Latest News

Ansley Park Historic District Expanded (08/28/2015)
Midtown land prices soar to post-2010 high (02/02/2015)
5 Awesomely Easy Landscaping Projects (05/15/2014)
Open Floorplans Getting Closed Off? Demand Grows for Separate Kitchens (05/13/2014)

Ansley Park Historic District Expanded

Posted: 08/28/2015
The Ansley Park Historic District has been expanded and added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The district was originally listed in the NRHP in 1979. This nomination expands the district north to Beverly Road and was sponsored by the Ansley Park Civic Association.

According to information provided by the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Ansley Park was Atlanta's first automobile suburb and was primarily developed by Edwin Ansley between 1904 and 1920. The neighborhood includes excellent examples of early-20th-century houses in the prevailing styles and types common to Georgia in that time period. Many of the houses were designed by the city's most well-known architects, including Haralson Bleckley, A. Ten Eyck Brown, Bruce and Everett, Edward Daugherty, Walter T. Downing, Henry Hornbostel, P. Thornton Marye, Pringle & Smith, Neel Reid, Phillip Shutze, and Leila Ross Wilburn.

The houses include early-to-mid-20th-century brick, frame, and stone buildings that represent a variety of building types and styles. The westernmost sections of the district along Peachtree Circle, 15th Street, and the northwest section of The Prado to Inman Circle were in the original plat and have the largest lots with mandatory 40- to 50-foot setbacks. The large frame and brick houses found there were built in a variety of architectural styles including Colonial Revival, Classical Revival, and English Vernacular Revival. The lots in the northeastern section were platted in later phases, and are significantly smaller with 35-foot setbacks. Houses found on these smaller lots include Craftsman-style bungalows, as well as vernacular forms such as the American Small House and Gabled Wing Cottage. The district includes several apartment buildings, a private golf club, and the First Church of Christ, Scientist.

Ansley Park is also recognized for its landscape architecture plan designed by Salon Z. Ruff, who based his design upon Frederick Law Olmsted's principles for a picturesque suburb: wide, winding streets separating small blocks with a mix of both residential lots and parks on each block.

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Posted: 05/13/2015
Beverly Hills, CA (May 12, 2015) F. Ron Smith, President of Leverage Global Partners, recently welcomed Atlanta Intown Real Estate Services as the Network's exclusive member in Atlanta, Georgia. A unique alignment of the most prestigious independent real estate brokerage firms around the world, Leverage Global Partners offers its members the opportunity to better serve their clients' relocation and real estate portfolio needs by establishing each member firm as key players in the international real estate arena.

“We personally vet each real estate brokerage before offering them membership, so we are certain that Atlanta Intown Real Estate Services is an innovative and forward-thinking market leader, offering exceptional service to their clients and to the communities of Atlanta,” said Smith. “We are thrilled to welcome them to Leverage Global Partners.”  

As a member of Leverage, Atlanta Intown Real Estate Services will be promoted as the Network's exclusive representative for the Atlanta area, facilitating a framework in which the company can expand and compete with larger franchise networks. Through Leverage's “Just Ask” referral program, Atlanta Intown associates are offered personal introductions and provided access to top firms around the world, ensuring them incomparable networking ability in the worldwide luxury real estate market.

In addition to offering exceptional service and connectivity, Leverage differentiates itself from existing international luxury real estate associations by increasing the online and social media presence of their members, and providing marketing tools designed to help a member expand their individual business. Leverage promotes the presidents of member firms and extends media access for their members' properties through a robust public relations outreach and digital platform.

Leverage Global Partners is rapidly expanding its membership base and currently has members in numerous dynamic communities around the world, including Paris, Los Angeles, New York, London, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Toronto, Tokyo, and Bangkok. For more information, call 310-500-3641, visit,

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Midtown land prices soar to post-2010 high

Posted: 02/02/2015
Amid the rise of new apartment towers and the expectation that NCR Corp. will bring thousands of new jobs, Midtown land prices have climbed to the highest level since 2008.

The resurgence, a byproduct of renewed development activity in Midtown, pushed prices to an average of $132 a land square foot in 2014, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Prices peaked at an average of $224 a foot in 2007 and bottomed out at $63 a foot in 2010.

It's another clear sign that investment and development are booming again in Midtown, where NCR recently announced it was building a new campus by 2018. It also underscores the broader return of land prices across the entire region since the end of the Great Recession."Midtown paints the clearest picture of the increase in land values," said Pierce Owings, a director of land sales with Cushman & Wakefield.

"We would say across the region and across commercial and residential properties we are seeing an ability to justify paying higher land prices than at any time since the recession."

