A group of residents living in a historic Buckhead condo complex are concerned about an apartment developer’s possible changes to the property after it bought nearly two-thirds of the units, but the company’s leader says it has no plans to demolish the buildings there.

The condo complex, Huntington Arms, is a set of brick buildings facing Peachtree Street on the south end of Buckhead. Designed by architect C. Wilmer Heery Jr., it opened as an apartment complex in 1929 and was converted into condos 50 years later. Huntington Arms is not protected from the wrecking ball by any historic preservation designation or law. The garden-style apartment buildings are sited on a valuable 1.77-acre parcel that has the potential for high-rise development.

The developer, Perennial Properties Inc., specializes in mixed-use projects that include upscale urban apartments with street-level retail space, according to its website. Perennial owns 10 apartment communities in Atlanta and is headquartered in the Arya Peachtree apartment building, which opened in 2020 and is next to Huntington Arms.

Through a set of LLCs, Perennial started buying condos at Huntington Arms in 2016 and currently owns 21 of the 36 units there. Eight people own the remaining 15 units, with some used as rental properties. According to Fulton County property sales records, the lowest Perennial has paid for a unit is $160,000 (945 square feet), in 2016, and the highest is $275,000 (963 square feet), in 2022.

Kathy Hickey, an artist who has lived at Huntington Arms since 1994, called the situation a “hostile takeover.” In July she was so depressed about it that she attempted suicide and spent four days at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, including two in a coma.

“Before I could open my eyes [each day], I have this impending sense of doom and depression,” she said. “I don’t have any other options. I don’t have any assets. I’m going to be forced out.”

Maintenance Issues No Longer Ignored

In the past two years, three Perennial employees (Craig Wasilewsky, Michael Felker and Amy Ronan) were voted onto Huntington Arms’ HOA board, and Wasilewsky is the current president. Also, Perennial employee Whit Johnson was on the board from 2016 to 2020 or 2021. The other two current board members (Helen Dennis and Frank Sasser) are unit owners.

Since then, the HOA board has made some financial decisions to address at least two decades of deferred maintenance. Huntington Arms’ buildings have had issues ranging from old boilers breaking down, leaving residents without heat, to leaky windows, pipes and walls causing flooding in their basements and units.

In 2022, the HOA board raised the monthly dues from $450 to $591 because there was hardly any reserve fund, residents said.

In the same year, the HOA board voted to require each of the Huntington Arms owners to pay an assessment of about $5,000 to replenish its HOA reserves. In 2021 or 2022, the board considered collecting a second assessment for about $3,000 per unit to repair and replace many windows, but instead it recommended each condo owner have the work done individually.

In May, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, a Washington, DC-based engineering firm hired by the HOA board, issued an engineering report after its representatives visited the property the previous January. According to the report, a long list of short- and long-term repair and replacement recommendations were made for the property, with two cost options depending on how much roof repair/replacement work was done.

The total cost for all projects was $3.2 million if Option 1 for the roof work was considered, and $3.3 million if Option 2 was considered.

Some residents have blamed Perennial for the decisions to increase the dues and levy an assessment, but company CEO Tim Schrager said those choices were made solely by the HOA board.

According to the Georgia Condominium Act, which governs condos, including their HOAs, Perennial has done nothing illegal in terms of its participation in Huntington Arms’ HOA board or how it has handled the condo sales transactions.

Condo Values Debated

The interior of a condo at the Huntington Arms

Residents’ concerns also include Perennial making low offers on the remaining units and crime that some owners blame on the Arya Peachtree’s residents or guests.

Huntington Arms residents pointed to recent sales of properties on Peachtree as reasons why they feel their condos are worth as much as $400 to $500 per square feet, citing the property’s value, which some estimate is as high as $17 million to $24 million for the land, which totals 1.77 acres.

Residents also mentioned a deal a different developer nearly made in 2007 or 2008 to purchase every Huntington Arms unit for at least $400 per square foot ($17 million total), but that deal fell through, possibly due to the Great Recession’s onset.

Today, however, Perennial is offering the remaining owners about $250 or lower per square foot for their units. Schrager pointed to the recent sales of units at the Collier Condominiums, built in 1925 and located nearby at 28 Collier Road. According to the board of assessors’ website, since 2021, condos there have sold for between $255,000 and $300,000 and range from 756 to 960 square feet.

Schrager said Perennial’s handling of the situation of purchasing Huntington Arms units and making offers on others has been anything but a hostile takeover.

