Update: Portman’s “Emerson” Condo Tower Put On Hold

Emerson Buckhead Condo Building

This week was not a good one for the Emerson Condo project in Buckhead.

It was November of 2015 when Jarel Portman and JPX Works finished acquiring the 50 individually owned mid-century condos on 1.8 acres at 2520 Peachtree Road. It took a combined offer of over $9.4 million to get all 50 owners to sell, no easy feat.

Three months later, Portman announced an even more ambitious plan, Buckhead’s first condo tower project in 7 years. On top of that, the modern design that resembled a stack of Jenga blocks, was going to be one of the edgiest towers ever built in Atlanta. This forward-thinking design would come at a steep price though. The 44 individual units would start at over $2 million, or around $1000 per square foot.

In the two years since then, the land was cleared and prepped for construction. The penthouse unit quickly went under contract at a price reportedly North of $6 million for the unfinished shell, and other buyer reservations soon followed. However, despite strong interest , the building failed to reach the critical 40-50% threshold of pre-sales that is typically required by lenders before they allow a project to start construction. Buyers were resistant to the high price point and due to the high cost of construction for this design, there simply was not room to adjust pricing down and maintain the same aesthetic.

This week, things came to a head. The Emerson sales center has been closed and the project put on hold. Jarel Portman and JPX Works are reportedly “looking at all of the options, and re-evaluating the opportunities for the site”. Buckhead may miss out on the wonderful sight of this tower along our main thoroughfare, but we look forward to what is next…

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art hard.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

The original story announcing the Emerson two years ago is below:

Renderings of Street and Interior Views of Buckhead’s Emerson Condo Tower located at 2520 Peachtree Road

Emerson Condo Tower Entrance at 2520 Peachtree Rd in Buckhead
Emerson Buckhead Condos Interior View

When the Emerson condos at 2520 Peachtree Road are completed in 2017 it will be the first new condo tower in Buckhead in 7 years. This week, Vinings resident Jarel Portman with JPX Works released new images and details on this building that was first teased months ago.

The design is simply stunning and a totally refreshing change from the typical Buckhead high-rise. The modern design resembles glass Jenga blocks stacked in a somewhat random pattern. The condominium homes will feature extensive outdoor patios with disappearing glass walls to combine the indoor and outdoor space seamlessly. The unique flexible floorplans, private elevators, and outdoor terraces will make this one of the most attractive options for empty-nesters selling their Buckhead homes in favor of the simplicity of condo life.

The location along Peachtree Rd in the Peachtree Heights West neighborhood will give the buyers a familiar location walkable to Peachtree Battle, The Duck Pond, and the Buckhead Farmers Market. It joins a row of existing exclusive condo towers such as 2500 Peachtree and Park Place where Elton John has lived for many years.

I contacted Jarel Portman, curious about the origin of the name Emerson. He told me that it is a reference to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “an American essayist, lecturer, and poet. In the 1800’s he was seen as a champion of individualism and a critic of the countervailing pressures of society.” This is a fitting name for architecture that seems to transcend the current standards.

The three joined towers will have around 45 units and range from 1,900-7,000 square feet. Pricing at Emerson will start at $1.8 million and go up….way up. Contact me if interested and I will let you know as soon as pre-sales become available.

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