ATLANTA -- AMLI Residential has scooped up another high-profile intown site where it plans to develop more apartments.
AMLI purchased about 7 acres in Buckhead at Roxboro and East Paces Ferry roads, a site that several years ago was planned as an over-the-top $2 billion condo project. Instead, AMLI will develop at least 640 apartment units.
AMLI got the site under contract earlier this fall, Atlanta Business Chronicle reported.
It officially purchased the site Nov. 22 for $22.5 million, according to Fulton County records. Wells Fargo & Co. was the seller.
The property is considered one of the top development sites in Buckhead because of its location next to Lenox Square and the Lenox MARTA station.
The project is also a chance for Buckhead to continue shedding its suburban image. The master plan requires the developer to set the buildings amid parks and a grid-like layout that would promote more walkability.
Architects would likely attempt in their designs some sort of connectivity to Lenox Square and MARTA.
Chicago-based AMLI Residential joins Novare Group, JLB Partners, Daniel Corp. and Selig Enterprises, Atlantic Realty Partners and others that have either tied up key intown sites for new apartment projects or have already launched their latest towers.
In Midtown, AMLI recently bought nearly 2 acres at 15th and West Peachtree streets, where it would develop a high-rise residential tower. In Buckhead, Novare Group, Batson-Cook Development Co. and Ackerman & Co. just got the green light to develop a 26-story, 362-unit high-rise at Peachtree and Stratford roads. Adjacent to that project, Atlantic Realty has started construction on another tower where Dante's Down the Hatch once stood.
Developers are trying to fit their projects in a window of rent growth that intown Atlanta has rarely seen. Rents for some projects are eclipsing $2 per square foot - a new high-water mark.
The growth is fueled by a greater shift to a rentership society in the wake of the housing crash, a prolonged period of declining home ownership rates, and the emergence of millennials as a powerful influence on real estate development patterns. Apartments have given a jolt to the construction and design industries, though there is debate about whether the apartment boom is slowing down.
In Midtown, some developers are dipping their toes in small condo projects for the first time since the intown market for high-rise residential imploded. The question is which condo developer becomes the first to propose a tower. Some say that could happen next year.
(Atlanta Business Chronicle)