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| April-May 2012

Luxury Homes For Rent

Exploring Upscale Apartment Communities in Atlanta

by Rachael Mason

Homes and Communities

Moving to Atlanta means you’ve got a lot to think about—starting a new job, making new friends and, most importantly, finding a new place to live. And in today’s uncertain economy, you might be considering apartment living instead of home ownership.

You’re not alone. Apartment communities across Atlanta have seen an increase in rentals over the last few years, says Kellie Mendez, a director of real estate for Greystar, a property management, construction and investment company that runs more than 30 apartment communities in Atlanta.

“The rental business for Atlanta is on an upward swing,” she says. “We are experiencing an increase in traffic from current and former homeowners, who are now turning into renters by choice due to the current financial foreclosure crisis as well as the desire to simplify their lifestyle.”

More and more, new residents find themselves drawn to renting for the features and conveniences it offers. And just because you’re looking for an apartment doesn’t mean you have to settle for less. In fact, Atlanta is home to many apartment communities that provide the kind of creature comforts associated with upscale hotels.

“People have become less certain that homes or condos are going to be a good investment, and they want the services and amenities available in a first-class apartment community,” says Aaron Goldman, president of Perennial Properties, a mixed-use commercial development firm. “They also want the flexibility for career or family relocations without the burden of needing to sell a home.”

The Right Location

To begin finding the right apartment property or community, make a list of the things you need and are looking for in a home. Location is probably right at the top, whether you’re looking for proximity to work or a certain school district.

Once you’ve settled on a part of town, you can narrow your focus to other matters, such as which type of apartment community you’re drawn to.

Some prospective renters, like those with families, might prefer a traditional complex arrangement, with units spread out across several buildings in a sprawling development, perhaps with plenty of green space. These often host other families, presenting opportunities for socialization, and you’re likely to find larger concentrations of such communities closer to schools, especially in the Atlanta suburbs.

Younger professionals, meanwhile, are more apt to be attracted to lofts or high-rise communities, often with easy access to great food and entertainment options.

Residents at 05 Buckhead, a high-rise apartment building in the heart of the Buckhead area, find themselves surrounded by number of quality restaurants, boutiques and businesses. They’re also only a mile or so away from premier shopping at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.

“The fact that we’re right in the middle of Buckhead is very convenient,” says assistant manager Kaleigh Brooks. “You can walk to a lot of things.”

Midtown Atlanta offers such communities as the 17th Street Lofts, a Perennial development located directly above the retail space at Atlantic Station. “Right at your fingertips, you’ve got grocery stores, restaurants and eateries, movie theaters and coffee shops,” says property manager Dana Danner. “Once you come in and park, you can literally walk anywhere.”

A couple of miles away, residents at Apex West Midtown can walk to a number of retail shops and restaurants in the live-work-play development, including Corner Tavern, Nova Nails Salon and Westside Pie.

The Pencil Factory Flats and Shops, a Perennial property on Decatur Street close to downtown Atlanta, includes such spots as Hill Street Tavern, Marlee’s Coffee and Tea, Intown Market and Caramba Cafe. Residents can enjoy an evening of improv comedy at the Village Theatre, which recently relocated to the complex.

What’s inside your new apartment home may be even more important to you than its surroundings. Among those seeking rental homes, top considerations include “controlled access, interior finishes and amenities,” says Greystar real estate director Barbara O’Steen.

Residents at 05 Buckhead, for example, enjoy multi-level penthouses and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with floor-to-ceiling windows offering amazing views of the city, as well as washers and dryers. Apex West Midtown, meanwhile, boasts hardwood floors, garden tubs, walk-in closets and large patios and balconies, among other features.

The Financial Advantage

In today’s economy, renting offers numerous ways to stretch your housing budget. While utilities aren’t typically included in rental fees, tenants don’t have to pay property taxes or the homeowners’ association fees often required at condominium developments.

Another financial benefit of renting is the significant savings on upkeep and repairs. Apartment dwellers have far fewer maintenance concerns and yard work worries than homeowners.

“They don’t have to worry about the little things,” says Brooks of 05 Buckhead. Amenities are another cost-cutting attraction of luxury apartment living. Most apartment communities offer access to fitness equipment, for example, saving residents the expense of a gym membership. Some Greystar properties, says O’Steen, provide “fitness clubs that include basketball courts, tennis courts, personal trainers, spin classes, yoga and Pilates.” The scope of a community’s amenities depends on the company and the clientele. Some apartment complexes offer bare-bones conveniences, but higher-end communities, like those run by Greystar or Post Properties, offer luxurious services.

“Some of our communities offer pet-friendly conveniences such as bark parks and pet grooming,” says O’Steen. “Some feature resort-style amenities, such as salt water pools with aqua lounges and Zen gardens.”

Tenants at the Pencil Factory enjoy access to a gym, a swimming pool and a courtyard with grills and fountains. And at 05 Buckhead, residents can get help with even the smallest of tasks, thanks to an on-site 24-hour concierge. Services offered include wakeup calls, restaurant reservations, signing for deliveries, ordering food, finding tickets for shows and events, confirming flights and dry cleaning drop-off.

The experience is “almost like living in a hotel,” Brooks says. Likewise, many Greystar communities cater to busy professional lifestyles with cyber cafes, coffee bars and business centers.

Bottom line, whichever part of Atlanta strikes your fancy, rest assured that there are likely plenty of luxury rental options available, with lots of money-saving amenities and convenient access to schools, work and entertainment.


05 Buckhead
3242 Peachtree Road, Atlanta

17th Street Lofts
Atlantic Station
260 17 1/2 St., Atlanta


Perennial Properties

Post Properties