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The Sad State of Those Empty Townhome Shells Near the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

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What’s going on with the string of empty townhomes across from the Botanical Garden on the edge of Ansley Park? That was the question posed to us a few days by an inquisitive reader, and we’ll confess that we’re just as dumbfounded. Here’s what we do know: Ansley on the Park went up in 2008 and the six customizable units were all priced in the vicinity of $1,000,000. The model home was on the market for a while but its listing expired last August. The finishes were top of the line, and no doubt many Atlantans covet an Ansley Park address, but a look at some of the old listings reveals an important factoid; “nothing comparable in the Ansley Park/Midtown area” might have been a red flag. The closest kin to this level of luxury townhome product was the group that went up near Jesus Junction, and even in a monied place like Buckhead those units haven’t exactly been flying off the shelf.

It’s interesting to compare Ansley on the Park with a similarly named project less than a mile away on Monroe Drive, Ansley Parkside. That development went up around the same time and while not as glitzy as Ansley on the Park, offered beautiful new product for half the price (somewhere around $500,000). Still, the fish refused to bite. After being foreclosed upon and subsequently bought up by Southern Capital, the entry point has been lowered to the $300,000's, which must be a sweet spot because construction has finally resumed on the remaining lots. So what have we learned? 2008 wasn't a good year to test seven figure townhomes in the area, and if Ansley on the Park wants to shed its ghost town drag, the asking prices need to accept the realities of 2012.

· Ansley Parkside