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Captain Obvious

Glenwood Park: Developer Profile

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New Career, New Urbanism

Published: February 6, 2005

After agreeing to merge his creation, MindSpring, with EarthLink in 1999, Charles M. Brewer stayed awhile as chairman of the combined company. He quit in the summer of 2000 after disagreeing with other EarthLink officials on strategy and what he called the combined company's "core culture and beliefs."

After cashing in stock options worth more than $50 million, he didn't have to do much of anything. But now, at 46, he is building a 400-home development in Atlanta; he has invested $8 million in it.

At first glance, real estate development may seem an odd career choice for the man who invested $80,000 in MindSpring, an Internet service provider, in 1994. But Mr. Brewer, who has an economics degree from Amherst College and an M.B.A. from Stanford, said he was never really a high-tech guy. "I'm more of an entrepreneur looking for interesting business ideas," he said.

He previously didn't view real estate as a calling of high principle. "I'm interested in the environment," he said. "So I had always thought of developers as destroyers." He said he considered suburban sprawl distasteful: "I just don't like a lot of what's being built - garage doors facing the streets, walled-off subdivisions and commercial pods with big parking lots."

He researched ideas and came across "new urbanism": the blending of housing, offices, stores and parks into compact neighborhoods that foster a sense of community and reduce the need for driving.

He didn't find his lack of real estate experience daunting. "To be a developer you just sort of say you are one," he said. "It's not like you have to go back to school and take nuclear physics."

He founded Green Street Properties in 2001, bought 28 acres of former industrial land two miles east of downtown Atlanta and asked experienced developers and consultants to help design the development, Glenwood Park, where detached homes and row houses nestle beside shops, restaurants and small office buildings. He says the residences, at $150,000 to $700,000, are selling well, and he is already looking for other land to develop.

That may be in a different part of town, or in another city. But he wants to keep living in Atlanta, where he bicycles to work. And he insists on being home at dinnertime with his wife, Jenny, and their three children. "That's nonnegotiable," he said.

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This might have been posted in previous threads, but here's the website...

Glenwood Park

And here are some great Feb. 6th photos of the project, from AtlantaLarry's blog...

Glenwood Park Photos

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teshadoh    0

Since no one has responded - I'll just make a note that I love this development. It's a short walk from where I live now, but across the freeway. So far they have had 3 confirmed retail establishements, a tapas bar, a coffee shop, & a wine bar / bookstore - looking forward to going to these stores starting next month.

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