“I would strongly disagree with that classification of how it’s been described. I think if you talk to the sellers who have sold their units, they would tell you we offered very competitive market-rate prices for every single unit we purchased,” he said, then adding that the other developer’s offer has given the remaining owners an unrealistic expectation of how much their units are worth.

Schrager said Perennial’s only current plan for Huntington Arms “is to maintain the property in a quality manner and operate the units as rental units” and not buy them all at once.

“We’re not interested in acquiring the entire property for redevelopment, so there was no reason to try to corral all the owners together to purchase the entire thing,” he said. “We just saw the opportunity to buy individual units that would make good rental units, so we started acquiring them as owners decided they wanted to sell.”

Also, during a tour of Perennial’s office and the Arya Peachtree building, Schrager showed a reporter the fourth-floor patio, which has south-facing views of the midtown and downtown Atlanta skylines. He said one of the reasons why the company has no plans to build a high-rise on the lot where Huntington Arms is located is it would eliminate the views Arya’s residents currently have.

Residents Cite Rise in Crime

Regarding the crime issue, Huntington Arms residents have complained that it’s increased recently, and although some blame the rise on the Arya Peachtree’s opening, in the past two years there’s no evidence that any gun-related crimes originated there.

According to the Atlanta Police Department’s online Open Data Portal, which tracks police reports made regarding crimes at locations all over the city, there were 18 reported crimes at Arya Peachtree’s address in 2022 and 2023 combined, and none had reports of gunfire, according to the portal.

Though crime report information related to Huntington Arms’ address was not available via the portal, according to information obtained from the police through an open records request, based on the addresses they originated from, at Huntington Arms there were 10 911 calls reporting crimes in 2022 and 11 last year. Hickey said she and her neighbors at Huntington Arms have reported, via 911 calls, at least six incidents of nearby gunfire since 2022, with the most recent one happening in February.

Remaining Owners Speak Out

Hickey said Perennial recently offered her $200,000 for her unit, and she declined because she felt that wouldn’t be enough to buy another condo nearby. Hickey added that as a senior citizen on a fixed income, she struggles financially.

Other Huntington Arms residents interviewed for this article said they would like to live there as long as possible, unless the conditions worsen.

Huntington Arms resident Frank Sasser

Sasser, a retired IRS clerk, has lived at Huntington Arms for 44 years. He said he was offered $232,000 for his unit two years ago and declined, arguing it’s worth more.

“It’s sort of galling to think that I and other people who have lived here for so long would not reap a large benefit, but then they would buy at a reduced rate and make a large benefit for owning only a short period of time,” Sasser said.

He said he wishes Perennial had offered to buy all of the units at once, like the previous developer did before that deal fizzled out.

“So, I think that was a better way to go about it than to go through this gradual prolonging the death of the place by chopping off one person at a time,” he said. “It’s made some people … feel like they can’t talk to certain people or can’t say certain things. It’s just made it a less enjoyable place to live.”

Betsy Dorminey, a lawyer, said she fell in love with Huntington Arms as a high school student.

“I remember driving past it on Peachtree Street. I thought, ‘That’s a lovely building, I would love to live there some day,’” said Dorminey, who bought her unit nearly 30 years ago.

Today she and her husband split time between their Buckhead condo and another home in Athens. She said she hasn’t yet been offered to sell her unit to Perennial.

“I’m not looking to sell, for one thing,” Dorminey said. “My husband [Blair] and I are repeat offenders in historic preservation, so I really have a soft spot for any old buildings in general, and the Huntington in particular.”

One homeowner who hasn’t yet sold their unit to Perennial agreed to be interviewed only under the condition of anonymity. Like the other holdouts interviewed, they hoped a developer could come in and buy all the units at once for a higher price than what Perennial is offering.

“I think they have an opportunity to be a win-win for everybody by letting us sell to an outside developer, where everyone including themselves could make a great deal of money,” the homeowner said. “Though, I am very disappointed that they have approached this the way that they have. … People have found their low-ball offers extremely insulting.”

“I am taking a wait-and-see approach. My hope is they’ll do the right thing. I would like to make this a win-win situation for everyone. We all know what a hostile takeover is, and we all know that people will manipulate homeowners to sell for a low price. I hope it doesn’t come to that.”

Kathy Hinckey in front of the Huntington Arms and the neighboring Arya complex.

‘Perennial Was Cordial, Businesslike’

When reached by phone, two residents who sold their units in the past two years declined to comment, saying they couldn’t because they signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) as part of the transaction.

