Beacham & Co. sees real estate improvement

Beacham & Co.’s February monthly residential real estate market update, Beacham Insider, reports an improved picture for sales closings and sales prices in December for the Buckhead and Sandy Springs markets but not quite so rosy a picture for Brookhaven.

According to the Beacham report, single-family home sales rose 15 percent in Buckhead compared with December 2007, while condo and town house sales rose 2 percent. For all of 2008, Buckhead single-family home sales were down 13 percent, and condo and town home sales were down 39 percent.

Sandy Springs experienced a 22 percent increase in the sale of single-family detached houses in December 2008 from December 2007, while for all of 2008 single-family home sales were down 19 percent.

Condo and town home prices for the Beacham Bellwether index rose 1 percent in December compared with a decline of 9 percent for the Atlanta market as a whole. The Beacham Bellwethers were led by price increases of 5 percent in Buckhead, 9 percent in Decatur/West DeKalb, 10 percent in intown Atlanta and 23 percent in Dunwoody.

“We are encouraged by the fact that the market is showing signs of reaching the bottom,” the Beacham Insider says.

Brookhaven single-family home closings were down 22 percent in December from December 2007, and sales prices fell an average of 1 percent. Closings for Brookhaven condos and town homes were down 24 percent, and average prices were down 9 percent.

For all of 2008, Brookhaven single-family home sales were down 18 percent, and the average price was down 5 percent. For condos and town homes, sales dropped 30 percent, and the average price fell 4 percent.

Pano’s & Paul’s closing Feb. 28 but will return

Pano Karatassos, the CEO of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, decided to delay the closing of the landmark location of Pano’s & Paul’s at West Paces Ferry Road and Northside Parkway until Feb. 28 instead of the original plan of closing after Valentine’s Day dinners.

Pano’s and Paul’s will be reinvented in the fall in the new St. Regis Atlanta Hotel on West Paces Ferry near Peachtree Road but likely will be named Pano’s, dropping the name of Karatassos’ former partner.

The decision to delay the closing was made after a flood of reservations came in for the final days, probably from Atlantans needing a final fix of fried lobster tail.

Grape wine bar, eatery trying for a comeback

Restaurant and wine bar concept The Grape, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, may be purchased out of bankruptcy protection by its chief executive officer and a group of its creditors, according to court documents.

Second Growth LLC, which includes principals in the wine bar chain and former creditors, has made a bid to purchase The Grape Franchise Group for $775,000, according to the court filing. The partners in Second Growth include Grape CEO Greg Freistat and Gary and Katharyn Slagle, who are creditors in the bankruptcy case.

Reportedly, a public auction could be held by the end of February to sell the assets of The Grape Franchise Group, but the sale would not include franchised locations of the wine bar chain.

The Phipps Plaza location is the only remaining corporate store, though several franchises operate and are not part of the bankruptcy case.