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April/May 2005

A New Condo Community for Those Who Aspire to the Best
by Cathy High

The interiors of Spire have many accoutrements that homeowners want.
Midtown Atlanta's residential demand has never been hotter, and an outstanding new community rising on Peachtree is not only meeting that demand, but also elevating the standard for high-rise living in Midtown. Spire is a 28-story, 393-unit condominium community under development by Wood Partners and Novare Group, the partnership that sparked renewed interest in urban living in Midtown with the success of Metropolis, the high-rise community completed by Wood/Novare in 2002.

Spire has the features that are the hallmark of Wood/Novare developments. Homes have a sleek, contemporary design with 10-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling glass and balconies that offer unobstructed views of the Atlanta skyline. The interiors of the one- and two-bedroom homes have the finishes and accoutrements that homeowners want most-stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, cabinetry in a choice of cherry or maple, available hardwood floors, spacious closets and desk/workspace in the kitchen.

Other in-demand features extend to the whole community. Residents will enjoy reserved parking and the services of a 24-hour concierge. In urban environments, it is sometimes a challenge to meet and interact with other people, but Spire is designed to provide maximum opportunities for residents to gather, entertain and interact. The community is designed with an elevated, two-story amenity terrace that includes a clubroom, oversize pool, entertainment kitchen, state-of-the-art fitness center, and video viewing and game centers.

Spire is Midtown's newest spectacular high-rise.< /TD>
Nowhere is the richness of Spire's amenities more evident than in its accessibility to technology. Ultra-high-speed Internet will be included in every home, along with pre-wiring for surround-sound, in-room audio and satellite TV. The amenity terrace will feature flat-screen video monitors for TV or movie viewing. Computers with free Internet access are located on the terrace, so residents don't need to return home to read email or surf the Internet. The pool area features wi-fi, and residents can enjoy the social setting while mixing business with pleasure.

A community website allows residents to check for ongoing activities and announcements or to contact management. Personal key fobs control access to the building. When residents enter, the system recognizes them and can send alerts to video monitors in the elevators or other locations if there are messages, packages or other items that require their attention. Spire is also designed to give residents convenience. Several retail shops will be located on the ground level, opening to a sidewalk plaza with a European ambience. And right outside the door is one of Spire's most compelling features, Midtown itself, with all it offers in dining, entertainment, and retail.

Spire embodies the live/work/play ideal. This is a community destined for great things, one that is already contributing to the momentum and vitality of Midtown Atlanta. Homes at Spire begin in the $150s, with several one-bedroom units still available. For more information, please visit the sales center at 102 6th Street, where you will find a full-size one-bedroom model unit that gives the experience of living in a Spire home. You can also call the center at 404-961-7777 or visit the Spire website,

An in-depth look at the high-tech living revolution.
by Emily Horton

The Eclipse condominium community is state-of-the-art.
During an age in which most homeowners reach for the mouse instead of the telephone, and easy access to information is in higher demand than ever, high-tech homes wired to the nines are becoming all the rage. From smart entry-way systems customized with your own personal preference settings to appliances that go above and beyond the call of duty, high-tech living amenities share one goal-to make your life just a little bit easier.

In the most information-savvy living spaces, computers serve as a veritable private attendant, and some of Atlanta's most forward-thinking developers have been picking up on the in-the-know buyers' desire for 24-hour attention.

The Novare Group, for example, has begun to establish high-tech amenities as a standard in its high-rise properties. One of its newest endeavors, a collaboration with Wood Partners, is Eclipse, a condominium complex in the Buckhead community that sets the gold standard for the innovative technologies Novare employs in many of its properties. The ultra-high-speed Internet access and pre-wiring for surround sound for in-room audio, of course, is standard. The state-of-the-art entertainment center the complex provides, complete with a 60-inch plasma monitor for group movie viewings and a 42-inch monitor for the full-fledged gaming center, is even an expected asset of Novare's properties. Internet kiosks give residents easy access to information indoors, but the wireless Internet capabilities at the complex's poolside area satisfy serious information cravings. Waiting for an important e-mail but don't want to miss a minute of sun? Just bring your laptop to the deck.

Other subtle (and some not-so-subtle) additions, however, have taken Eclipse beyond most homeowners' expectations of standard modern living.

"These properties are built primarily for 24 to 40-year-olds," says the Novare Group's Cathy High. "We know these are the features they want, so we chose very up-to-the-minute 21st century amenities."

With the help of Biltmore Communications, a number of the Eclipses' perks, which High dubs "welcome-home sort of features," help to make condominium living, which can lack some of the homey appeal of a single home, a more personal experience.

At Eclipse, visitors and residents are greeted with a visual art gallery in the building's lobby, which displays a range of works by local artists. To personalize the experience, residents have the option of registering their preferences in the gallery's computer system; when they enter the building with their key cards, the gallery displays the resident's favorite artwork.

Access to the building's 24-hour concierge is further complemented by the electronic message systems available to residents in the lobby and near elevators. With only a swipe of the key card, a resident may be informed whether he or she has messages or even packages waiting. "Technology is an integral part of the whole building," High says. Some of the Novare Group's ongoing and future projects may also feature some of this technology.

High-tech living doesn't require a move to one of the city's most technologically vamped properties, but today's high-tech home incorporates more than high-definition plasma televisions and surround sound. More and more homeowners are taking their home's features to the cutting edge, and Wi-fi (wireless fidelity) Internet connections are becoming one of the most popular ways to do so.

Eclipse's high tech visual arts gallery based on residents' preferences.
Simply having wireless capabilities within the home that allow the user to take his or her computer from office work to living room browsing without disconnecting any wires is a boon for busy multi-taskers (and eliminates wire-strewn eyesores), but the most innovative applications of wireless technology allow the homeowner to control various amenities within the home quickly and easily, and without additional interconnecting wires.

Much of this communication involves one of the most oft-used rooms in the home-the kitchen. Everyday appliances like refrigerators, ovens and stoves are now not only programmable, they're programmable remotely-meaning that if you're stuck at work and need to tell your oven to cancel an order to bake the lasagna you left on the middle rack that morning, you can tap into its system through your computer. Want to give the baking a jump-start on your way home? Give the oven a shout on your cell phone. If you'd rather leave the cooking up to your better half, some appliances feature messaging capabilities that allow you to leave instructions-written or spoken.

Other wireless applications, used in clothes washers, dryers and microwaves, and even home security systems, aim to make everyday activities similarly less hassling by allowing the user to communicate with them through a wireless portal, whether from another room in the house, or all the way across town. Most of these can even be combined within the same wireless network.

A number of appliances, smart in a different sense, even save energy, reducing your electric bills and placing less of an impact on the environment. Washers for clothes and dishes, certified by Energy Star, for instance, use significantly less energy and water required by conventional appliances-and though they cost a bit more up front, save the homeowner a bundle in the long run by consistently using less energy to operate equally as efficiently. Using Energy Star-certified appliances throughout the home can save even more and pollute much less. A list of products, manufacturers and retailers of Energy Star products ca n be found on If you're already up to speed, you should be able to check out your options in no time.

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