BELTLINE.net - Stay in the Loop on the BeltLine Lifestyle
BELTLINE.net has launched! This new site is all about the BeltLine Lifestyle and delivers hyperlocal content featuring news, personalities, business, real estate, restaurants, photos, jobs, coupons and just about everything else associated with the community the BeltLine is becoming.
The BeltLine is the most significant thing to happen to Atlanta since the Olympics. I will be devoting a good portion of my bandwidth to this new site since I live, work, worship and play within this burgeoning swath of smart growth.
I believe denizens of the BeltLine will be able to enjoy some of the greenest, most sustainable lifestyles in the metro Atlanta area.
Please visit, comment, and share!
BeltLine wheel estate tours are back
Cyclists and pedestrians on the BeltLine adjacent to Lofts at Ralph McGillPedestrian-friendly transit, a multi-use trail, greenspace and connectivity with surrounding developments and neighborhoods -- add up all the elements of the Atlanta BeltLine and what you’ve got is an upgrade to the city. Atlanta 2.0 is the expanding, redeveloping mile-wide swath of smart growth that has the BeltLine as it’s central artery. Are you looking to upgrade your lifestyle by living along the BeltLine? Then join me for a BeltLine Wheel Estate Tour of the Eastside Trail. We will tour properties for sale along this amenity-rich corridor on bicycles provided by Bicycle Tours of Atlanta. And why not? Owners of wheel estate along the Eastside Trail will enjoy access by bicycle (or foot) to some of the best parks, shopping, and dining that Atlanta has to offer like the newly created Historic Fourth Ward Park and Ponce City Market, now under construction.
Trails consistently remain the number one community amenity sought by prospective homeowners (National Association of Homebuilders, 2008) and can increase values for adjacent properties by as much as 20% over otherwise comparable properties.
Tours in May will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 15; Tuesday, May 21; and Wednesday, May 29th (weather permitting).
As a Georgia-licensed real estate broker, I can show you some of the most exciting condo, townhome, and loft living on the market along this first segment of Atlanta’s bicycle superhighway.
Tour groups are small, so reserve your spot today.
BeltLine Eastside Trail looking south from Highland Ave.
There and back on BeltLine Eastside Trail
I posted a somewhat crude video of one of my first rides on the BeltLine Eastside Trail back when it was about to open [Atlanta Bicycle Superhighway Begins]. Here's better footage of a round trip on the trail, sped up 300%.
Bicycles are a key component of the urban renaissance...
Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Home Owners Workshop
After the Trust's inaugural Home Owners Workshop on Saturday, May 4, join us for a tour through some of Atlanta's beautiful historic neighborhoods. I'll be riding with Bicycle Tours of Atlanta to give you a firsthand experience of some of the city's historic walkable and bikeable neighborhoods.
We'll visit a home recently restored as well as some houses currently on the market. The tour will begin in the Old Fourth Ward and travel through Inman Park, Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown, Grant Park, Summerhill and Sweet Auburn. You'll also learn about the burgeoning swath of smart growth known as the Beltline and why I call it Atlanta 2.0.
There is no better way to get to know a neighborhood than by bike! On this 3-hour, 8-mile journey, guests will be provided with bikes, helmets, bottled water and a wealth of information about the current real estate market in historic neighborhoods!
Alternative transportation is how we roll
I was at a closing recently and the listing agent asked me how I showed houses to clients. It was a fair question since I don't own a car. Our car-light journey, began a little over a year ago, naturally has ramifications for the way I practice real estate.
I have shown homes on foot -- a natural outcome, I suppose, when you spend as much bandwidth as I do promoting walkability and walkable neighborhoods. Sometimes it's just better to stroll than to roll.
I show houses via bicycle. I will be partnering with Robyn Elliott of Bicycle Tours of Atlanta this Spring to host a Wheel Estate Tour for the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation's Home Owner's Workshop. I also do BeltLine Wheel Estate tours where I show buyers homes for sale up and down the Eastside Trail.
There is no way to experience a neighborhood more intimately than on foot or via a bicycle -- a truth articulated so well in this article.
