By John Schaffner
editor@reporternewspapers.net

Village Place Brookhaven, the mixed-use community on Dresden Road that recently went through a foreclosure proceeding, has been taken over by Wrightwood Capital, a Chicago-based real estate finance and investment firm.

Developer Dan Woodley Communities defaulted this year on a $4.2 million construction loan for the project. The total debt on the project exceeded $21 million in two loans that were held by affiliates of Wrightwood Capital.

The Brookhaven development, located on Dresden Drive between Caldwell Road and Camille Drive, includes 41 residences and 10 office condominiums built above 30,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space in two buildings. It is about a quarter-mile off Peachtree Road, near the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe University MARTA rail station.

Village Place Brookhaven features more than 22 custom-designed floor plans for condominiums, including lofts and brownstones, and offers assigned covered parking and other amenities, as well as the stores and restaurants, within a 5-acre site.

“Village Place Brookhaven was designed and built on a human scale and truly adds to the stable, established neighborhood surrounding it,” said Dillon Baynes, the president of Orinda Corp., which will manage the project for Wrightwood Capital.

“The retailers here are not solely dependent on residents of Village Place Brookhaven but actually benefit from traffic generated by our neighbors as well, and the fine restaurants in the area have already become destinations,” Baynes said.

Condo sales ground to a standstill when the credit markets went into a deep freeze in September, and all evidence of construction halted. Residents in the area wondered about the fate of the project, which was designed to put a vibrant retail and residential development within walking distance of established Brookhaven neighborhoods.

Woodley defaulted on both the $4.2 million loan backed by the equity of the limited liability corporation he formed to build the project and a $17.4 million mortgage on the property, according to Charles Weiss, a partner in the real estate finance department of McKenna, Long & Aldridge in Atlanta, who spoke to the Brookhaven Reporter in March. The smaller of the loans was due Feb. 1. When Woodley defaulted, the lender moved to take the property.

“Wrightwood Capital is committed to the ongoing revitalization of this vibrant area of Atlanta,” a Wrightwood Capital representative said. “The successful completion of the development, along with our financial commitment, will ensure the success of Village Place Brookhaven.”

“We are pleased that Verde Taqueria has just opened to great crowds,” Baynes said. “In addition, a diverse collection of boutiques, small retail establishments and service providers has expressed interest in joining the existing tenant community, which includes Davonshire (a gift and housewares store), the Library Coffee Co., Allure Boutique, The Mercantile and two new restaurants.”

Wrightwood Capital is a privately held firm that helps commercial real estate borrowers nationwide. The firm has closed more than 470 loans to more than 200 borrowers nationwide, totaling approximately $5 billion.

Atlanta-based Orinda is a project management and development firm based in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward at Studioplex, a renovated cotton compress warehouse. The Village Place Brookhaven sales center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5.