An hour and a half from Midtown in the North Georgia Mountains, what could be described as the Aspen-ization of Blue Ridge continues, only with watersports and Southern drawls instead of snow-skiing and dispensaries.
Near the shores of Lake Blue Ridge, the scenic Fannin County seat of 26,000 has sprung to life recently with Main Street real estate investment and tourism dollars.
The number of local restaurants downtown has quintupled to more than two dozen in the past decade alone. Breweries, wineries, art galleries, and buzzy brew pubs comingle with the city’s famous railway. Lakeside estates can fetch north of $2 million (or even $4 million), joining a loft-style, boutique new condo building and under-construction hotel as evidence this town is sleepy no more.
But Blue Ridge—like the North Georgia region around it—has never seen anything like this.
Marketing efforts have ramped up in recent weeks for a luxury multifamily project called Highlands of Blue Ridge that plans to add density on an unprecedented scale downtown. Condo prices begin in the $430,000s for one-bedroom homes, which is on par with new product in Atlanta’s trendiest districts.
Highlands would be the second downtown condo community catered toward upscale buyers who like hiking excursions and layered mountain views, but with 56 units in the pipeline, it’s nearly four times larger than nearby Blue Ridge Station.
Char Stacy, an Ansley Mountain and Lake Realtor, tells Urbanize Atlanta the project is currently in reservation stage and hopes to complete phase one by next summer.
“The complex will be the best of both worlds,” said Stacy. “Outdoor recreation during the day, and evenings filled with wonderful restaurants.”
All villas, as they’re called, will come with mountain views from balconies, gas fireplaces, and top-self finishes, per marketers. The largest homes—three bedrooms in 1,840 square feet—cost $548,000 and up.
Amenities will include a heated saltwater pool, communal fireplace and spa-like hot tub, and access to storage units for keeping those dirty mountain bikes out of sight.
The condos will be built on the former Kiker Family Homestead, the property of a prominent Fannin County family for several generations.
The developers are an LLC called WAMM, but the driving force is an unnamed investor who bought a Blue Ridge getaway home a decade ago, fell for the area, and moved in permanently in 2017.
“With the growth in [the area], coupled with the desire of Atlantans, Floridians, and many others desiring a more quiet and peaceful life, or second home, the developers wanted to build an exclusive condominium community for those seeking the quaint lifestyle that Blue Ridge has to offer,” notes the project’s website. “The residing Blue Ridge investor brought other potential investors to Blue Ridge, and they saw her vision.”
For more photos and a glimpse at floorplans, hike up to the gallery above.
• Highlands of Blue Ridge (site)
• At Halcyon, housing construction barely keeping pace with demand, reps say (Urbanize Atlanta)