Buying new in historic Inman Park

When buyers relocate to the massive metro Atlanta region, some rely on co-workers and friends to suggest possible communities to live.

Andy and Elisa Hill looked on an online map to identify intown areas with the most greenspace, which guided them to Inman Park. The map was the starting point for the couple who love the outdoors and wanted to live in a historic intown community.

Why Atlanta?

The couple was living in Memphis, Tenn., when Andy was transferred for his job with The Coca-Cola Co. They previously lived in downtown Chicago and overseas, in Manchester, England. The Hills were interested in neighborhoods that didn’t require Andy to get on the highway to commute to his job to the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, and from their Inman Park townhome, it’s just a 10-minute trip to work.

Putting down roots

Having fabulous restaurants in walking distance, diverse neighbors and a sense of history were important to the Hills. The couple, who have two dogs, also wanted a pet-friendly neighborhood. A bonus was the BeltLine, which is behind their townhome and a frequent spot for them to walk their dogs and to run or ride their bikes. Also nearby are restaurants such as Kevin Rathbun Steak and they’re looking forward to the opening of Krog Street Market and eateries in the Inman Quarters mixed-use development at 280 Elizabeth St. “My husband and I are big foodies. When you look at Atlanta’s best restaurants, I think we have four or five out of the top 10 within walking distance,” Elisa said.

The townhomes are laid out in a crescent shape with a water fountain centered in the middle of the green space, which reminded them of residences they saw in Bath, England. The 2,600-square-foot townhome has three bedrooms — the guest quarters are on the lower level and the master bedroom and Elisa’s office is on the top level — and three-and-a-half baths. The middle level, which has the kitchen opening to the living room and balcony, is great for entertaining, Elisa said.

“We live in a historical community but we live in a brand new building that still maintains great character and ambiance,” said Elisa, partner with Sandhill Consulting Group.

The townhomes were custom-built, enabling them to pick out their tile, backsplash, countertops, flooring, appliances (including a commercial oven), lighting and other features. They moved in during October 2012.

Relocation tip

If working with a designer, find one who is located in or lives in the neighborhood. The Hills worked with John Ishmael from Nandina Home & Design in Inman Park, who understood the community and its architecture, Elisa said. They mixed old pieces, such as an antique English dining table, with new pieces, such as a contemporary glass light fixture in the foyer. Nandina also helped them create a conversation piece on one wall in the living room, with photos that they have taken in Russia, Egypt, Africa and other countries mounted on canvas.