the Chattahoochee River
lies the historic town of Vinings. Convenient to I-285, I-75 and Georgia 400,
Vinings is an up-and-coming condo market with lots of options. In addition to
being close to all that Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods have to offer,
Vinings is also convenient to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, the Cobb
Galleria shopping complex and various parks around the Chattahoochee River.
At One River Place, the amenities rival anything that can be found in Buckhead.
The benefit to owning a condo in these areas may be more of a “neighborhood
feel.” “Condominium living in Sandy Springs or Cobb County allows
purchasers to fulfill their ‘lifestyle’ need while not having to
leave the comfort zone of their current neighborhood,” explains Pace Halter
of Halter Realty/ST Residential.
In Atlanta, exceptional amenities are an integral part of condo living. From
fitness centers to lap pools, conference rooms to dry cleaning services, condo
living ensures that homeowners can do all their errands and still have time
to enjoy their respective surroundings.
While amenities like fitness centers, a 24-hour front desk staff, wi-fi access
and pools have become standard at most properties, other more specialized services
and facilities are unique to each property. For instance, residents of The Mansion
on Peachtree not only have access to a 4,500-square foot fitness facility, but
they also have an English garden to relax in after a workout. On the weekends,
TWELVE Centennial Park staffs their poolside tiki bar with a bartender. The
12th and Midtown complex has a rooftop pool and sky gardens. One River Place
takes the common area to a whole new level with the Meeting House, an “[exceptional]
8,000-square foot ‘heart of the community’ consisting of full-time
concierge, 24-hour health club, spa treatment facility, two swimming pools,
TV and entertainment room, full catering kitchen with outdoor seating overlooking
the concert park and lawn and a fenced private residents’ dog park,”
according to Halter.
Living the Lifestyle
Condo living is no longer a lifestyle reserved for carefree twenty-somethings
or retirees, as Atlantans at all stages of life have made condos their residences
of choice. “A condo is a wonderful option for anyone at any stage in life,”
says Anna Marissa Fetz of the SkyRise Group, a division of Atlanta Fine Homes
Sotheby’s International Realty. “We have worked with families with
young children, empty-nesters and grandparents in their search for a condo.”
Williamson, of NRT Development Advisors, agrees. “People are trying to
simplify their lifestyles,” she explains. The social aspects of condo
living combined with amenities make maintaining a healthy work-life balance
much easier. “The condominium lifestyle gives you time for all the things
that you never had time for in the past,” says Kairos’ Williams.
He lists time for community service, a new hobby, walks in the park, trying
new restaurants and travel as some of the perks of condo living.
In the current economy, a condo means you get more for your money. “People
are willing to scale down in square footage, in order to live in the city’s
core and all that entails, while still living in an exquisite property with
the finest finishes,” says Karen Rodriguez, associate broker with Doresy
Alston, Realtors, whose properties include the Ritz-Carlton Residences.
Another important aspect of choosing to purchase a condo is that it provides
all the benefits of homeownership (building equity, a true sense of home) without
many of the hassles. There are no lawns to mow or gutters to clean, and you
can feel confident knowing that when you leave your home, things are taken care
of. This is especially important for those who crave a sense of permanence.
“Apartments make a better fit for those who are only going to be in the
area for less than five years,” says Rodriguez. “A condo investment
should be for someone longer term.”
Into the Future
Because of the variety of properties available, the Atlanta condo market is
alive and well. “There seems to be a shift taking place in the way people
live,” says Halter Realty’s Halter. “This shift is driving
the need for the choices of lifestyle that condominiums offer.” Whatever
your needs and preferences, you can be sure that the Atlanta condo market offers
the perfect home to fit your lifestyle.