In Midtown, the recovery comes as NCR begins to plan the first phase of its campus, where it could eventually put close to 4,000 jobs. The company's 4-acre site would have a mix of 8-story to 10-story buildings with up to 1.5 million square feet of office, a hotel and potentially retail space to serve the city's booming startup community around Georgia Tech. NCR is expected to pay about $6.5 million an acre, according to people familiar with the process.

Several Midtown residential projects are well under way, and more are in the pipeline. In January, Wood Partners LLC said it's considering a 198-unit project overlooking Midtown's Piedmont Park. It could be the city's first high-rise condo in several years, if the economy continues to improve and lenders make it easier for home buyers to qualify for mortgages.

"Development activity is back in a big way, and that always drives land prices," said Steve Baile, a top executive with Daniel Corp., a developer behind the 12th & Midtown mixed-use project.

One of the largest land sales in metro Atlanta occurred in Midtown last year, the nearly 4-acre purchase of the "Symphony Center" site at 14th Street for $22 million, according to Databank Inc., an Atlanta firm that tracks the real estate market.

Midtown features some of the highest land prices in the region because developers can build dense walkable projects in the form of taller office and residential towers, hotels and retail. Buckhead and parts of the central Perimeter, including the cities Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, also offer sites with access to MARTA rail that can be turned into those kinds of mixed-use projects.

Developers will pay more for sites where they can squeeze additional revenue out of taller office and apartment towers and hotels.

The Perimeter hasn't always been known for dense development. But, consider what Dallas-based KDC Real Estate Development and State Farm Insurance Co. are doing in Dunwoody. State Farm purchased about 3.9 acres along Perimeter Center Parkway by the Dunwoody MARTA transit station for $32 million, or $189 per land square foot. It's a price more commonly paid for intown development sites in Buckhead or Midtown.

KDC will develop a large mixed-use project anchored by State Farm around the MARTA station. The State Farm campus will eventually house about 8,000 employees.

Along the northeast Perimeter, another notable land sale involved an Atlanta team led by developer The Integral Group LLC buying the General Motors Doraville site. The property sold for $50 million.

The former auto plant would become a "city within a city" on the Perimeter with transit, towers, plazas and parks.

More large transactions are likely ahead in 2015.

"Prices are climbing significantly, and that is only going to continue," said Databank founder Alan Wexl

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5 Awesomely Easy Landscaping Projects

Posted: 05/15/2014
Ramp up your curb appeal with cool landscaping projects you can easily pull off in a weekend.

Project #1: Install Rigid Flower Bed Edging

The setup: A crisp edge where the lawn meets the flower beds looks great and eases mowing. Opt for rigid edging — the flexible plastic stuff looks amateurish from day one.

Use a charged garden hose to lay out a smooth curve.

Tip: A “charged” garden hose full of water makes for a smoother, kink-free curve; charge up by turning on the spigot but leaving the sprayer off.

With the hose as your guide, use a lawn edger or spade to cut away excess sod and make an incision for the edging. Tap in the edging with a rubber mallet and add the stakes. Trim the edging with a hacksaw, using a speed square to mark for cuts.

Specs and cost: Steel -- $1.25 per lineal foot; aluminum -- $2.25 plf; rigid plastic or fiberglass -- $1.65 plf.

Tools: Garden hose, flour or powdered chalk, lawn edger or spade, shovel, speed square, hacksaw, rubber mallet, hammer.

Time: 1 day to edge a typical yard.

Read on for more easy landscaping projects:

Add an Earth Berm
Build a Wall for a Raised Bed
Install a Flagstone Path
Add a Brick Tree Surround
Project #2: Add an Earth Berm

The setup: Create an eye-catching front yard feature by shaping a few cubic yards of topsoil into an undulating berm. Topped off with mulch, groundcover, and bushes, a berm adds interest and buffers street noise.

Use a charged hose to outline the berm. Remove sod a couple of feet in from the perimeter. Add a few mounds, but max out at 3 feet high.

Specs and cost: Three cubic yards of soil is enough for a good-sized berm. Expect to pay $15-$20 per cubic yard and $15-$60 for delivery -- a total of $60-$120.

Tip: Don't be tempted by those bags of topsoil at the home center: At $2.50 per cubic foot, a cubic yard (27 cubic feet) will end up costing you $67.50.

Have a cubic yard of mulch dropped off as well ($15-$20). A dozen periwinkle starts, plus a few boxwood bushes and evergreens, will set you back another $140.

Total for an 18-foot-long berm: $215-$280.

Tools: Wheelbarrow, spade, shovel, garden rake, trowel.

Time: A day to form the berm, another half-day for planting and mulching.
Project #3: Build a Wall for a Raised Bed

The setup: A stacked flagstone wall for your raised beds has an old-world look that mellows any landscape. Best of all, you don't have to be stonemason to build one.

