Earlier this week, we spotlighted a development site in Kirkwood that’s replacing another eastside Atlanta church property—not with townhomes this time, but with large single-family houses.

Jonathan Rich, of J. Rich Atlanta, a representing agent for homebuilder Spencer-Love Homes, has since called back with details on the under-construction 5 at Oakview project and info on where the market is generally headed. (Spoiler: Homeownership in Atlanta isn’t getting cheaper.)

The site in question is equidistant to two commercial hubs—downtown Kirkwood to the west and East Lake’s growing Hosea + 2nd development—with Drew Charter School about two blocks to the southeast. It was formerly home to a congregation called First Gethsemane Baptist Church, which bowed out about two years ago, leaving behind a one-story chapel and much larger surface parking lot along Oakview Road.  

The site in question as First Gethsemane Baptist Church and its adjoining parking lot in fall 2018. Google Maps

The five homes being built are all 3,800 square feet with five bedrooms and five bathrooms, according to Rich. The building team is still debating final pricing, but Rich said, “It’ll be above $1 million for sure,” and two homes are under contract at north of a million bucks already.

The sales could be Kirkwood’s first for single-family above $1 million, though listings show two finished houses are under contract now with listing prices north of that mark.

A home set on an acre along Memorial Drive in East Lake sold for $1.6 million last year, setting what Rich called “the benchmark for the zip code.”

watermark More foundations and a woodline behind the homes. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

The lots in Kirkwood are more than 400 feet deep—huge for most intown neighborhoods—but a creek and ravine subtract from usable space. Rich said all five homes are expected to deliver by early fall.

“We started thinking we’d do unfinished basements, but as the market’s grown, we’re finishing basements, because that’s just the way the market’s going,” said Rich. “This will be the first round of stuff where you’re maxing out the potential for what can potentially be built because the market has finally gotten to that place.”

Forthcoming exteriors on Oakview Road near downtown Kirkwood. According to Rich, plans have been modified somewhat since this rendering was compiled. Courtesy of Spencer-Love Homes

Spencer-Love Homes has been working intown since 2014, completing about 25 infill projects per year, almost all in eastside neighborhoods and Decatur. Rich estimates they’ve completed more than 20 homes in Kirkwood to date.  

“About 50 percent of the business we do overall with Spencer-Love is [buyers relocating] from other big major markets, but the majority of our interest [in Kirkwood] has been from move-up buyers who live nearby,” said Rich. “People who want to stay in Kirkwood but need a finished basement and larger house, they’ve been flocking to it.”

Asked to sum up the intown housing market right now, Rich was brief: “It’s wild, man.”  

Recent Kirkwood news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)