Wood Partners Is All Set to Build New Apartment Project in Atlanta Area

Atlanta--Wood Partners, L.L.C has purchased a 2.5-acre site in Sandy Springs, Ga., where it will build Alta Glenridge Springs, an upscale, 168-unit apartment community.

Rendering of Alta Glenridge Springs

Atlanta–Wood Partners, L.L.C has purchased a 2.5-acre site in Sandy Springs, Ga., where it will build Alta Glenridge Springs, an upscale, 168-unit apartment community.

The 205,000 sq. ft. mixed-use project, which will include 175,000 sq. ft. of residential space and 20,000 square feet of retail space, will complement an existing office building adjacent to the site. Alta Glenridge Springs will be located near the intersection of Interstate 285 and Glenridge Drive in the city of Sandy Springs, an affluent suburb of Atlanta.

This site has great access to the highway and is located in the largest office market in Atlanta,” Bennett Sands, director of development for Wood Partners in the Southeast, tells MHN. “In addition, it is only 10 miles from the second and third largest office markets in Atlanta. The neighborhood sits in a commercial business area affectionately known as pill hill, which has three major hospitals. These hospitals employ roughly 10,000 professionals, which is a great deal of potential residents working within a walking distance from this site, making this an ideal location for development.”

Apart from the hospitals, Sandy Springs is also home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, including United Parcel Service and Newell Rubbermaid Inc. Alta Glenridge Springs is expected to be ready by summer 2011.

With high barriers to entry, little new construction and a robust job base, Sandy Springs is one of the relatively few markets in the country with unmet demand for apartment homes. “There’s not been a delivery of new units in Sandy Springs since 2008,” says Sands.

Apartment construction has fallen dramatically in metropolitan Atlanta in recent years but a handful of projects in key locations remain highly desirable. Wood Partners is predicting Alta Glenridge Springs is at the top of that list.

According to the 2009 Year End Reid Report, developers started construction on just 1,684 new apartment units in the greater metropolitan Atlanta area last year, which indicates that the current supply of apartments is down almost 85 percent from the peak of 11,060 starts in 2007.

The decision to proceed with Alta Glenridge Springs also highlights Wood Partners’ development plans. In recent months, the company has begun to move aggressively to develop new sites and acquire existing properties.

Alta Glenridge Springs will offer a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The units will feature open floor plans, granite countertops and high-end appliances and cabinetry. The amenities will include perks usually reserved for much larger apartment communities, such as a pool with an outdoor kitchen, a fitness center featuring a separate cardio theater, a clubroom with Wi-Fi access and a gaming room with a Wii console. In addition, the community will pursue ENERGY STAR certification, a designation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for energy efficient homes.

Funding for the acquisition and development was provided by the CB Richard Ellis Strategic Partners U.S. Opportunity 5 fund, a commingled private equity real estate fund.  Debt for the construction was facilitated by Hank Hall, Senior Vice President in the Capital Markets Group of the Atlanta office of Colliers International.

“We are excited to move forward despite the market we are coming out of. This submarket is averaging between 1.5 months and 3.5 months of concessions but it’s our expectation that by the time we deliver this product, a big piece of those concessions will have burned off and we will be delivering in a stronger market,” explains Sands.

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