Begin by laying out the wall with stakes and mason's line. Tamp a level bed of sand for the first course. As you add courses, stagger joints at least 3 inches. Set each course back Ľ-inch so the wall leans backward slightly. Once finished, back the wall with landscaping fabric before filling with topsoil.

Specs and cost: Choose a stone of consistent thickness. Flagstone might be limestone, sandstone, shale -- any rock that splits into slabs. A ton of 2-inch-thick stone is enough for a wall 10 feet long and 12 inches high.

Cost: About $300 for stones and sand.

Tip: Permanent retaining walls should be backed by pea gravel for drainage. In some locations, walls taller than 3 feet high require a building permit.

Tools: Stakes and mason's line, spade, shovel, a 2-by-4 that's 8 feet long, a 4-foot level, garden rake, tamper.

Time: 1 day for a 10-foot-long wall that's 12 inches high.

Want to see some cool retaining walls? Check out our slideshow, 8 Retaining Wall Ideas.

Project #4: Install a Flagstone Path

The setup: For a welcoming addition to your yard, add a flagstone pathway. Use a charged garden hose to mark a meandering path about 3 feet wide. Arrange flagstones within the path so they are 2-4 inches apart and mark their location with sprinkled flour.

Tip: Sprinkling flour over the stones creates a “shadow” outline on the ground. When you remove the stones, you'll have perfect outlines for cutting away the sod.

Cut away 3-4 inches of sod beneath each stone, add a layer of sand, and level the flagstones as you place them.

Specs and cost: For a 40-foot path about 3 feet wide, plan on 2 tons of flagstones and about a cubic yard of coarse sand. Cost: About $550.

Tools: Garden hose, flour, spade, trowel, level.

Time: 1 day for a 40-foot path.

Want more detail? Get the inside scoop on our start-to-finish DIY paver project.

Project #5: Add a Brick Tree Surround

The setup: Installing a masonry surround for a tree eases mowing and looks great. All it takes is digging a circular trench, adding some sand, and installing brick or stone.

Tip: To create a nice, even circle around the base of your tree, tie a big loop of rope around your tree. Adjust the length of the loop so when you pull it taut, the free end is right where you'd like the outer edge of the surround to be. Set your spade inside the loop with the handle plumb — straight up and down. Now, as you move around the tree, the loop of rope keeps the spade exactly the same distance from the base of the tree, creating a nice circle.

Use the spade to cut into the sod all the way around the tree. Remove the rope, and dig out a circular trench about 8 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Add a layer of sand. Set bricks at an angle for a pleasing saw-tooth effect or lay them end-to-end. Fill the surround with 2-4 inches of mulch.

Curious what trees to plant? Our popular slideshow tells you which trees you should never plant in your yard.

Specs and cost: This is an instance where buying small quantities of materials at the home center makes sense. Brick pavers cost 50 cents-$1 each — figure about 20 pavers per tree. A bag of mulch, enough for one tree, costs $2.50.

Tools: Rope, spade, trowel.

Time: About 3 hours per tree.

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Open Floorplans Getting Closed Off? Demand Grows for Separate Kitchens

Posted: 05/13/2014
Open floorplans have been in high demand in recent years, with buyers showing preferences for open kitchens and dining areas tucked into great rooms. But could that be changing? A New York Times article highlights a “separate kitchen comeback,” as some home owners say they want a more defined space for a kitchen and dining area. More new buildings are opting to feature separate kitchens and formal dining rooms due to a rising demand for separate corridors, according to the article.

Why are some home owners suddenly wanting to close off the interior of their homes again? Some point to a “dirty dishes” driver. Home owners are finding that when entertaining they prefer to have a separate kitchen space so their guests don't have to see the food being prepared or look at the dirty dishes afterwards.

The separate kitchen and dining space also helps to remove one popular sticking point for home buyers: How to fit their existing dining room table into an open floor plan? “The issue of where to put the dining table kills more deals than anything else in real estate. If a family is moving, the dining table is the one thing they say they can't part with,” Barbara van Beuren, a managing partner with Anbau Enterprises, told The New York Times. Anbau Enterprises is developing new duplexes in New York City featuring dedicated dining rooms.

For some home owners, they're preference for separate kitchens is more nostalgic. They desire it because it reminds them of their childhood home.

“So much new construction features open floor plans that there's a pent-up desire for apartments with separate dining rooms and kitchen,” broker George Case with Citi Habitats told The New York Times. “They offer charm, they're better for entertaining, and you don't have to see your partner first thing in the morning. For a certain demographic, they're a definite selling point.”

Some listing ads are even highlighting homes with a separate dining room, viewing it as a selling point. Some architects also are responding to the increase in demand with what they're dubbing “hybrid kitchens,” using pocket doors that can be opened or closed to give home owners the option of an open or closed kitchen.

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