Apartment Appeal: Meeting rental demand

By Shandra Hill Smith

Location, features and quality – they’re three of the factors that prove a magnet to Intown living for residents choosing to rent.

That group largely is Generation Y – the 20- to 30-something demographic that appreciates the benefit of mobility that renting offers, and tends to find “sophisticated urban living appealing,” says Steve Baile, senior vice president, Atlanta Operations, for Daniel Corporation.

“The demand for upscale apartments is definitely increasing,” adds Baile. “The demand for Intown living in general has been on a steady increase for the last decade. With a waning availability of new condominiums and an increasing demographic of rental versus homeownership, we foresee the markets continuing to draw new residents.”

Those residents now will have a bevy of choices when it comes to upscale apartment living, including those spotlighted here.

77 12th St.

A $1 billion mixed-use development in Atlanta, 12th & Midtown is expanding with the addition of 77 12th St. (7712th.com) The 23-story, mixed-use tower will consist of 330 luxury one- and two-bedroom apartment homes atop more than 20,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants.

Daniel Corporation joins Selig Enterprises Inc. in partnering with Northwestern Mutual to develop the fourth high-rise tower of 12th & Midtown.

Amenities include: 643 to 1,340 square-foot studios; 10-foot ceilings; floor-to-ceiling glass windows in living rooms along with skyline views and granite and stone kitchens and baths. Some of the other features are hardwood floors, carpeted bedrooms and porcelain-tile bathrooms with garden tubs. On the sixth-floor plaza level, you’ll find a saltwater swimming pool with waterfall and in-water tanning ledges; a poolside bar; four cabana lounges; full-sized bocce ball court; outdoor fireplaces and private entertainment areas with space for grilling and dining. A clubhouse on the 23rd floor will feature a sports lounge with billiards, shuffleboard, poker and theater seating; outdoor sky deck and lounge offering Midtown views, cyber café with coffee bar, media lounge, fitness facility and more.

Pre-leasing is available during construction, with floors six through nine slated to open in May 2013. The estimated completion for remaining floors and clubhouse amenities is October 2013.

The Reserve at Collier Hills

Today, the Georgian Hills Apartments. Tomorrow, The Reserve at Collier Hills. Atlantic Realty Partners Inc. (atlantic-realty.com) is redeveloping the existing Georgian Hills Apartments at 1185 Collier Road between Defoors Ferry and Howell Mill roads. The community will grow from 250 apartments – with demolition plans set for this month – to a 288-unit project that will include mostly four-story apartments and single-family units and townhouses.

The front half, says Richard Aaronson, president, Atlantic Realty Partners Inc., will consist of new apartments, with a combination of 52 single-family units and two- and three-story townhouses by John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods taking up the rear half. Aaronson says construction should last 15 months.

Part of the Collier Hills neighborhood, The Reserve at Collier Hills will be built with “lots of brick and stone” in a modern, classical design, says Aaronson, “what I would characterize as a Charleston tradition, but in a more modern version of a Charleston design.”

Features of the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will include nine-foot ceilings, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and washers and dryers.

Other selling points: pocket parks, swimming pool, clubhouse with a full-service fitness center, cyber café and club room, grilling and picnic areas and access control to buildings and parking lots.

The Somerset

Perennial Properties Inc. (perennialproperties.net) plans to develop a 228-unit project along the Atlanta BeltLine. The Atlanta developer would build a four- and five-story luxury apartment community at North Avenue and Somerset Terrace.

Living there would provide access to the Historic Fourth Ward Park, and to Ponce City Market, which will house a mix of retail, dining, office and residential space. The Somerset project is minutes from Midtown and downtown Atlanta. According to Jay McGinnity, development manager for The Somerset, the “site’s design will play off the old mills that were prevalent in this neighborhood in the earlier part of the last century, while complementing existing architecture in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood.”

From McGinnity’s perspective, “the resurgence in the intown rental markets, despite the weak national economy, is amazing.” McGinnity says driving factors for new residents are the “convenience and flexibility of living close to where they work and play without the upkeep hassles and risks of homeownership.”

In addition to its location on the BeltLine, The Somerset will offer the following amenities: well-appointed and inviting swimming pool, grilling areas, a state-of-the-art fitness room, business center and cyber café/lounge where residents can interact with each other and entertain. Studios, one-, two-  and three-bedroom residences will be available. Plans are to break ground in Fall 2012, with a planned delivery date in Fall 2013 and leasing to begin next summer.

SkyHouse Midtown and 100 6th Street

Through a dual partnership, Novare Group and Batson-Cook Development Co. have begun work on a 23-story, 320-unit high-rise project, SkyHouse Midtown (skyhousemidtown.com), at 12th and West Peachtree streets and have plans to develop 100 6th Street, a separate 23-story, 320-unit high-rise by 2014.

The high rises are Energy Star rated with floor-to-ceiling glass and high-end finishes, including hardwood floors, premium stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, according to Jim Borders, president, Novare Group, whose development record includes rehabilitation of the historic Biltmore Hotel, TWELVE Atlantic Station and Peachtree Lofts. Other amenities include balconies, high-speed internet and a rooftop amenity deck that includes a fitness room, club room and pool.

Borders says Novare is targeting Gen Y or the “Echo Boom” demographic, and specifically the 25 to 34-year-old urban professional subset. “Our residents are primarily single, and they want to live in the city and want to rent to maintain their mobility,” adds Borders. “The Echo Boom generation, which is growing, wants to live in live/work/play communities in urban areas. They are more environmentally conscious and, therefore, want to be close to public transportation and the ability to walk to work and play.”

SkyHouse Midtown is on track for being completed by December. Pre-leasing has begun. Having received approval by the Midtown Development Review Committee, 100 6th Street – at 6th and Juniper streets – will feature a pocket park or greenspace for public use on the property’s grounds, street-level retail and other amenities.

Circle Terminus

Crescent Resources LLC (crescent-resources.com) has preliminary plans for a nearly 360-unit luxury apartment project at Terminus, a large mixed-use development at Peachtree and Piedmont roads in Buckhead. The Charlotte, N.C.-based developer would build the project behind the Terminus office and condo towers.

Ben Collins, regional director for Crescent Resources, says it’s too early in the planning process to outline specifics about Terminus, but shares that the property would include an environmentally conscious design for which Crescent is known.

“Crescent’s progressive Circle communities are infused with the exceptional quality and customer-oriented features that have become Crescent hallmarks,” says Collins. “Many are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified by the Green Building Council or Audubon International certified wildlife sanctuaries.”

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