Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Castleberry Hill Neighborhood in Atlanta Takes Developer’s Land to the Dogs - Literally
ATLANTA, GA – Few could argue that the real estate market has gone to the dogs. Banks have shuttered due to bad lending practices and hoards of developers have faced foreclosures. So how does a developer tackle this dog-eat-dog market?
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em seems to be the mantra for Castleberry Hill developer Jerry Miller (middle right photo), who donated a two-acre tract of land to the neighborhood for a dog park, set to open Monday, October 18 .
In the dog days of 2008, Miller had high expectations of building a mixed use development on this tract along the railroad tracks.
He was more than qualified for the task -- as half of Miller Gallman Developers, he helped pioneer the rehabilitation of historic urban buildings throughout the city.
When Atlanta's stock of historic buildings waned, he turned his attention to neighborhood-compatible infill development, primarily around buildings he had rehabilitated for loft apartments. Atlanta’s only true art and loft district, Castleberry Hill, was ideal.
Yet while the location was right, the timing was not. Financing for new construction had dried up and Miller was left lying with the dogs.
In the meantime, the neighborhood was in desperate need of a dog park. So Miller opted to loan the Castleberry Hill Neighborhood Association the land until the real estate market rebounds.
The collaboration proved to be win/win. The Castleberry Hill Neighborhood Association is fundraising toward a goal of $25,000 to enable off-leash recreation for small and large dogs in two separate play areas.
The park, set to open on Monday, October 18, and will undoubtedly become an amenity for Miller’s current endeavor, Castleberry Point, an all brick building with soaring windows and an open-air courtyard.
The access-controlled building features a rooftop swimming pool with sweeping downtown views, rooftop owner’s lounge and a fitness center. FHA financing and down payment assistance are available, as well as developer-paid closing costs.