Another example of an intown “pocket neighborhood” is taking shape next to Summerhill’s refashioned commercial district—and growing so fast it could defy that quaint description soon.

Tucked off Georgia Avenue, where Wood’s Chapel BBQ, Halfway Crooks Beer, Hotdog Pete’s, and other eateries have sprung up the past couple of years, a townhome community by Hedgewood Homes is bringing a residential component to the 80-acre redevelopment Carter has named simply “Summerhill,” in recognition of the historic neighborhood that hosted Atlanta’s Olympics.

In recent days, Hedgewood has broken ground on phase two, having sold out all finished homes in the 26-unit initial phase. All told, the Summerhill dwellings will number about 100 across four city blocks.  

Townhomes are expected to fill the parcels in green. Courtesy of Hedgewood Homes

Like other pocket-sized communities popping up in places like Edgewood and Reynoldstown, the Summerhill project aims to stand out from traditional townhome rows and creatively use available land with a mix of sizes and price points, without sacrificing density and a sort of European-village vibe. One project rep described buyer interest and sales activity as being “on fire” right now.

Pauline Miller, Compass Development’s managing director for the Summerhill project, tells Urbanize Atlanta that buyers have come from as far as Smyrna, in addition to a “huge influx” of people itching to leave behind stacked apartments and condos in Midtown and near the Howell Mill Road corridor. (Five more phase two units had gone under contract within a week of a recent phone interview, Miller says.)

“They’re coming south of downtown, and this is not traditionally where people would have shopped for real estate,” Miller says. “What’s most interesting about the Summerhill movement is that it’s attracting every age group, and every level of affordability. This is so authentic—it doesn’t feel like Disney. I think people are being really charmed and getting involved from a neighborhood and community standpoint.”

A row of new Summerhill housing in Hedgewood's phase one, as seen in November. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

In the first phase, the smallest townhomes of just 750 square feet (one-bedrooms with two stories) had been priced from $299,000, joining a handful of detached homes. Most units included rooftop decks, a variety of porches, and professionally maintained private gardens. Elsewhere is what Miller describes as a “cul-de-sac for pedestrians, not cars.”

Plans for phase two have been modified, and prices are ranging between $399,000 for two-bedroom units and $625,000 for four-bedroom houses.

New for phase two is what Hedgewood is calling “zipper homes”—rows of three-bedroom townhouses attached in a way that resembles a zipper, with a goal of increasing interior space and fitting terraces on top and two-car garages below. (We asked for renderings, but they’re not available.) Miller says zipper units are selling from $425,000.

Hedgewood is a seasoned metro Atlanta builder of relatively dense, walkable communities, spanning from Serenbe to Lake Claire to Cumming’s Vickery Village. Miller says adapting plans to what buyers want in this pandemic era has been key.

“What we heard very loudly is, ‘I need to be able to step out of my home and personal space, and be able to grill a meal, or get some fresh air—a place to sit outside at a table and chairs,’” she says. “That’s really driving these outdoor terraces and gardens.”

The broader scope of completed, under-construction, and planned development in Summerhill's northwest corner. Courtesy of Hedgewood Homes Beyond the crop of townhouses and new eats, about 300 new Class-A apartments called 565 Hank are coming together in Summerhill; Georgia State University’s $85 million convocation center and basketball arena is under construction; and word on the street is that Publix has signed on to build a store with ancillary retail on another parking lot in the vicinity.

• In Summerhill, Georgia State's new basketball arena, convocation center is full speed ahead (Urbanize Atlanta) 

Summerhill (Urbanize Atlanta)