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ATLANTA-A desire for intown living has sparked an unprecedented surge in condominium development here as construction on at least 2,300 new and converted units with an estimated build-out value of $1 billion have either started or will be breaking ground in the next few weeks as developers race to accommodate buyers’ demands, according to Central Atlanta Progress, a Downtown booster association, and independent local brokers involved in marketing several of the projects.

Ashton Woods is preparing to break ground in Cobb County in the first quarter on a four-story, 128-unit building off Powers Ferry Road. Starting unit prices will be in the $150,000 to $250,000 range. Ashton Woods’ new project follows its success with Chattahoochee Bluffs, just east of Vinings. The 229-townhome venture was sold out in 14 months. Prices that started at $190,000 were increased to $240,000 as sales steamed.

Southern Capital Partners’ principals Satish Lathi and Jay Clark also plan to break ground in January on a $48-million, 27-story condo tower near the 31-year-old, 1.5-million-sf Perimeter Mall in North Fulton County. The Sembler Co. of St. Petersburg, FL is building a $100-million retail and commercial component around Southern Capital’s condo undertaking.

Separately, Pacific Group is developing West Vinings, a mixed-use community of six-story condos and single-family homes at Interstate 285 and Atlanta Road. Trammell Crow Co. is completing its nine-story, 172-unit venture on Mount Wilkinson overlooking suburban Vinings. Penthouse prices are pegged at $2 million.

And in the affluent Buckhead district, about eight miles north of Downtown, Regent Partners, headed by David Allman, has shifted gears and is dropping an office tower plan for a mixed-used enterprise that will have luxury condos on the top floors and fashionable retail and class A office space on the lower floors of its Peachtree Road project. Regent’s first condo venture, Buckhead Grand, has sold half of its 286 units since the property opened in May. Buckhead Grand is also located at the Tower Place development where the mixed-use venture is scheduled.

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