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Old 10-21-2012, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 1,117,410 times
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Mr. Researchnerd and I happened to drive through downtown Woodstock yesterday and was really surprised at how different it looked from even five years ago. We walked around and explored a bunch, and counted at least ten restaurants, two gyms, 2-3 bars, boutiques, a bike shop, multiple parks, etc.

In back of all the shops there's a neighborhood called Woodstock Downtown. This "New Urban" development was originally started by Hedgewood Homes (of Vickery Village fame in South Forsyth), before Hedgewood succumbed to the recession in 2008 and all construction came to a grinding halt. It was a little depressing over there for a while, but it seems to be booming now. Much of the unfinished property has been purchased by John Wieland, who is continuing development, but in a less...unique way.

There are currently a number of the original Hedgewood homes and townhouses for sale. I find them interesting because each house is different, they're not cookie-cutter houses with identical mailboxes. Even though they were all built around the same time, they almost look like they've grown in organically. The houses are very close together, but they seem to have been constructed with reasonable privacy in mind - trees are planted strategically in front of windows, courtyards face in opposite directions, etc. The Hedgewood website claims that they used EarthCraft-certified green construction methods, so the houses should be low-maintenance and energy efficient. However, they are not inexpensive.

I'm wondering whether this could be the walkable village environment I was seeking when I moved to Kirkwood last year. There would obviously be tradeoffs -- my commute would be considerably longer, but you all wouldn't have to listen to me complain about city crime any more. Assuming we could afford one of these houses...and could live with the HOA...does anyone know of a downside to living here? I lived in Cherokee County for 10+ years so I know the area, and I'm familiar with the traffic on 92 and 575. I'm just curious if anyone has experience with this part of Woodstock and this neighborhood.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:40 PM
 
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If you think those houses are pricey now, you should have seen them when they were built. I toured the homes when they were being built, and the construction is pretty good. The condos continue to struggle with sales, and probably will for a while, but the area overall is exploding. The only "downside" I could see is that it's very hard to get a table at any of the restaurants on the weekend, but that will hopefully improve as more restaurants open.

Holly Springs is getting started on their downtown this year, which will be similar but smaller. Final plans aren't complete yet, so I don't know the extent of the residential component, but if it takes off like Woodstock did, I'm sure there will be some housing built in or near the project. We live about 2.5 miles from it, and would jump at the chance to buy there (Holly Springs' downtown, that is)
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Woodstock, GA
1,983 posts, read 3,348,398 times
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We live a mile from downtown Woodstock and we love the area, especially downtown. Yes it can be hard to get a table on Friday or Saturday if you go during peak times, but if you live within walking distance that would be pretty easy to avoid.

There's lots of neat stuff, and more planned. They have festivals and concerts regularly. Just last night they had a free movie in the park (Ice Age 4). They have plans to turn the area east of the downtown park (the space in front of the aquatic center) in to an ampitheater. The Woodstock Art & Wine festival will be November 4 & 5 if you want to come and visit. And the Elm Street Theater performs in the Chambers at City Center (they will soon have a new home about a block away).

We have watched the downtown blossom in to something truly amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by researchnerd View Post
Mr. Researchnerd and I happened to drive through downtown Woodstock yesterday and was really surprised at how different it looked from even five years ago. We walked around and explored a bunch, and counted at least ten restaurants, two gyms, 2-3 bars, boutiques, a bike shop, multiple parks, etc.

I'm wondering whether this could be the walkable village environment I was seeking when I moved to Kirkwood last year.....does anyone know of a downside to living here?
As wonderful as the area is, it is missing one important item to make it truly walkable: a grocery store. The nearest one is at least 3 miles away (south, west, or north). I understand they have plans to add a grocery store eventually near the apartments that are currently going up just west of Main Street. But I don't think that will be finished for at least a year. And I hate to say it, but the closest thing to a pharmacy/general store isn't really that impressive (the Woodstock Pharmacy) and has very limited hours.

