Realm takes advantage of Buckhead's hot corner

September 2008


Atlanta Business Chronicle - by Tonya Layman Contributing writer

Once again, Novare Group Holdings LLC and Wood Partners have teamed up to provide housing opportunities in one of Atlanta's booming residential markets.

Realm is a 30-story, $80 million development with 406 residences at the corner of Peachtree and Piedmont roads in Buckhead. Because Realm's cranes were the first to go up at the hot corner during the current blitz of high-rise development in the area, the project has been named a finalist in this year's Best in Atlanta Real Estate Awards.

"This is one of the most prominent corners in Atlanta. Everyone knows we Peachtree and Piedmont is," said Judd Bobilin, executive vice president and chief development officer with Novare. "It is a great location. We are lucky we got in there first."

The condo units started at $200,000, which enables Buckhead's entry-level workforce to live near work, said Bennett Sands, development associate at Wood Partners.

"The area is going to be wildly successful, but a project like Realm creates a low price point that anyone can get in and enjoy home ownership in a popular ZIP code," Sands said.

He added the high density provides a good alternative to long commutes. Plus, Realm is close to MARTA.

"Our goal is for residents to park their car on Sunday night and leave them parked until the next weekend," Sands said.

With other developments, this area will soon be one of the densest in Atlanta when it comes to a mix of residential, office, retail and hotel rooms.

Realm is contributing to the office and retail density. There are about 13,000 square feet of retail and 32,000 square feet of office space.

Easlan Capital Inc. purchased the office component in the building, which is the portion of the project that faces Peachtree. Easlan's portion contains about 6,000 square feet of retail. The remaining retail space is in the Realm building.

These are combined buildings but separate structures and Easlan was involved throughout the entire process.

There were other partners along the way. Wachovia provided the land loan. Corus Bank supplied construction financing and Real Estate Capital Partners was the lender for the residential component.

"It is always a challenge when you have different players involved. You have to make sure you have the same goals," Bobilin said, adding every partner stayed on task. "It was wonderful having that group of partners together to create this building."

Novare/Wood has sold 93 percent of the condos, meaning there are about 25 up for grabs. Residents began moving in June and there has been a steady stream of move-in activity since.

"We have already paid off our construction loan and we are still having great traffic," Bobilin said.

In addition to an ideal location, Realm amenities include two club rooms, an amenity deck with pool and fire pit, an art gallery in the lobby featuring work by local artists, a fitness center and plasma televisions.

"We have outdone ourselves with these amenities. We have taken lessons learned with previous deals and created some special areas for Realm," Sands said.


* Brokers: Novare Realty
* Attorneys: Morris Manning & Martin LLP
* Financing: Corus Bank, Real Estate Capital Partners
* Buyers (of the office portion): Easlan Capital Inc.
* Seller: WN City Center L.P.
* Architect: The Preston Partnership LLC
* Contractor: RJ Griffin & Co.
* Developers: Novare Group Holdings LLC, Wood Partners
* Engineer: Echelon Engineering LLC
* Landscape architect: The Preston Partnership LLC