By Jason Massad
A property agent says a Christmas Eve fire that destroyed an abandoned house on Dresden Drive won’t stop redevelopment of the land and neighboring houses.
The house stood in a blighted area on Dresden Drive across from Village Place Brookhaven that could soon fill with upscale townhomes or shops as the area is quickly gentrifying, the agent said.
DeKalb County fire personnel from Fire Station No. 2 said the house was “rolling” by the time they responded to an emergency call at 4 a.m. Dec. 24. Firefighters fought the blaze for two hours and much of the structure was lost in the blaze.
Firefighters said that the abandoned homes in the area are not a fire problem, in general. This particular property has had multiple fires on the property.
Mikel Muffley, of Muffley & Associates, holds a purchase contract on the property as part of a larger deal with a developer. He said that the fire damage is no great loss to the future development of the area.
The old house was going to be torn down to make way for a development plan that will materialize in the next 6 to 12 months, he said.
“My guess is that homeless people get in there,” he said, “and they’re cold and they start a fire and it gets away from them.”
Muffley has contracts on several homes along Dresden Drive on property that extends to Apple Valley Road. The property covers about 3 acres and is zoned for high-density development.
A former developer had to hand the property back to the bank, which made way for the new development deal along the trendy area of Dresden Drive, Muffley said. He didn’t disclose the new development group.
He said the houses under contract would make way for one new development.
“It could be more townhomes or more cute shops. I don’t think anyone knows yet,” he said.
Muffley said that the development along Dresden Drive is representative of a lot of new building in the Brookhaven area surrounding Village Place Brookhaven.
Older homes are being torn down in areas around Ashford Park and Village Place Brookhaven for the custom home buyer.
A custom home buyer is in a good place in the market, Muffley said. Banks are not lending money to builders to construct homes on speculation. But someone who wants to enter the marketplace, buy an older home site and then build on it can receive the financing to do so.
Muffley said he’s built about 65 homes around the area.