William Weathers, who with his wife Helen sold their condo for $275,000 in 2023, said they sold their unit “because of the many years of bad leadership in the [HOA] board.” Helen Weathers bought it in 1979, but after she and William got married about a year later, they lived there only another year before having a baby, buying a home in Vinings and renting out the condo. Helen Weathers said she had fond memories of living at Huntington Arms.

“When I bought that place, I was 30 years old; I’m 75 now,” she said. “I paid $32,000 for it. Back then I could barely make that. I lived alone. When I moved over there, everybody was all about the same age, and we were all poor and we didn’t have any money after we bought those places. We all had full-time jobs, and we would fix up our condos ourselves on the weekends, when we would get together and buy pizza and drink beer before going back to painting. We had a wonderful time. Nobody’s place was air-conditioned, and we all purchased [our units] in the summer. We were miserable but still had a good time.”

Of the situation with the remaining homeowners, Helen Weathers added, “It’s unfortunate. It’s a beautiful piece of property. It’s now time to go.”

William and Helen Weathers said they did not sign a NDA as part of the transaction and were not aware that some other sellers did.

While this is the first situation in which Perennial has bought condos with the plan to refurbish and rent them out, the company has decades of experience with other deals regarding its apartment buildings. When asked why some residents signed NDAs as part of their sales transactions, Perennial Vice President Jay McGinnity said, “It’s standard operating procedure. Whenever we buy a property, we come with a non-disclosure agreement, especially in a situation where it’s a commodity and there’s other buyers.”

When asked about how Perennial’s staff handled he and his wife’s condo sale, William Weathers said they were tough but fair.

“But I was in no great rush to sell, and between my price in mind and what they’d be willing to buy it for, they came up to my price,” William Weathers said. “Along with that, I understand the situation and that the buildings and the complex were going to continue to deteriorate, and the buildings needed to be torn down.

“I don’t think the remaining owners are willing to step up and do what’s required because at this juncture, the buildings are not worth as much as the maintenance needed would require. My experience with Perennial was cordial, businesslike, just that. I’m used to dealing with businesspeople, and they acted in a very proper way with me. But their motive is just that, profit.”

Center Hopes Condos Are Preserved

David Mitchell, executive director of the Atlanta Preservation Center, a nonprofit that aims to protect and promote the city’s historic properties, said that when and if any owner decides to demolish Huntington Arms, the center would do what it could to save it. He was interviewed before Schrager was.

“I would like to see the buildings preserved,” Mitchell said. “But you have to navigate all these things with zoning, particularly with a space like North Atlanta that doesn’t have the same level of protection as there are in cities south of Atlanta. We would be very open and very excited to speak with the management about alternatives to demolition.”

Mitchell pointed to The Roosevelt as an Atlanta historic preservation success story. The Grant Park building opened in 1924 as Roosevelt High School and today is a set of historic loft apartments. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, in 2021 TriBridge Residential, an Atlanta-based company that invests, develops, builds and manages apartment properties, bought The Roosevelt and 16 other properties from Aderhold Properties, an Atlanta-based property management company, for a total of $140 million.

“There are phenomenal [historic properties] in Buckhead like Huntington Arms,” Mitchell said. “It really keeps you connected to that part of Atlanta.”

Dorminey said while she could afford to pay for another assessment to cover the costs outlined in the engineering report, some of the remaining homeowners would have a hard time doing so.

“On the other hand, I see the engineering report could be used as a pretext for demolition later,” Dorminey said. “Because, gosh darn it, it’s not feasible to do all the things that need to be done, so it makes better economic sense to knock it down, which would be a pity.”

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Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief Andrew Senzer, the outgoing commander of Buckhead’s Zone 2 precinct. Credit: APD

Buckhead’s Atlanta Police Department precinct is seeing a changing of the guard as its current commander has received a promotion to deputy chief.

Andrew Senzer, who has led the Zone 2 precinct since November 2019 with the rank of major, will head APD’s Strategy and Special Projects Division, he announced at an April 7 meeting of the Buckhead Public Safety Task Force.

Major Ailen Mitchell, who has served as Senzer’s assistant since 2020, will be the new Zone 2 commander, Deputy Chief Timothy Peek said in the meeting.

The transition will happen on April 14, according to APD. The current head of the Strategy and Special Projects Division, Deputy Chief Darin Schierbaum, is being promoted to the vacant position of assistant chief of police.

