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Preserve Converts $54 Million Buckhead Community to Condos

Planned Rental Residences in Buckhead Now Will Sell for $500,000 to +$1.4 Million
January 30, 2018
In a move that could portend a coming condo conversion craze, Preserve Properties will develop a planned Buckhead apartment community as a condominium.

The Atlanta firm has announced that The Sutton, a 21-story luxury residential project at 2965 Peachtree Rd., will be a condominium tower instead of an apartment high-rise. The 151-unit Sutton will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom residences with prices ranging from $500,000 to $1.4 million and higher.

The building permit issued for The Sutton, being built by Gilbane Building Co. of Providence, RI, puts total construction costs at $54.1 million and still classifies the tower as a 16-story apartment building atop five levels of parking for the 21-story total.

"Our mission is to develop a great site in Buckhead Village, offering quality condominiums at attainable prices," Preserve President John Draper said. "It is truly walkable to the many great restaurants and shopping in Buckhead Village. It's a place where you can park your car and leave it there for a long time."

The site, formerly home to the popular Grand China restaurant, is about a block away from The Shops at Buckhead Atlanta, an upscale retail-and-restaurant development owned by OliverMcMillan of San Diego. It is also adjacent to Mill Creek Residential's Modera Buckhead, a 21-story, 400-unit apartment community under construction at Peachtree and Pharr roads.

Along Pharr Rd., from Peachtree to Piedmont roads, several apartment communities are underway or have just opened. And two blocks away at the Roswell-Peachtree split, Hanover is completing Hanover Buckhead Village, a 21-story curved tower that comprises 353 luxury rental units. The only sizable new condo tower under construction in Buckhead Village is The Charles at Buckhead Village that will offer 57 ultra-luxury condos ranging from $1.3 million to $4 million and higher.

Developers begin to consider converting planned and under way apartments to condominium when rents begin to rival or even top monthly mortgages for the same-sized condo. Also, with interest rates still low, renters might consider buying to lock-in current rates. However, buying a condo comes with the mortgage obligation that limits mobility, something millennials are known to cherish.

Currently, the development of apartments is greatly outpacing condo development in Buckhead. Fervent condominium development often forebodes the beginning of the end of a residential real estate cycle. Or as the late multifamily consultant Dale Henson used to say: Beware "condomania."

With The Sutton now a condo development, buyers in Buckhead have the opportunity to acquire new luxury residences in the sky for more affordable prices, said Anne Schwall, vice president of developer services at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International. Her firm is marketing the condos for sale.

"As the first new luxury condominium building in Buckhead to offer homes prices under a million dollars, The Sutton is an exciting opportunity for Atlanta residents," Schwall said. "Buyers will have the best of both worlds - the opportunity to call the city's prime Buckhead district home while also enjoying the serenity of living above the trees with breathtaking views."

Reese Vanderbilt & Associates is the project architect, and Barrett Design the interior designer. The Sutton is scheduled to open in May 2019.

Tony Wilbert, Atlanta Market Reporter  CoStar Group   

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