After more than two years of construction, the conversion and expansion of a landmark Atlanta church into condos is nearly finished, with the first half-dozen homeowners moving in where countless Atlantans worshipped, attended school, or were married across six decades.
Druid Hills United Methodist Church, built by architects and developers Ivey & Crook in 1954, is now called 1200 Ponce, a project by seasoned Atlanta-based developers Minerva along Ponce de Leon Avenue.
Minerva’s plans call for a community of four buildings with 51 condos and townhomes to come together over the next couple of years.
The first component, the Choate + Hertlein Architects-designed conversion of the former Greek Revival-stye sanctuary and adjoining preschool, includes 23 condos. Some of them are multistory units meant to live like townhomes where the pews once stood, with banks of towering, arched church windows retained.
Brian Davison, a Minerva managing partner, tells Urbanize Atlanta that six units have closed and are occupied, with four more under contract now. Smaller condos that began in the mid-$600,000s have been claimed; prices now range from $849,900 to $1.18 million. There’s also one mega condo— 4,400 square feet across three levels—asking $1.65 million.
“We fully finished some of the units to make then move-in ready for quick closings,” Davison noted via email. “And we left some as white box to allow buyers to fully customize.”
Located on what Davison calls a “pinnacle corner,” the project—reminiscent of Lizzie Chapel Flats in Inman Park, but on a larger scale—is the latest example of an intown church selling its property for conversion into condos, offices, or even a comedy club.
In the case of Druid Hills United Methodist Church, its congregation in recent years had dwindled to only about 60 members, reflecting national trends in urban environments.
The church’s remaining congregation merged with Candler Park’s Neighborhood Church (formerly Epworth Methodist), and Minerva closed on the Druid Hills property in 2017, launching construction late the following year. The former preschool that had operated on the grounds since the early 1980s—DHUMP—has found a new home in Inman Park.
Elsewhere in Atlanta, Minerva’s adaptive-reuse projects include the Giant Apartment Lofts downtown and Inman Park’s Waddell Street Lofts. Multifamily ventures in the company portfolio include the Axis condos and townhomes in Candler Park, 17 townhomes near Edgewood’s MARTA station, and Sophia Druid Hills, a mix of Art Deco-inspired condos and townhomes near Emory University.
At 1200 Ponce, Davison says most common areas are complete, but about two months of work remains on the amenities level in the former church basement. That’ll include a yoga studio, boardroom, art studio, gym, and TV lounge where congregants once held meetings and prepped hot meals for Atlantans who needed them. Parking is found, for now, in surface lots around the property’s backside.
Planning for a second phase is ongoing; Davison says the target date to start is the third quarter of this year.
For now, head to the gallery above—no Sunday Bests required—for a closer look at how intown’s latest church redo has turned out.
• Neglected Druid Hills mansion divided, reborn as $1.9M townhomes (Urbanize Atlanta)
• 1200 Ponce (website)
• 1200 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE, No. A3 (Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty; largest listing)