Senzer was Buckhead’s police commander through the historic COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying crime spike, including the May 2020 rioting and looting in local business areas that spun out of Black Lives Matter protests about the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd.

He also led through the beginning of the Buckhead cityhood movement that based itself on crime concerns. While crime spiked, Senzer took a zero-tolerance approach and Buckhead continues to have the city’s lowest crime rate.

“It really has been an honor to serve as the commander of Zone 2,” Senzer said in the task force meeting. “In my 26 years [in policing], this has probably been the most challenging assignment I’ve had.”

Atlanta Police Department Major Ailen Mitchell, the new Zone 2 commander. Credit: APD

He said his new role will be “a little behind the scenes” but that he will “not be a stranger” in Buckhead.

Peek said APD is “ecstatic” about Senzer taking on the deputy chief role.

Mitchell, according to his APD biography, has been with the department since 2006. He previously commanded the SWAT team and, like Senzer, once served on the Red Dog unit, an anti-drug squad disbanded in 2011 after controversial incidents like an illegal raid on the Atlanta Eagle gay bar. Among his other work was the Gang Unit and the Auto Theft Task Force.

Mitchell became Zone 2’s Criminal Investigations Unit commander in 2018 and its assistant commander in 2020.

Zone 2 is headquartered at 3120 Maple Drive in Buckhead Village.

Update: This story has been updated with information from APD about the transition.

The Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods is heading into a new year with a new leader who is ready to focus on issues like neighborhood security — while not choosing sides in the cityhood battle.

Debra Wathen, an Atlanta native and Paces resident, is chairing the influential coalition of neighborhood and condo associations after over a decade of involvement, including as vice-chairman. She replaces Mary Norwood, who this month began service as the new District 8 Atlanta City Council member.

“I’m a strong believer in the Buckhead Council because I believe all of the neighborhoods need a voice,” said Wathen in a recent interview. “I feel ready and prepared. … I just feel like the organization is on good, solid ground at this point in time.”

Wathen was born in Luckie Street public housing while her father attended Georgia Tech; he went on to become an architect specializing in public housing. She grew up in Brookwood Hills at a time when the area called Buckhead was smaller, not yet enlarged by neighborhood identity and real estate marketing. “Growing up, I was not allowed to say I lived in Buckhead,” she said with a laugh.

After attending Northside (now North Atlanta) High, she became a certified public accountant, working at a large firm and then a post-production studio. Then she had four children — including triplets — and worked from home with her husband’s mortgage business.

Getting involved

Her neighborhood association involvement began in 2010, when the Paces Civic Association was looking for a new president and not finding takers.

“Really I just raised my hand like so many people do, and I enjoyed every bit of it,” said Wathen. She says she learned a lot about issues like private security patrols and local zoning. Much of Paces is large-lot, single-family zoning, and that “requires a major defense to prevent it being taken over by the developers,” she says.

She became the Paces representative on the BCN, which was two years old at the time, and remained involved up to the present.

Wathen was poised to be the BCN chair in 2018 when, partly at Wathen’s suggestion, Norwood took the position in part as a political comeback from her loss in the 2017 mayoral election. Norwood was a well-known political figure, having served as an at-large City Council member and making two unsuccessful but extremely close runs for mayor.

Wathen said she knows she has big shoes to fill after Norwood. “She was awesome for the whole organization,” she said. “… I think we were respected. We just didn’t have the clout that she brought to the organization.”

One of Norwood’s innovations was running the BCN much like the City Council, with committee-like “interest area groups” focused on such policy topics as traffic and trees. Wathen said she intends to keep that committee structure — “and I’ve even added one, which is going to be our ‘neighborhood security’ area of interest … because I really think in this day and time that is really first and foremost in everybody’s mind.”

A map of Buckhead and Northwest Atlanta neighborhoods that are members of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods as of 2021. Credit: BCN

Neighborhood security focus

Part of the motive is looking at expanded and better-coordinated private security patrols that are funded by businesses and neighborhood associations. That was a major part of the “Buckhead Security Plan,” a crime-fighting program privately created by such organizations as the Buckhead Coalition, the Buckhead Community Improvement District and the Atlanta Police Foundation in late 2020. But it seems that little work in that regard has been done, at least in the residential neighborhoods.

Wathen noted that some neighborhoods don’t have such patrols to improve. “There’s neighborhoods like Paces and Mt. Paran and Chastain that can afford to do this … and there are smaller neighborhoods that can’t afford to have a security patrol in their neighborhood, and they really need some help,” she said.

