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Isakson Living hopes to begin building a continuing-care
retirement community planned for a 23-acre parcel between
Peachtree and Piedmont roads, after a three-year delay.
Developer hints at progress
on stalled project
BY CHUCK STANLEY
For the past three years, the only no
ticeable changes to the large, vacant par
cel between Piedmont and Peachtree
roads have been the rusting of chain-
Developer Isakson Living demolished
the Peachtree Hills Apartments in 2008
to make room on the 23-acre parcel for
a continuing-care retirement communi
ty of midrise and single family homes.
Falling home prices and tight credit,
though, stopped progress on the proj
ect before construction was ever started.
“I believe it’s a great project,” Andy
Isakson, managing partner of Isakson
Living, said of the retirement communi
ty. “It was accepted well by the market
[in 2008]. It’s just a case of bad timing.”
Despite the years of delay, Isakson
said plans for the development remain
“I’ll probably have more to tell you
in about 30 days,” he said.
Isakson would not comment on
what progress he hopes to report in a
month’s time. He said Isakson Living
has continued to seek financing for the
project since 2008, when crises in the fi
nancial and housing sectors forced the
company to postpone breaking ground
on the development indefinitely.
Isakson said plans to build on the site
in 2008 were halted largely because of
the financial troubles of Colonial Bank,
which failed later that year.
BB&T, which purchased Colonial,
filed a lawsuit against Isakson Living in
2011, alleging that the developer had
failed to repay $30.5 million in loans
and interest from the incomplete proj
ect. Isakson said the pending suit has no
impact on the developer’s attempts to re
ignite progress on Peachtree Hills Place.
Although housing prices in Atlan
ta have been rising since the spring of
2012, Isakson said that securing financ
ing for a continuing retirement commu
nity is generally more complicated than
it would be for a typical real estate de
“As a niche business, it’s providing
services as well as housing,” said Isakson.
“It’s always different than a regular real
If financing for the project can again
be secured, Isakson Living would likely
need to again pre-sell more than half of
its units before construction on the proj
ect could begin, company officials said.
The number would depend on the
agreement between Isakson Living and
a financing partner. However, Isakson
said a project like this generally pre-sells
60 percent to 70 percent of its units pri
or to construction.
In 2008, 150 of 275 planned units
had been sold before the project was
put on hold.
All of the buyers, said Isakson, re
ceived full refunds, but many re
main interested in purchasing units at
Peachtree Hills Place once the project
gets moving again.
In addition to keeping in touch with
the development’s former and possibly
future buyers, Peachtree Hills Civic As
sociation President Hans Bendeck said
he feels Isakson Living has done a good
job of keeping the association up to date
on their efforts.
“Obviously, the neighborhood would
like to see something get done,” Bend
eck said of the huge fenced lot. “But
I feel like the Isaksons have been pretty
straightforward and forthcoming with
the civic association.”
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