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ATLANTA-The magnetism of the $2 billion, 138-acre Atlantic Station, under construction for two years on the site of a former steel mill in Midtown, has drawn condominium buyers in hordes to the planned $73 million, 578-unit Residences at Atlantic Station, reports Lane Co., the condo developer.

Although the homes won’t be ready for occupancy until spring 2004, three-day sales are now at $20 million based on 104 non-refundable $1,000 reservations at the Art Foundry section of the condo development. These reservations include deposits plunked down on 49 units, priced from $140,000 to $300,000, at the planned 69-unit Art Foundry section taken over a three-hour period and valued at $10 million, says CondoLane, the developer’s marketing arm.

“We believe the event may have set a record,” says Lane’s chief operating officer Bill Donges. “I know of no other event where this many condominium homes have pre-sold in three hours.”

In Florida, Ginn Co. of Celebration, FL pre-sold 73 condo units valued at $25.3 million in two-day weekend sales in November 2002 at the 600-unit Hammock Beach oceanfront community in Palm Coast, as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

Joel Brockmann, senior development manager, Lane Investment & Development Corp., says “buyers have reserved so many homes in the first phase of the project that we have begun converting apartments to condominiums to meet the demand.” He adds, “We want everyone who wants a condo at Atlantic Station to be able to buy one.”

The condo-buying fever isn’t restricted to Atlantic Station, however. “Pent-up demand is back for intown condominiums for the right price,” says David Tufts, executive vice president of Coldwell Banker The Condo Store. “We’re finding a demand that exceeds supply for a great location at the right price.”

Among the desired locations, Tufts says, are Greenwood Lofts, LaFrance Street Lofts, Highland School Lofts and Rivers Edge Town Homes. Tufts says Loft Builders’ LaFrance Street Lofts has a waiting list of 100 buyers and Streetside Developers’ Highland School Lofts has over 250 buyers ready to write checks for homes that won’t be completed until 2004.

The 49 initial reservations at the Atlantic Station condos were recorded on the first of three planned Lane presentations to the public. “The first night was a huge success and we expect the next two evenings to be equally exciting,” says Pratt Farmer, CondoLane’s director of operations. “Some people took out their checkbooks before the presentations had even begun.”

Farmer says more than 1,000 buyers are on the waiting list for condos at the Art Foundry section. Currently the first 69-unit Art Foundry section is sold out, but a second construction phase is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2004. Lane broke ground in June on Residences at Atlantic Station. The 12-month construction track includes 231 apartments in the mixed-income Park District; 278 luxury apartments in the Art District; and 69 condos in the Art Foundry section.

The four-story buildings at Residences at Atlantic Station are being constructed in The Commons area of Atlantic Station on 17th Street.

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