Audubon Communities completes $4.3M Vinings apartment complex renovation

Pictured is the exterior of the new amenity building at the Forest Hills at Vinings apartment community.

Audubon Communities, an Atlanta-based company specializing in the acquisition, repositioning and management of multifamily properties throughout the Southeast, has capped a three-year, $4.3 million renovation and upgrade of the Forest Hills at Vinings apartment community with the opening of a new amenity building.

After acquiring Forest Hills at Vinings in late 2014, Audubon embarked on a major interior and exterior renovation to upgrade and reposition the asset to better compete with newer properties. The capital improvements included installing new energy-efficient windows and doors, and replacing the failed cedar siding with more durable fiber cement siding. Other exterior improvements included new privacy fencing, and a new, more contemporary wood and metal entrance canopy over the townhome apartments.

Unit interiors received upgraded trim and flooring that incorporated more modern finishes, while select units received a higher-end package that included all new cabinets with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Sunrooms were also reconfigured to provide more comfortable and useable space for residents.

After the initial capital improvements were complete, Audubon and its investment partner, Harbert Management Corp., turned their focus on upgrading the amenity package.

“Despite the significant capital investment, we felt that the existing amenities were not consistent with the premium location and the high-end exterior and interior renovations that we had already completed,” Audubon Managing Director Christopher Edwards said in a news release. “The existing fitness room was located in the lower level of the leasing office and was dark and undersized. Ultimately we felt that we needed to offer new and better amenities to better compete with a Class A property.”

Audubon initially upgraded the pool area and relocated the dog park away from the leasing office, into an area that previously contained a dilapidated handball court. Last year they created a new 1-acre park that featured an outdoor patio with two outdoor grilling stations, a fire pit and a sitting wall.

Using land previously occupied by two underused tennis courts, and working with architects at Dwell Design Group, Audubon developed a new stand-alone amenity building. The building contains two distinct uses. The 1,600-square-foot, state-of-the-art fitness center features cardio and free weights along with space for yoga and stretching. The fitness center is paired with a new 1,000-square-foot resident lounge that features a billiards table, two large-screen televisions, multiple seating area for individuals and groups, along with complimentary Starbucks coffee and Wi-Fi service. Tying the spaces together is a wide, wraparound porch that overlooks the new park, patio and swimming pool area. The project was built and equipped for $700,000.

Audubon will next add new mail kiosks and parcel storage for the residents of Forest Hills at Vinings, which is located at 3900 Paces Walk.

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