Down in City Hall, Norwood is already proposing that the City Council create a “Buckhead Public Safety Task Force” that would include a member from BCN.

Cityhood debate and new mayor

Of course, some residents are proposing another solution to crime: Buckhead cityhood. It’s an increasingly bitter political battle that is about to go before the Georgia General Assembly for consideration, possibly followed by a November referendum. Wathen says the BCN is staying out of that fray except to provide any information sought by its members — which could include holding special meetings on such open questions as the status of Atlanta Public Schools if the cityhood movement progresses.

“My aim is to really and truly protect the quality of life in all neighborhoods. And I don’t care if it’s the City of Buckhead or the City of Atlanta,” said Wathen. “Right now, I feel like the Buckhead Council needs to press forward on dealing with the issues. And we’re not going to take a position on whether we’re for or against the [cityhood] issue because it’s such a personal decision.”

“But we feel like there are so many questions to answer [about cityhood], and we want to work to answer those questions for neighborhod residents,” Wathen added. “I personally couldn’t even take a position right now if I wanted to because I don’t have the information….”

Wathen did say she empathizes with the unhappiness behind cityhood support. “I understand 100% where they’re coming from and feel like Buckhead has definitely not gotten what we should get in a lot of different circumstances,” she said. “We have 12 [City] Council districts, and two of them make up the vast majority of Buckhead, and if we got two-twelfths of Renew Atlanta [infrastructure improvement bond funding], I think people would be happier. But I don’t think it always works that way.”

She says the City has flubbed other issues like commuter traffic through neighborhoods. “And so for that reason, I feel like we just need to be heard,” she said. “The City needs to take a step back and listen to Buckhead residents. I think we just need someone to stop and listen to what we have to say.”

Newly elected Mayor Andre Dickens has promised to do that kind of listening as part of his battle against Buckhead cityhood and a generally more inclusive approach to governing. Wathen said she has invited Dickens to speak to the BCN, but so recently that she is not surprised he has yet to respond. “I would love to have him come out and do a town hall in Buckhead,” she said, adding he also will need time to gather answers to questions Buckhead might ask.

“My general feeling is, he is going to make a difference,” Wathen said of Dickens. “He’s trying. I have a positive attitude. … Personally, I think he is a great person. I think he cares about the city and loves the city.”

Other issues galore

Meanwhile, the BCN has plenty of other topics on its plate as the new administration and City Council gear up to address such policies as zoning code changes and rewrites and a new Tree Protection Ordinance.

“I think zoning is always going to be an issue, of course,” said Wathen. “We still need to be vigilant and protect that [single-family] zoning, though I feel the mayor has sort of said he is not looking to intrude on single-family zoning to be the answer to affordable housing. But that will always be something we need to protect.

“And road improvements and infrastructure improvements are going to be an important issue,” she added. “We have so much traffic coming through Buckhead neighborhoods, our roads are destroyed.”

Another area of concern is stormwater management issues, where Wathen said budget problems seem to be chronic and could be something the BCN advocates to increase.

The BCN’s meetings have remained virtual since the start of the pandemic. Wathen said she hopes to move soon to a hybrid model, with at least board members meeting in-person, but permanently maintaining a virtual option “so people can tune in from their living rooms.” The Zoom era has boosted engagement in some ways, she said.

The BCN’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 13, with an agenda topped by City Public Works Commissioner Al Wiggins Jr. talking about chronic problems with trash collection in the pandemic. Elected officials scheduled to speak including Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat, Norwood, and at-large City Councilmembers Keisha Sean Waites and Matt Westmoreland. For more information, see the BCN website.

In a soundproofed chamber of a former warehouse in Buckhead’s booming Armour-Ottley business district, a guy in a sensor-covered catsuit is executing martial-arts-style moves, pulling the invisible strings of a virtual reality character on a nearby computer.

His name is Sam Raiffeisen, and for him, it’s just another day at the office of Offbeat Media Group, a digital branding company. It’s one of over a dozen eclectic businesses — from a solar panel installer to a vintage handbag merchant to a collectible card trader — clustered in the new Indie Studios at 190 Ottley Drive, an office complex for creative types. That vibe is part of the draw; so is the location in Buckhead’s southeast corner along Armour and Ottley Drives, where the SweetWater beer brewery across the street was an early 2000s pioneer of warehouse reuse, and where fresh buzz is fueled by the promise of the Atlanta BeltLine coming through within the next decade.