I have clients who work near MARTA, so living near MARTA becomes an obvious solution for daily commuting. Using MARTA to preview the homes is a no-brainer. The secret ingredient to using MARTA is to combine it with the bicycle for the first and last mile. Bicycles are allowed on MARTA trains and buses. All the buses, including Xpress commuter buses to the 'burbs, are equipped with bike racks on the front.
When a car is needed, I use Zipcar. Car sharing represents a fundamental shift in American transportation and consumption. There are currently more cars than drivers in America (?!). Each Zipcar takes about 20 personally-owned cars off the road. And the savings over owning a car can be substantial. On average, Zipsters save $500 per month over owning a car! A lot of this money get's pumped back into the local economy. We get to drive a hybrid without shelling out huge bucks to buy one. And I can show you homes without messing up your hair.
You can join Zipcar here.
It's all about fewer cars, less congestion, less carbon, less consumption and less pollution. These are important values to me as I actively promote city living because I live here.
My latest solution is the most fun -- a Vespa scooter with a sidecar. Our Stella with her rocket sidecar was chosen to bridge the gap between walking, bicycling, mass transit, and Zipcar for our family's needs and as a green method of delivering the Soup Mama's jars of love. Stella get's over 100 mpg, which becomes increasingly important as gas prices rise. It's got a catalytic converter and has one of the cleanest, most environmentally friendly scooter engines on the market.
So, you wanna hop in the sidecar and do a little house hunting?
S.C.O.R.E. [Street Car Oriented Real Estate] BOARD
There are over 80 acres of land and many buildings and structures within 2 blocks of the coming Atlanta Streetcar route considered underutilized. These properties represent significant opportunities for Transit-Oriented Development.
I office on the east end of the economic development area depicted. Please contact me at 404.421.9968 for real estate brokerage services on these properties.
Location- and energy-efficient living at LEED certified Oakland Park
Here's your opportunity to save money, gas, and energy with this short sale opportunity in Atlanta's first LEED-certified condominium development.
Bank has approved a $156,000 short sale on this stunning 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath loft home and can close in as soon as 30 days. That's rip-roaring fast for a short sale! So I guess we could call this home acquisition-efficient, as well.Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer
Features of the home include one-of-a-kind views that will never be blocked because of historic Oakland Cemetery; custom kitchen with granite counter tops and gorgeous cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and breakfast bar; large living room with floor to ceiling window with fantastic skyline view; master suite complete with spa-bath, huge walk-in closet with laundry; and walk-out to private, covered balcony. The 2nd bedroom loft space is perfect for home office or occasional company. Other features include exposed concrete ceilings, 2 car garage parking, roof-top deck, security, and an active HOA.
The entire development boasts LEED for Homes certification. Eco-friendly features of the homes include:
Operable, low-emittance, double-paned windows
Bamboo flooring in kitchen and living areas
Dual flush toilets and high performance plumbing fixtures
Energy Star appliances
High efficiency heating and cooling
On-site recycling center
Steel and concrete construction
One of the first things I noticed when I previewed the brand new project back in July, 2008 was the lack of the typical new construction smell. This was due to the use of low volatile organic compound [VOC] paints, adhesives, sealants and carpeting throughout the building. Typically, my eyes -- which are very sensitive to off-gassing of new conventional paint, glue, and carpet -- would have been burning within minutes of walking down the carpeted hallways. Improved indoor air quality is a primary benefit of LEED construction.
Owners could enjoy up to 30% in energy usage and water consumption due to the LEED certified construction and features.
Locationally, the development is a win. Aside from it's premium placement, sandwiched between Grant Park neighborhood and Oakland Cemetery, the lofts rate a good transit score of 55 and a very walkable walk score of 86. King Memorial MARTA station is a half mile walk or bike ride through one of Atlanta's most cherished and unique green spaces.
Happy birthday to the world's greatest change agent
Jesus is undisputably the greatest change agent the world has ever known. He changed the world without the Internet, TV, talk radio, government, politics, or technology. The baby we focus on this time of year grew into a man who inspired folks from all walks of life to do a 180 and start following him.Harmonizing my frequent discussions on walk scores and urban walkability with the reason for the season, I offer my ode to the most excellent pedestrian to ever walk the earth [sung to the tune of "Walking in Your Footsteps" by The Police]:
Walkin’ in His Footsteps
About 2000 years ago
You walked upon this planet so
Now you are Lord of all I see
What is it You see in me?
