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Housing Construction Cluster

It has been about five years since most housing construction came to a halt in southeast Atlanta and elsewhere in our city. Now a cluster of new home building has appeared along Hemlock Circle in Ormewood Park.
At 423 Hemlock Circle near Sanders Street, panelized components for a new house were delivered to the site on a flatbed truck at the beginning of the summer. The foundation and main floor decking had been completed in advance. The panelized components made it possible to complete the shell and roof of the house fairly quickly. The interior and exterior finishes took a little longer. This two-story house is on a narrow lot in a section where most surrounding homes are only one story. A low pitched hip roof helps it to not overpower the scale of neighboring houses in keeping with the character of the area.
At 621 Hemlock Circle, a new house designed by Ormewood Park area architect Robert Ross is getting finishing touches. Ross has designed at least 20 other homes in and around Ormewood Park, as well as several along Hemlock Circle at Hemlock and Moreland Place. Ross is very skilled at capturing the design elements of the Craftsman style home. He enhances the buildings by fitting in features and details that were not used in the early 20th century Craftsman period but needed in our lives today.
Ross is also very adept at fitting the design of the house to the terrain of the lot. All the lots with his houses along Hemlock Circle have challenging terrain. For example, the house at 621 Hemlock Circle is built into the side of a steep bank, which cannot be seen from the street. The front of the house is in keeping with the size of other newer houses around it.
1059 Berne Street, located at the south end of Hemlock Circle where it meets Berne Street, is on a challenging lot, too. It is uphill from the street and requires grading to get a driveway. The house has the Craftsman styling seen throughout the area. It has a poured concrete foundation, unfinished basement, two floors of living space and bedrooms, and a large unfinished attic space. The uphill terrain will allow the future owners to finish the basement space without fear that it might flood later.
The fourth new house is not in Ormewood Park. It’s in Grant Park at 947 Cherokee Avenue. This two-story house is on a narrow lot south of the Atlanta Zoo. It is a Victorian style, often seen in Victorian neighborhoods in other cities, but not so common in Grant Park.
It’s not possible to predict an improvement in the economy from just the construction of a few new houses. It does show that several builders and the financial institutions backing them have enough confidence to go ahead with putting up new houses.

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