PROPERTY: The Retreat at Edgewood LOCATION: Atlanta OPENED: November 2011 DEVELOPERS/OWNERS: Columbia Residential, Atlanta, in partnership with The Zeist Foundation, Atlanta DEVELOPMENT COST: $23.5 million (public and private funds) ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN: Smith Dalia Architects, Atlanta PROJECT SCOPE: 140 units in two phases; one- to three-bedroom townhome apartments and flats measuring 750 to 1,600 square feet RENTS: $500 to $1,000 a month; residents must earn no more than 60 percent of AMI CIVIL ENGINEER AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: Planners and Engineers Collaborative, Atlanta INTERIOR DESIGN: Chris Holt, Holt Interiors, Atlanta
When homeowners fled to suburban Atlanta from the 1960s to the 1990s, the downtown Edgewood neighborhood saw many of its old apartment buildings languish, and it became blighted and crime-ridden. In response, the locally based Zeist Foundation, which has focused on improving the area, bought five noncontiguous land parcels. To develop the eight acres of land, Zeist gave Columbia Residential, local experts in affordable and mixed-use housing, leeway to construct a mixed-income, family-oriented complex with a total of 28 separate buildings. “We felt there would be strong demand because this demographic had been ignored and because of the proximity to elementary and middle schools and a MARTA station,” says Jim Grauley, Columbia’s president and COO. Grauley and his colleagues were right and have witnessed a ripple effect. “It’s transformed the neighborhood,” he says. All of the 100 units in Phase 1 have been leased.
Barbara Ballinger (www.barbaraballinger.com) is a
freelance writer,author, andspeaker whofocuses on real estate, design, and family
business. Her most recent book isThe Kitchen
Bible: Designing Your Perfect Culinary Space(Images