By Kathy Dean
With apartment complexes sprouting like weeds in Midtown, Old Fourth Ward and Buckhead, it was only a matter of time before they made their way east to Decatur.
There’s a lot to boast about within the city limits: a wide range of cultural diversity; a thriving business environment; plenty of parks and greenspace for recreation; a lively arts and literary scene; and world-class educational institutions. Education is a key factor to Decatur; in fact, the nearly 20,000 residents have one of the highest education levels in the metro Atlanta area. That’s not surprising when you consider that it’s home to Agnes Scott College, and Emory University is just down the road.
All these factors add up to an increased need for housing in Decatur. Happily, three large apartment/mixed-use complexes are currently in the planning and construction phases. Once open, they’ll go a long way to help fill the growing demand.
Alexan Decatur is rising up on Commerce Drive, across from CVS and Fidelity Bank. Once finished, the five-story building will house 167 units that average 848 square feet. Residents can choose from studios, one bedroom/one bath and two bedroom/two bath floor plans.
Elliot Howell, Development Associate with Trammell Crow Residential, said, “We love the Decatur area. It’s a vibrant live-work-play area with lots of energy and great walkability. In recent years there have been very few new rentals built, so we saw a great opportunity to build within an underserved rental market.”
Leasing is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, with first move-ins occurring at the end of the year and into the beginning of 2016; rental rates will be competitive with other projects in the area. The property features a large open clubhouse, pool, outdoor grills, fitness center and a rooftop deck. One of the best amenities, however, is the location within Decatur—residents will be just a short walk from a great collection of restaurants, bars and shopping.
“We expect to see a wide range of renters here, all of whom are drawn in some way to the downtown Decatur lifestyle,” Howell added. “We think we’ll see everybody from young professionals to empty nesters. Given the walkability to MARTA, it wouldn’t be surprising to see people who work in Downtown or Midtown, but want to live in Decatur and can take advantage of the MARTA access to get to work.”
Arlo-Decatur, formerly known as Trinity Triangle, is nestled in the heart of Decatur, between Trinity Place, Howard Avenue and Church Street. Once finished, the mixed-use building will include 210 rental apartments. The first floor offers 6,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space, including the return of Dairy Queen, which used to sit on part of the property.
According to Brandi Boudoin, Regional Property Manager, Real Estate, for Greystar, there are plans to begin pre-leasing the residences this fall, and move-ins are projected for early 2016. Floor plans span from 540 square foot studio efficiencies up to spacious 1,280 square feet 2 bedroom/2 bath apartments; the pricing ranges from $1,200 to $2,300 per month.
Arlo will be flush with amenities for residents, including a swimming pool and pool lounge, state-of-the-art fitness room, sixth floor clubroom, two garden courtyards and a dog park.
When asked why Decatur was chosen for the Arlo development, Boudoin replied, “Decatur has a great small town feel, and features a lot of the best that the Atlanta area has to offer. It’s not as big as Midtown or Downtown, so there’s the added benefit of great walkability throughout the neighborhoods, and to spots like Decatur Square, not to mention the wonderful festivals!”
The Place on Ponce has already seen a lot of activity. With its prime location – 319 West Ponce de Leon Avenue – as well as the competitive rental rates and pet-friendly policy, it didn’t take long for the first phase to reach 100 percent occupancy. Pre-leasing is underway for the second phase, with projected move-in dates for the end of August and beginning of September of this year.
“Our biggest draw is the Decatur location, of course,” explained Melissa D. Hernandez, Property Manager at The Place on Ponce Apartment Homes. “People step out onto West Ponce and everything in the neighborhood is at their disposal.”
With 16 different floor plans available across five levels, The Place on Ponce has something for everyone. The bright, open layouts include one bedroom/one bath, two bedroom/two bath, and three bedroom/two bath options that range from 751 to 1,443 square feet.
Features at The Place on Ponce include spacious balconies and terraces, 9-foot ceilings, oversized windows, generous closet space, controlled access entry and covered parking. There are plenty of amenities, too, such as the cyber café and coffee bar, yoga studio, fitness center, resort-style pool, Zen garden and dog spa.
These apartment homes were designed to keep residents comfortable and connected with the Decatur community. Hernandez said, “It’s awesome here. There’s a lot of growth and people want to be a part of it.”
At press time, we were also waiting to hear if the joint venture between AMLI and Cousins Properties for a mixed-use development at the corner of Trinity and North McDonough was going to get a greenlight from the city.
AMLI Decatur would sit on five-acres in the heart of the city just next door to Decatur High School. The property would feature 361 units, five live-work spaces and 20,000-square-feet of retail/commercial space. A parking deck will not be visible from the street, while rooftop terraces would offer bird’s eye views of the Decatur High football stadium and the Decatur square.