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DUNWOODY, GA-The five-story, 110-unit, $22-million Prescott at Park Place condominium community won’t be ready for occupancy until June 2006, but area residents and presumably some investors already have bought out 30% of the inventory at prices ranging from $170,000 to $320,000.

The main reason for the rush to buy the units is that “the Central Perimeter area is becoming an edge city,” Bob Krause, president of the project’s Atlanta-based developer Newport Development, tells GlobeSt.com. “Atlanta’s office market started in Downtown, then migrated to Midtown, later to Buckhead and finally to the Perimeter area.”

The developer tells GlobeSt.com the project is being done at this time because of “a lack of for-sale housing in the core of Perimeter Center.” For Newport Development, “it was a unique opportunity to take excess parking for a high-end specialty retail center and add a condominium component that serves the interest of all parties–residential and retail,” Krause says.

“The Perimeter area boasts 80,000 office workers and, in terms of office space, it is bigger than Buckhead and Midtown combined,” he adds. The developer says Prescott at Park Place is “providing homebuyers the opportunity to live the New Urbanist lifestyle in the existing setting of Perimeter Center’s office, retail and entertainment environment, which is unparalleled in depth and variety.” The living areas in the one-bedroom and two-bedroom homes range from 834 sf to 1,440 sf. Some homes have 10-foot ceilings.

Krause and his team took a calculated gamble with the February groundbreaking of the project, even though they had planned it for 12 months, he says. They banked on the Central Perimeter office worker core to supply a large portion of the buying pool when they bought the 2.2-acre site next to Eatzi’s and McKendrick’s restaurants from the Sembler Co. of St. Petersburg, FL.

Newport paid $3.55 million, or $1.61 million per acre ($37.04 per sf), for the excess parking land Sembler had when the Florida developer was renovating its Park Place retail development. Now Krause feels the gamble he and his Newport associates took are paying off.

“The Prescott is one of the only sites within easy walking distance of the core retail and entertainment venues in Perimeter Center,” the developer tells GlobeSt.com. “Other [existing] properties are further removed or are apartments versus condominiums.”

He adds, “The Perimeter is so hot right now…people are so excited about the live/work/play atmosphere…they can’t wait to live there.”

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