Welcome to Atlanta, Where The Players Play at the Mandarin Oriental Residences

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Mandarin Oriental Atlanta on Right

One episode of Designing Women has Julia Sugarbaker boast, “I don’t like to brag, but I’ve turned a few heads in my time.” To which Mary Jo retorts, “Well, you didn’t do it with those.”  Of course they weren’t talking about the Atlanta penthouse situated atop the Mandarin Oriental hotel and condominium project, because heads would certainly turn without argument.

The unfinished shell is two full floors encompassing 9,627 square feet with four bedrooms and four full, plus three half bathrooms.  It’s listed with Karen Rodriguez of GROUP KORA, part of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.  The price is a secret … well, not a secret, but it depends what a buyer wants.  There’s a shell price. Finished out similar spec to the other units price. And a “ya want us to do what?” price.

The building has a bit of a Dallas connection.  Seems Rosewood was the original management company for the iStar developed project back in 2008 as the recession took hold.  It was even to have been called The Mansion on Peachtree. In a twist of fate, around the same time, Mandarin Oriental was fixin’ to open a project in Dallas’ Victory Park that fizzled out.  Mandarin left Dallas and took over Rosewood’s role at this property.

"Typical" Mandarin Oriental Atlanta Kitchen

“Typical” Mandarin Oriental Atlanta Kitchen

Mandarin usually likes more input on building design but liked this 580-foot-tall octagonal property.  You see, in Chinese culture, the eight is a lucky number. And this project has worked out very well.

The building is located in tony Buckhead across from Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square, Atlanta’s “North Park” shopping centers. Buckhead is on the north side of Atlanta and is often listed as one of the wealthiest Zip codes in the nation.  Heck fire, the governor’s mansion is in Buckhead (where Julia got her head stuck in the staircase)!  The property’s address is 3376 Peachtree Rd. NE, but since everything in Atlanta is on one Peachtree or another, that may not help much.

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The Mandarin designers have provided prospective buyers with a sample floor plan to help them visualize how the space may be configured.  Of course, being a shell, a buyer can do whatever they want.  For example, I asked whether the terraces can be expanded by pulling the windows at either end further into the building.  Yes, should I win the lottery, they can.

First Floor of Penthouse with Proposed Configuration

First Floor of Penthouse with Proposed Configuration

In this configuration, the “ground” floor of this home contains all the shared spaces … well except for the staff bedroom suite. In the middle, separated by a hallway are the Living and dining rooms.  On either end is the kitchen with a keeping room (that I might ditch to expand the terrace, since I’m not sure what I’d “keep” in a keeping room). At the other end (right) is the crash pad with its bar, wine room, lounge, music room and library.  The kitchen’s a bit far away, but you can pop the basics into the bar and be pretty self-contained. It’s even got a nearby powder room.

Upper Floor of Penthouse

Upper Floor of Penthouse

The second floor contains some surprises along with the unit’s bedrooms.  One thing you notice is the whole lower left corner is taken up literally by a spa and gym … and the potential for a pool! There’s also a locker room for Airbnb guests (someone’s gotta help me with the hefty mortgage). The upper right corner is the master suite with its own private terrace and all the space you’d expect.

I have to be honest, the most architecturally fun thing about this floor is the “Upper Lounge” located center bottom.  You may be wondering why the seating is tucked to one side … the rest of it is open to below.  It’s nothing unusual to have two-story areas in single-family homes, but in a high-rise they can be exceptionally dramatic … triggering a bit of residential vertigo.  You see, from the upper level you can see not only straight out the windows, but straight down to the ground through the lower floor’s windows.  From 40-odd stories off the ground, that’s an interesting view.  Making it even more visually disconcerting is that you can stand back from the windows, say 20 feet, and still see straight to the ground.  It’s a little jarring to catch the view out of the corner of your eye and definitely worth the price of admission.

"Typical" Living Room at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta

“Typical” Living Room at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta

In addition to the penthouse, there are whole or half floor units still available … even though 75 percent of the building has sold out.  Oh, and in this building, the half floor unit is the starter unit. But understand they won’t last forever.  This is a small 40-unit complex made even smaller by the fact many of the units are owned by part-timers who perambulate between their many residences.  Given the proximity to Halloween and the white design aesthetics, you might call it a ghost town … a wealthy, wealthy ghost town.

Intrigued but not a high-riser?  There are three townhouse “maisonettes” built at the rear of the property on the backside of an English garden which acts as a beautiful privacy screen. Unlike Dallas’ largely unsellable townhomes at the Ritz Residences, these townhomes face inwards and not onto a busy street.

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Each has three bedrooms with a third floor master retreat.  Stair and elevator access, ‘natch! The interiors are similar in quality and style to the tower, just closer to the ground.  As you can see in the pic above, window space isn’t an issue.  Each home also has a nifty patio perfect for barbecuing.

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Masionette kitchens are full of cabinetry and light-filled with a bank of windows along its border.  Of course you can buy the remaining shell and finish it as you like, but you better act quickly.  When I visited, one was occupied, one being finished out for a buyer leaving just one shell to entice.

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The light continues into the living room with its grand fireplace of book-matched marble. The painting in this picture gives a nod to the Mandarin Oriental’s history.

Maisonette Bathroom at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta

Maisonette Bathroom at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta

Regardless of whether you purchase a condo or maisonette, you get the full Mandarin Oriental treatment.  Access to the spa, meeting and banquet spaces, 24-hour room service, valet parking, etc.  Security on property is high-tech with fingerprint access to the building, elevators and other areas.

Owners also are enrolled in the “Residences Elite” program with Mandarin Oriental hotels worldwide that essentially gets you free stuff.  The best perk being a free room upgrade … upon booking (immediate) versus upon arrival (you’re here, let’s see what’s not already been paid for).  I could have used one of those cards on my recent Hong Kong visit (Mandarin Oriental’s mothership with three hotels).

Helllllooooooooo.  Is anyone listening?  🙂

If you’ve got a pinch more dough than me and want your life to be a Mandarin Oriental life (and I’ve definitely been “a fan” forever) get in touch with the Atlanta sales team.  It’s time you turned some heads.

 

Remember: When I’m not stirring up trouble in Dallas, Texas or Honolulu, Hawaii for Candysdirt.com and SecondShelters.com, I’m off scouting interesting locations for a second home.  In 2016, my writing was recognized with Bronze and Silver awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors. If you’re a Realtor with second home clients who’d like me to feature their journey, shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com