Ashton Woods’ Aria project, which sparked local controversy in Sandy Springs, won a construction industry design award July 29 at a Florida conference.
“Aria” is the unified name for three projects around Abernathy Road and Glenridge Drive covering over 100 acres and with nearly 1,000 housing units, as well as a new city park and some commercial space. One part under construction now is the site where the Glenridge Hall mansion was demolished last year. Another phase will go alongside Mercedes-Benz USA’s future headquarters off Barfield Road, and the third section is a townhome project along Glenridge Drive.
The redevelopment sparked neighborhood protests and lawsuit threats last year, starting with the surprise demolition of the 85-year-old Glenridge Hall mansion by its owners in advance of a sale. After Ashton Woods won redevelopment rights, its plan for high-density housing, especially apartments, along the Mercedes-Benz site drew protests. The plan involves cutting down a large section of forest.
At the Southeast Building Conference in Kissimmee, Fla., Aria won an “Aurora Award” for design in the category “Best On the Boards Mixed Use Project.” The award is presented by the conference and the Florida Home Builders Association.
“We’re honored to receive recognition for Aria’s plan and design,” said Mike Busher, Ashton Woods Atlanta’s senior vice president of land and urban development, in a press release. “Our team is excited to bring this project to life, creating a community in harmony with the area and offering exceptionally designed homes that our buyers love.”
The press release describes the project by saying, “As the name suggests, Aria is designed to celebrate the harmonious balance of nature and city living by offering expertly crafted homes set amid greenspaces, common areas and retail shops.” It also describes the Sandy Springs location as “an urban oasis in close proximity to the bustle of Atlanta.”