In an effort to salute smart new development on a smaller scale across metro Atlanta, we compiled a poll earlier this month asking readers to decide which is the best. 

Some 850 people chimed in, but a common complaint emerged: There were just too many choices to accurately crown a winner. One reader suggested a second poll—a runoff, if you will—as a solution. Commenters upvoted that suggestion like crazy. Brilliant! 

Now, the top-five finishers are presented below in descending order, based on number of votes received. In fairness to so many people out of office this week, we'll keep the poll open until Tuesday afternoon.

Now, let's meet the finalists ... 


Cottages on Vaughan

Courtesy of MicroLife Institute

Where: Clarkston

Team includes: MicroLife Institute; City of Clarkston officials

For months in 2021, the buzz was strong for this Clarkston project described as Georgia’s first standalone village of tiny houses, which sold all of its eight “micro-cottages”—starting at just 250 square feet—in a snap. Project leaders believe it could serve as a model for residential development as metro Atlanta’s population continues to swell and available land becomes increasingly scarce.


594 Irwin

Photo by Lynda Coffey; courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Intown Atlanta

Where: Old Fourth Ward

Team includes: True Worth Property; Xmetrical architecture

Replacing a vacant commercial structure in a high-profile locale near Krog Street Market, this four-unit infill build maximized density with aesthetics that both nod to the past and embrace the future. Uses include three townhomes and a 2,250-square-foot commercial space, topped by a versatile deck on the roof.


Academy Lofts Adair Park

Photo by Justin Schaeffer, courtesy of Stryant Investments

Where: Adair Park

Team includes: Stryant Investments; Building Insights; The Creatives Project

This 1912 example of Academic Gothic architecture, formerly the George W. Adair School, was unveiled as an ambitious adaptive-reuse venture called Academy Lofts Adair Park early this year. It introduced the concept of “art-force housing” in Atlanta, with some micro units of just 312 square feet renting in the $800-monthly range, with all utilities included.


72 Georgia Avenue

Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta; development, Carter

Where: Summerhill

Team includes: Carter development; K. King & Co.; Healey Weatherholtz Properties

The newest flank of retail in the revival of Summerhill’s long-decrepit Georgia Avenue claimed a gravel parking lot and opened this year with spaces for five businesses. The best part: It seamlessly blends with historic buildings that have stood for generations.


1200 Ponce

Photo by Fabio Laub; courtesy of Minerva

Where: Druid Hills

Team includes: Minerva; Choate + Hertlein Architects

One of the most comprehensive redoes of a historic Atlanta church (Druid Hills United Methodist Church) to date wrapped up its initial phase this year as 1200 Ponce. Aspects such as towering arched windows were retained, and an amenities level with a yoga studio, boardroom, art studio, gym, and TV lounge was installed where congregants once held meetings and prepped meals.