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Century-old, pricey Old Fourth Ward home razed for apartment building

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Built in the 1920s, the pale white villa commanded a pretty penny—for the land

Two years ago, a pasty white villa between Boulevard and Central Park in Old Fourth Ward flaunted 20-foot vaulted ceilings, six fireplaces, and a saltwater plunge pool as justification for its record asking price of $1.1 million.

Late in 2016, it eventually moved for $850,000, which was still among the priciest single-family home sales in neighborhood history.

This past spring, it was leveled. Call it a sign of the times.

The 3,342-square-foot villa, built in the 1920s, stood at 525 Parkway Drive, nestled among a half-dozen or so small parks near Boulevard, on the north side of the neighborhood.

Now, however, that land is set to see the rise of an apartment building developed by Dezhu U.S. Investment, a Duluth-based chapter of a Chinese real estate company.

The developer—which, oddly, seems to think this project is in Midtown—says 525 Parkway will host 96 class-A apartment units, expected to deliver in mid-2019, according to the firm’s website.

With nearly 100 units, Dezhu’s new apartment complex is slated to stand a few blocks from Ponce City Market.
Dezhu U.S.

Since the old home sat on a double lot, the new building will also abut Boulevard, just east of Parkway Drive and a stone’s throw from Ponce City Market.

Matthew Weisenburg, president of community group Fourth Ward West, told Curbed Atlanta site work on the project kicked off almost immediately after the house was razed.

Weisenburg thinks the project’s construction seems to have stalled lately; Dezhu reps did not return an email asking for a proper update.

Dezhu is also developing a handful of other apartment projects along the Boulevard and Parkway Drive corridors, between North and Angier avenues.

All of the developments are expected to boast cheaper rent prices than those in Midtown or on the Beltline, although they’re still too high to be deemed “affordable” by City of Atlanta qualifications, according to Bisnow.

Weisenburg said Dezhu’s overarching plans passed muster with him and his organization.

“These all received approval by FWW before going to NPU-M (where it was also approved),” he said.

Still, when the 525 Parkway home hit the market in 2016, its $1.1 million asking price raised some eyebrows.

The fact that a developer wiped it off the map testifies to the unyielding evolution of real estate markets in Old Fourth Ward, Midtown, and Atlanta in general.

The 1920s-era structure was encased in a brick privacy barrier.
Google Maps