Hillside community finds new direction
By Katie Cole
More than two years after the real estate market collapsed, Lake Martin is beginning to see signs of recovery. Home sales increased this year and a steady stream of boaters buoyed the area’s economy this summer.
However, the market seems to have changed as new development tends to be smaller both in size and price tag.
Water’s Edge, a new development off County Road 20 in Coosa County, is an example of both trends. Aliant Bank foreclosed on the development in May 2009 and two unfinished foundations were left sitting on the shore.
Two years later, the houses are complete. While the homes are different from the original plan, everyone involved with the project is confident the homes can compete in the new market.
Several people were involved in seeing the project to fruition: Rich Humphrey, vice president of Aliant Bank’s Special Assets Department; Brian Jones, co-owner of the Atlanta-based Jones Pierce Architects; John Coley, realtor and owner of Lake Martin Voice Realty and builder Wade Wilmeth.
Humphrey, Jones and Coley met soon after the foreclosure to discuss how to move forward with the project. Coley said the joint discussion was a “unique” collaboration that helped shape the development’s direction.
“The question was, “What can we build that we will be able to sell in this new economy,” Coley said. “We had to scale it down in scale and price.”
The tricky part of the project was developing a new house plan based on the already-built foundation, according to Humphrey.
“The assignment for Bryan was to take the existing footprint that was in place and basically come up with a new plan,” he explained.
Wade Wilmeth was responsible for carrying out the project on deadline.
“Wade is in many ways the unsung hero as his job was to take the vision that was drawn on paper and turn it into reality. He did an excellent job in terms of quality of construction and attention to details … and you can really see it after you walk through both houses,” Humphrey said.
The homes are similar but each has distinct features. The yellow, two-story house has three bedrooms on the second floor, while the first floor has the great room and the kitchen. The blue house is laid out similarly but includes an unfinished third floor that could function as a playroom or sleeping area.
Both houses have marble countertops in the kitchen, concrete floor in the main room, sliding doors to the bedrooms and industrial accents. The yellow house is priced at $529,000 and the blue house at $549,000, about half of the price point of the original plan.
The views are the real selling points of both houses, according to Coley. Located on a hillside, the houses offer panoramic views of Lake Martin.