When plans emerged in summer 2018 for a condo tower in the gritty, postindustrial railroad district best known for the Puritan Mill and King Plow complexes, Atlanta development wonks collectively cocked their heads.

The developer, McKinley Homes, had a portfolio full of cul-de-sac builds in places like Jonesboro, Dacula, and Gainesville. And 22 stories of glass and balconies, after all, seemed better suited for Juniper Street, or Buckhead’s Roswell Road.

But as of November, that project, Seven88 West Midtown, had begun a flurry of closings on condos perched over a river of active railroad tracks, West Marietta Street, and low-rise neighborhoods beyond.

According to the sales team, the building’s standout nature and atypical, unpolished setting for luxury for-sale multifamily homes has been an asset—among downsizing locals, investors, and buyers relocating from coastal markets such as New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. About half of its 279 residences have sold, many of them virtually, by way of drone footage and renderings during pandemic lockdowns. They’re calling the views, especially from east-facing units, the city's grandest.

“A lot of native Atlantans are coming back. They know the history here, they appreciate it and the skyline view—what’s newly there versus what was there,” said Taylor Adkins, an Ansley Atlanta agent, during a recent tour. “Not to slam Buckhead, but the Westside feels less pretentious to them, like a happier, more laidback but high-end place.”

In terms of new product, Atlanta’s for-sale condo market isn’t remotely close to pre-Great Recession levels. But Seven88 West Midtown joins an upsurge of major condo bets, especially around Midtown, where the 150-unit J5 has opened and Selig Development’s 1105 West Peachtree is materializing with more than 60 condos. “It’s been a long time," noted Adkins, "since Atlanta’s had a new mid-rise condo.”  

Foot-in-the-door studios start at $294,000 for a little more than 600 square feet. On the high end, a "crown jewel" penthouse with 2,700 square feet has closed for $1.85 million. Talks were ongoing in early December about one couple potentially combining two penthouses, for a whopper sale around $5 million. 

The Seven88 project broke ground in late 2018 and delivered basically on time, two years later. In the gallery above, have a look inside units, around the amenities, and at those touted views.

For additional vantage points (on a sunnier day), head over to this promotional drone footage.

Westside (Urbanize Atlanta)