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'Atlanta's Great Gatsby House' in Buckhead for Sale

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Estate built on Coca-Cola money currently owned by Australian billionaire

An Australian-born billionaire and box-making baron who lives next door to the governor is selling his villa estate, which was built in 1924 with barrels of Coca-Cola money.

It sounds like the setup for a good novel, and it's actually happening right now in Buckhead.

Billed by the listing agent as "Atlanta's Great Gatsby House," this 10,000-square-foot historic estate at 509 West Paces Ferry Road in Tuxedo Park just went on the market for $7.7 million. It has four bedrooms (?), five bathrooms, two half-bathrooms, and a whopping 7.3 acres.

Included on the sprawling "Villa Juanita" property: pools, gardens, and walking trails throughout the forest. And, when Coca-Cola heir Conky Whitehead built the place, apparently he wanted privacy, as evidenced by the 10-foot walls surrounding the grounds.

"Good fences make good neighbors." Robert Frost said that.

Speaking of which, the prospective homeowner of Villa Juanita will be living right next door to teetotaling Nathan Deal. So there's little chance, unfortunately, of the guv'ner scaling the wall for a keg stand.

Interesting tidbit: Before the governor's mansion was even built, Conky Whitehead — the son of J.B. Whitehead, who was a principal founder of the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. — erected Villa Juanita's wraparound walls in 1924 to accommodate the family's German shepherds, airedales, and a fox terrier.

According to the listing, the estate has served "as a majestic setting throughout history." Galas have included Roaring '20s parties and, more recently, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Decorators' Show House. Distinguished guests have included former New York Mayor Jimmy Walker, "First Lady of American Theater" Ethel Barrymore, and Jane Fonda.

And now, for more than a decade, Villa Juanita has belonged to Anthony Pratt of Melbourne, Australia. An heir to family wealth, Pratt is also executive chairman of Visy Industries and Pratt Industries, the world's largest privately owned packaging and paper company. Oh, and he's a billionaire.

So, the real question now is ... which rich guy's kid will next own Villa Juanita?

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