By Shandra Hill Smith
With the openings of new hotels such as Renaissance Atlanta Midtown and Loews Atlanta, condominium sales rebounding from the economic downturn and new restaurants and businesses opening – Midtown is proving to be a draw for metro Atlantans who want to live in the city. Atlanta INtown takes a closer look at the Midtown Magic for some of those who call this slice of the city home.
As a real estate professional, Peter Bade spends his days showing properties to homebuyers in the market.  And, as to be expected with the territory, Bade is mindful that every potential won’t end with a close. Two years ago, when Bade showed a unit at 1010 Midtown, a pass by one particular client wound up being a good thing – at least personally for Bade, a realtor who is part of the Intowners team with ReMax Metro Atlanta Cityside and considers his primary market to be Virginia Highland.
“It just kind of spoke to me,” says Bade of the unit he’d, just minutes before, shown a client who didn’t quite fall in love with the property when he realized the space “just felt right” to him. Within six months, Bade had moved into his new home at 1010 Midtown on Peachtree St. between 11th and 12th streets (1010midtown.com).
“I love the convenience of having so many restaurants, the High Museum, Piedmont Park, the MARTA train stations and places of interest all within walking distance,” says Bade, who’d lived in Virginia Highland since 1979 before relocating to Midtown in 2009.
“Virginia Highland is more of a neighborhood,” Bade adds. “This is more urban or city-like. In Virginia Highland you can walk to restaurants and parks. In Midtown you can walk to the drug store, the grocery store as well as restaurants and parks. You’re accessible to a lot more.”
The way Bahareh Azizi sees it, what’s not to like about Midtown, a place she describes as “a dynamic, vibrant part of Atlanta that is a central place for bringing together the music, arts, culture, and, most important, friendly people.
For Azizi, Piedmont Park scores high. “On any day you can take a walk in the park and feel the spirit of people playing sports, running, having a picnic, or just taking their pets for a walk,” she says.  “After a long, hectic day at work, the harmony of the park is just a perfect way to refresh and reflect. The fact that I can walk to the park on a daily basis, as well as on days of festivals and concerts, is so rewarding.”
A research scientist at Georgia Tech, Azizi lives in Ansley Above the Park (aatpcondos.com). “I think that we have a great community, with a pool and a terrace that both have great views of the surrounding area,” says Azizi.” I feel very lucky to be able to live where I do.”
In addition to walking to Piedmont Park – where Azizi takes advantage of the park’s accessible tennis courts – she also finds it easy to get around for shopping and dining, along with outings to attractions such as the Atlanta Botanical Garden. “Most of the times on the weekends, I don’t use my car and because I live where I live, I have the ability to walk to certain stores and restaurants.”
Some of the places Azizi frequents include The Nook on Piedmont Park, Joe’s on Juniper and Highland Bakery. “I am really excited about the restaurants that are opening on Juniper St. I am excited about the changes in Piedmont Park and the addition of the fountains and look forward to the future expansion projects.”
Juniper Street is an exciting place for Rad Slough, too. Slough lives at 905 Juniper, an eight-story, mixed-use development located at the southeast corner of 8th and Juniper streets.
“We have been blessed during the downturn to not lose much value compared to the original purchase prices of the building,” says Slough, one of the original condominium owners.
The owner of Urban Body Fitness, Slough values the convenience of being able to get to some of his favorite restaurants such as Noodle Midtown, Mu Lan, Tierra, Ecco, Einstein’s and HOBNOB and the W Atlanta Midtown Hotel and Woodruff Arts Center. He also enjoys some of 905 Juniper’s amenities, including its pool, club room, and exercise center. “Even though I own Urban Body Fitness, sometimes it is nice just to pop downstairs and do something in the gym and walk back upstairs!”
Bade, too, gets in his share of workouts, namely for core training and yoga — and finds the Exhale Atlanta spa inside the Loews Hotel to be ideal for that.
In addition, he enjoys walking to Piedmont Park and to the homes of friends who get together to play cards at times and for dinner on occasion. Choice places for dining out include South City Kitchen Midtown, Einstein’s, Piola and Pasta Da Pulcinella.
In his own building, one that he finds provides him a great view of the Midtown skyline, Bade takes advantage of the clubhouse (where he’s held both a rehearsal dinner for his niece and a birthday party for a friend), pool and fitness center.
“This makes entertaining so much easier. I live on the eighth floor, which boasts the pool, outdoor kitchen and my 900 square-foot patio.”
Perhaps Azizi sums it up best: “I feel that every day, there is some new adventure in Midtown.”

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.