In what could be an example of Atlanta’s land-use future, a formerly grand but neglected Druid Hills property from the Roaring Twenties has been reimagined as a place fit for six different families or couples, according to its broker.
In the 1600 block of South Ponce De Leon Avenue, on a lot deeper than two football fields and nearly as wide as one, homebuilder Philip Clark divided the 1926 brick traditional mansion into two townhomes spanning 3,700 square feet apiece.
Unit B listed for $1.89 million last month, while its counterpart is occupied by renters for the time being.
Meanwhile, in a backyard formerly overgrown with trees where Druid Hills meets Candler Park, an enclave of four “cottages” with English/Cotswold stylings is coming to market in a setting described as “gardenesque.”
Each of those is priced at $1.49 million, with either three or four bedrooms, unfinished basements, and carports set around a courtyard.
Scott Riley, a Realtor with Compass, said the main home had been rundown and vacant for years, and the townhome redo aimed to modernize it while preserving historic character.
Dividing a mansion isn’t a common renovation tactic in Atlanta, but it’s not without precedent in Druid Hills. Riley said one inspiration was the nearby Adair Estate, another grand home divided into condos with new residences built around the perimeter two decades ago.
Since Adair Estate’s completion, “we haven’t seen anything like it in Druid Hills,” said Riley, who’s co-listing the six properties with Compass’ Jim Getzinger. “I’ve spent the past six or seven years desperately trying to get this going. It takes a long time to develop in the historic district.”
The site is located within a few minutes’ walk of Freedom Park PATH Trail and the Olmstead Linear Park along Ponce. Riley said no specimen trees were axed in the backyard—“It was scrubby stuff”—avoiding conflict with tree advocates.
Riley nodded to other intown “pocket neighborhoods,” popping up in places like Edgewood and Reynoldstown, in explaining his venture’s creative land use and broader market appeal, especially among aging Druid Hills homeowners.
“What happens is, you’ve got a house on one of the grand streets of Druid Hills, and at some point, the kids graduate, go off to college, and mom and dad are left with a 6,000-square-foot house on a 2-acre lot with nobody in it,” said Riley, who lives in the neighborhood. “We believe there’s a demand for smaller homes without all the yard upkeep in Druid Hills.
“From one perspective,” he continued, “it’d be for [retired] people who belong to the golf club. They could just walk there, a few thousand yards. That being said, you don’t have to be an empty-nester. I’m showing one of the units this weekend to a family with two young kids.”
• Druid Hills (Urbanize Atlanta)
• 1626 Clifton Terrace Northeast, Unit A (Compass)