Books and objects line shelves in Indie Studios’ “inspirational library.” Credit: John Ruch

“It’s cool to be this central to all media happenings in the city,” says Alex Punch, Offbeat’s director of content, while watching Raiffeisen gesticulate in the imaginary world they’re creating.

World-building is also the concept of Indie Studios, which opened in January and began assembling most of its initial tenants in April.

“We’re building a community within a community,” says Trevor Arrowood, the complex’s on-site manager. He means a “community of creators” within the Armour-Ottley neighborhood that can network and trade ideas.

An available studio space, which is used in the meantime to host events. Credit: John Ruch

Indie Studios is the brainchild of David Minnix, CEO of CineMassive, an audiovisual company whose hallmark product is multiscreen walls (one of which is included in Indie’s screening room). CineMassive is headquartered a couple of doors down, and an LLC involving Minnix also owns the adjacent kitchen space for the nonprofit Open Hand Atlanta, according to Arrowood. (Minnix did not respond to interview requests.) Like many Armour-Ottley buildings, they’re examples of “adaptive reuse” — renovation of historic buildings for different, modern uses, a trend popularized in Atlanta by Ponce City Market but underway locally for years.

For Indie Studios, a former railroad warehouse dating to 1950, Minnix enlisted Atlanta-based developer Gene Kansas, who is known for rescuing the historic Atlanta Daily World Building on Auburn Avenue and the similar creative-based adaptive-reuse projects like Constellations, also in Sweet Auburn.

The screening room uses one of CineMassive’s multiscreen arrays. Credit: John Ruch

In some ways, Indie is like any other office building, with long-term tenants and such shared spaces as a conference room, a kitchen and a lobby for greeting visitors or hosting meetings. In that respect, the difference is Minnix’s curation of tenants who are geared to fitting that independent and creative niche.

Bicycles available for tenant use. Credit: John Ruch

Another difference are quirkier shared amenities that make for what Arrowood calls a “boutique, co-shared workspace.” The “inspirational library” of vintage books, magazines and objets d’art — including a vase containing spheres of moss that visitors are welcome to squeeze as living stress balls. The hiply decorated “telephone booths” and “isolation rooms” for making private calls or getting some peace and quiet. The free-to-use bicycles and restrooms with built-in showers installed in anticipation of the BeltLine’s arrival. Not to mention the margarita machine in the back.

Events for outside people and organizations is another feature. Such companies as Mailchimp — the digital marketing giant founded by Buckhead resident Ben Chestnut — hold retreats and other staff gatherings there. Unused suites have hosted “micro-weddings” and kids’ birthday parties. For the general public, the complex hosts occasional “Indie After Dark” events; the latest was a Dec. 9 “Night Market” of artists that included live entertainment and food trucks.

Shoppers enjoy the Dec. 9 “Night Market.” Credit: Rob Knight

Indie still has some units available and is still working on some of the spaces, such as a building-long patio space that was once a series of loading docks, as are private balconies on the big studios. Also still come is Lil’ Vic, an eatery from Victory Brands, the company behind Victory Sandwich Bar in Decatur and Inman Park; Decatur’s S.O.S. Tiki Bar; and the VCC coffee shop and Lloyd’s pizza joint on DeKalb Avenue. Lil’ Vic will operate in the front of the building and a gravel-covered patio area. Victory owner Ian Jones would offer no details on Lil’ Vic’s concept and timeline yet, but said “people can expect vibes and values similar to our other concepts.”

The current tenant mix ranges from the serious to the playful. There’s an outpost of the medical diagnostic company CND Life Sciences, which is working on a skin test for Parkinson’s disease. Across the hall, Offbeat is working on such projects as a YouTube series called “World Record Week,” where the down-for-anything host allegedly attempts to set such “records” as patronizing 100 drive-thrus within 24 hours or wearing a jack o’lantern on his head for a day.

For tenants like Sports Card Investor, the card-trading company, the Indie concept and community are working out fine.

“We chose Indie Studios because of the unique blend of high-quality, high-design common spaces, paired with private office suites,” said Geoff Wilson, founder of Sports Card Investor. “The design of the building is perfectly on trend and the common spaces are plentiful and well-architected. Our private office suite works well for our team and gives us a great home base for our content production studio.

“The Armour-Ottley area is growing in popularity with tech and creative companies and is convenient to access from many parts of town,” Wilson added. “We liked the location, plus the feel of the area.”

For more information, see indiebecomesyou.com.


The following is a list of Indie Studios tenants as of December 2021.