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Novare plans new Buckhead residential tower

5:35 AM, Aug 8, 2013   |    comments
SkyHouse Buckhead (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
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ATLANTA -- Another Buckhead high-rise apartment tower is in the works -- the latest in a string of similar projects.

Novare Group, Batson-Cook Development Company, and Ackerman & Co. are planning SkyHouse Buckhead, a 26-story, 364-unit luxury tower.

The site is just off Peachtree Road next to the new MARTA pedestrian bridge that's going to cross Georgia 400. The land is also behind Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant.

It marks the third intown Atlanta residential tower for Novare Group. Architectural firm Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart is designing its latest project.

Novare is also developing 100 6th Street in Midtown. It already completed SkyHouse Midtown on West Peachtree Street. Novare has other projects underway in Orlando, Fla., and Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas.

The new Atlanta tower would rise on one of Buckhead's best-known sites. Atlanta developer Charles Ackerman marketed it heavily a few years ago. It drew a lot of interest, including prospects for a 300-room hotel.

The site makes sense for a multifamily project, developers said. It's a short walk from the Buckhead MARTA Station, making it appealing to Gen Y workers who generally prefer renting to owning and want to live by transit.

It's also part of the newly created special public interest zoning district that includes the tallest Buckhead buildings, including the 50-story mixed-use office and condo tower 3344 Peachtree and the 42-story Mandarin Oriental Atlanta.

Buckhead is among Atlanta's most active submarkets for new apartment projects. Many developers are targeting the Georgia 400 corridor and the Buckhead Loop, or sites close to Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.

Last month, a California developer submitted plans for a 39-story luxury tower next to Phipps Plaza. Post Properties also recently unveiled plans for a 19-story apartment tower overlooking Georgia 400 by Phipps.

At least 2,957 apartment units are proposed for Buckhead and Brookhaven this year, according to The Reid Report, a publication that tracks apartment development across metro Atlanta. Construction has already started on 2,630 units.

It's hard to blame developers for the rush to start new projects. Apartments are seeing values soar, especially those in the hottest markets. Rents, once down 25 percent during the worst of the downturn, have climbed all the way back.

But some investors aren't sure how long the rapid escalation in rental rates can continue. And the buzz is already starting that some developers might soon begin to convert intown rental units to condos.

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