That you’d ask me to come along
Just like Peter, James and John
And come walkin’ in your footsteps
Walkin’ in your footsteps
Hey there, Mrs. Prejudiced
Why don’t you make a brand new list
Of different people who could be
Growing in your family tree
And treat all colors like you would
If they all lived in your ‘hood
And come walkin’ in His footsteps
Walkin’ in His footsteps
Hey there, Mr. Ambitious
You want the rest to eat your dust
You know that in that Old Rat Race
Rodents always take first place
why not come….
Hey there, Ms. Material Girl
Why don’t you let go of the World
Those things can’t bring you happiness
Give it all to Him then you’ll be blessed
Hey there, Mr. Self-Righteous
Humility would be a plus
If we could pull the mask away
Would you go or would you stay?
And join us on that narrow road
Where Jesus lifts your heavy load
Now we’re here and now it’s time
To search our heart and search our mind
And ask ourselves what He would do
If He was standing in our shoes
And then go….
Location-efficient living in Tribute Lofts live/work space
Over time I've learned that the location-efficiency of a residence usually trumps the energy-efficiency in terms of savings to the home owner. Consider the following scenario [courtesy of Invisible Energy by David Goldstein]: A buyer purchases a home at the approximate median US home price of $175,000. If the buyer puts down 20% and finances $140,000 over 30 years, here's roughly what they'd pay over the life of the mortgage:
- $350,000 in loan payments (PITI)
- $300,000 commuting from suburbia
- $75,000 for utilities
$300K for commuting costs?! That's almost as much as the buyer pays for the home and significantly more than the cost of utilities. Transportation costs are the typical household's second largest expenditure.
The most location-efficient properties are in amenity-rich neighborhoods served by transit and a grid of walkable and bikeable streets and trails. The idea is to have as many options and alternatives as possible to the car.
I live in such a neighborhood. I write this post from within the burgeoning Old Fourth Ward. My location has a Walkscore of 88, or "very walkable." Two blocks to the east is the BeltLine. Two blocks to the west is the coming Atlanta Streetcar. I can catch a MARTA bus one block away or walk/bike to a MARTA train station 1/2 mile away. I can also combine bicycle and transit since MARTA has bike racks on their buses and allows bikes on the trains.
Because of our location-efficiency my family and I made the decision to explore a car-free lifestyle. We sold the car on Dec. 13th of 2011. One year later we can declare the experiment a success, having saved hundreds of dollars along the way that would have gone towards car-ownership .
There's a property currently for sale in the Old Fourth Ward that could reduce your daily commute to seconds. Tribute Lofts on John Wesley Dobbs has one of the only live/work units currently for sale in the city. The two level loft has storefront on the first floor perfect for a boutique or professional office. Neighboring businesses include a law office, hair salon, my awesome chiropractor, and a coffee shop that gives 10% discounts to cyclists. The 2nd level offers a full kitchen, living area, large bedroom & bath with walk-in shower -- all in high-end finishes and modern accouterments. There's no need for a separate residence. Just walk down the stairs to work every morning.
Locationally, the condo scores a "very walkable" walkscore of 80 and is immediately adjacent to the Freedom Parkway Trail which connects with the BeltLine Eastside Trail. MARTA bus 99 stops right in front of the property and Zipcar vehicles are parked a little over 1/2 mile away. Tribute Lofts is a stone's throw from downtown Atlanta, as evidenced by the killer skyline views, and has very quick access to 75/85.
So the owner of this condo could enjoy an upscale intown lifestyle without car ownership, potentially saving hundreds or even thousands per year.Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer
FMLS #5068515. Asking $219,500.
Car vs. bike and runner on BeltLine Eastside Trail
Fox 5 pits runner, bicyclist, and auto commuter against one another to see who can make it from Irwin Street to Piedmont Park the fastest. Runner and cyclist take the BeltLine Eastside Trail from point A to B while auto contestant takes the quickest route on Atlanta streets via GPS.
Guess who won?