The only other downside I can think of is the noise. Pure likes to play live music in the evenings in their rooftop bar. I'm sure it can be heard in all the condos. Not so sure how much of the noise makes it back to the Hedgewood townhomes. Freight and Firestone also have outdoor live music during certain times of the year, but not as loud as Pure. The concerts in the park will also be quite noticeable: we can faintly hear them outside where we live. And of course you have to like trains. We get about 3 freight trains each weekday during the day. Sometimes we will get one or two on the weekends and occasionally one will come through late in the evenings. On very rare occasion I will hear one in the middle of the night.

And I agree about the Weiland homes: not nearly as interesting or appealing as the original Hedgewood houses.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:07 PM
 
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Aren't the Weiland homes significantly less expensive than Hedgewood were when they started?

Is your commute to downtown Atlanta or thereabout?
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:40 PM
 
9,124 posts, read 32,094,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastminutemom View Post
Aren't the Weiland homes significantly less expensive than Hedgewood were when they started?

Is your commute to downtown Atlanta or thereabout?
Yes, the Weiland homes are considerably less, but also not as nice. The Hedgewood homes have wood shake roof, and some very nice finishes that you won't see in the Weiland homes. The new homes are still pretty nice though.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 1,117,410 times
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Thanks BobKovacs and billl. I had no idea there was so much going on in little Woodstock - I remember it being completely dead like "downtown" Ball Ground. I don't think music from Pure would be a problem, and I actually love train noises.

The grocery store is a great idea, but that's not super high on my priority list. When I first moved to Cherokee, the nearest grocery store was 10 miles away, and that was kind of a pain; 3 miles is no big deal. I'd love to see a little neighborhood style grocery over there though - how cool would that be?

lastminutemom, I believe the Wieland homes are less expensive, but I don't know how much. I do remember the Hedgewood houses at Vickery being something like $600k to $1mil, which of course would never sell now. The market equalization has been incredibly difficult for millions of people, but at least we got more reasonable home prices out of the deal.

Yes, I would need to commute to downtown Atlanta. I know the Xpress commuter bus is an option. It would have even been walkable if the pickup/dropoff point was still at the First Baptist Church, but it looks like they moved it. Boo!
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:48 PM
 
9,124 posts, read 32,094,329 times
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Yes, they move it to the His Hands church off 92 a few years back. I've got a coworker who takes the bus (he likes in Towne Lake), and it doesnt really save much time- just lets someone else do the driving.

The Hedgewood homes in Woodstock ran from about $450-700k when new, if I recall correctly, but now some have been listed in the high $300's. Prices seem to have been going back up as the downtown has grown.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Woodstock, GA
1,983 posts, read 3,348,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by researchnerd View Post
Thanks BobKovacs and billl. I had no idea there was so much going on in little Woodstock - I remember it being completely dead like "downtown" Ball Ground. I don't think music from Pure would be a problem, and I actually love train noises.
We do too, as long as they don't wake us up in the middle of the night!

Quote:
The grocery store is a great idea, but that's not super high on my priority list. When I first moved to Cherokee, the nearest grocery store was 10 miles away, and that was kind of a pain; 3 miles is no big deal. I'd love to see a little neighborhood style grocery over there though - how cool would that be?
It would be fantastic. It would make that area nearly complete (just need a liquor store). I know some entrepenuers that wanted to turn the old auto parts storefront in to such a place, but the fitness center beat them to the property.

Next time you go thru, stop in Cupcakealicious for some delicious cupcakes.

We have eaten at all the restaurants in the area (except Hot Dog Heaven and the new BBQ place). We like them all for different reasons, but my favorites have to be Century House and Magnolia Thomas. The only one we are not impressed with is the frozen yogurt place. Yoguri (on Towne Lake) is much better. We haven't tried the new martini bar yet -- just haven't had the chance, but it is on our list of things to do.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:56 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 32,094,329 times
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New BBQ place? Did I miss something????
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Woodstock, GA
1,983 posts, read 3,348,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
New BBQ place? Did I miss something????
No net gain. The old Beetle's is now J. Millers. Supposedly all different (but they're still using the beetlesbbq domain name). They opened about the same time as the Wing & Rock festival.

Towne Lake just west of Main St.
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