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From Concrete Jungle to Garden Oasis: A New Era in Multi-Family Living on the Perimeter

Hannah Hanlon

Inside Atlanta’s perimeter, just off the multi-lane madness of I-285, lies an oasis. Hidden within a cluster of 246 apartment units, 56 two-story and eight three-story townhomes, is Green Park – one of the most exciting of our multifamily projects.

It all started with a disused tract of land piled with concrete chunks and the remains of a defunct Siemens plant. With a focus on maximizing green space and optimizing every square inch of the property’s impressive 15.5 acres, our team reshaped this valuable but blighted urban area into a serene, green experience. Fifty-six of the development’s townhomes ring a unique centerpiece park in an impressive crescent. More lie secluded in the back of the wooded property. Apartments center on a bucolic pool and clubhouse. But the opportunity brought with it several unique challenges for our designers and developers.

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Given the site’s previous heavy manufacturing past, preparations for the project were more extensive than most. Demolishing a leftover concrete slab and clearing the site of environmental hazards took a bit of extra time, but opened the door for us to design remarkable parkland into the plan.

With 14 buildings and the aforementioned green area in the vision, even given its seeming vastness, a lot had to be situated into this site. We worked with Dekalb County to ensure all ordinances were met, including a vital effort to save as many trees as possible. From coordinating the underground utilities to mapping out the foliage and landscape, our designers had their work cut out for them.

We aren’t calling this a passion project, but preserving the natural essence of a place for the benefit of the humans who will live there is something for which we hold a lot of affection.

As an architecture firm, our goal is never to make people feel like they are living in a concrete box. Instead, we strive to better every resident’s living experience through our work – add convenience, lower stress, spark delight. This project was a unique opportunity to create 310 living spaces that truly feel connected to nature. It took some planning gymnastics, but we packed every inch of Green Park’s acreage with something beautiful and useful: green space, buildings, amenities – no opportunity, or square footage, was wasted.

“I love looking at the vista across that greenspace; how it curves and how the buildings align with that curved walkway. It’s picturesque. And it will only get better as the trees mature,” says project manager Paul Hass.

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Further, at Green Park, apartments aren’t simply physically centered around the green space, they feed off of it, draw energy from its splendor. Amenities like a large pool, as well as a well-used outdoor lounge area and firepit focus on the site’s natural beauty. Every element of the complex allows residents to connect with nature.

“The majority of the townhomes front the centerpiece park,” explains Michael Corcoran. “And we used a panoramic NanaWall in the clubhouse so it was able to fully open up onto the fire pit and common area, making the transition from inside to outside seamless.”  

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Beautiful as the entire experience was, as is typically the case, there was some trouble in paradise as we finished our build. Noise from Atlanta’s 285 beltway is intense, and the property lies within spitting distance of it, which made soundproofing a challenge. We took extra measures to ensure noise would be eliminated within the homes – now, when you close the door, the highway fades to soothing white noise. “It’s a place I’d love to hang out,” notes project manager Hass.

Green Park began leasing in 2016, and today, residents, pets and the general public enjoy this garden oasis in the center of Atlanta’s urban landscape year-round. As for us, we look upon it fondly, proud to partner with the city to create both unique homes and gorgeous public park.