By RACHEL TOBIN RAMOS, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, October 24, 2008
Depending on how you look at it, it’s either a fire sale or the end of exuberant real estate prices. Either way, you’ll need a large wallet to cash in on this deal.
The price for the “Pink Palace,” a 1926 mansion built for the Rhodes Furniture family on West Paces Ferry Road, was slashed in half Friday. It’s gone from $20 million to $10 million.
The home, designed by one of the architects of the historic Swan House, debuted like a Southern belle last year as the most expensive listing in Buckhead.
But with the price reduction — coming on the heels of historic volatility on Wall Street — it’s now tied for seventh most expensive.
“Believe me, this was not my idea” said Rosina Seydel, the listing agent with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty . She is a sister of Rutherford Seydel, a co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers. They lived in the house in the 1970s as children.
She doesn’t see it as a fire sale. “This is not a discount,” she said. “It’s an opportunity. I really look at it like a blue chip stock, or like art.”
When asked if the house had been overpriced, Seydel said, “The market always shows us what things are worth. Was Coca-Cola stock overpriced before?”
The pink stucco Italian Baroque home is on 3.5 acres on Buckhead’s toniest avenue.
It has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a four-car garage.
The owner, Zurab Lezhava, bought the house as a wedding gift for his wife in 2004. He paid $3.6 million, according to Fulton County tax records.
His wife, Nino, however, took the reins of the Georgian Ballet after her father died last year. The couple is returning to the country of Georgia, instead of remaining in the house that Lezhava spent several years restoring. Lezhava wouldn’t disclose how much he spent on renovations.
In the last year, the house has been the scene of Buckhead society parties. R&B singer Ne-Yo used the house as the scene for the cover of his latest album, “Year of the Gentleman.”
Rosina Seydel loves that Lezhava painstakingly restored the house with an eye to sustainability. He used a geothermal heating system, for example.
“It’s not a house that because you have $10 million you can go re-create,” said Seydel. “It’s an Atlanta landmark.”
However, Glennis Beacham, a realtor and owner of Beacham & Co., a luxury real estate agency in Buckhead, sees it as a rational price adjustment.
“I think the first price was aggressive. Now it’s a realistic value,” said Beacham, who sold Lezhava the house.
Many homes listed last year were priced aggressively, she explained, based on what the market had been doing. Prices “definitely have been adjusted,” this year, she said.
Luxury homeowners still are getting a good price, if not top dollar, for their homes.
Houses above $3 million are selling at about 90 percent of asking price, she said, while homes below $3 million are getting about 92 percent of asking price.
She said that while there are other historic homes on the market in Buckhead, the Pink Palace has been “beautifully renovated and is move-in ready. A big plus.”
• To see more photos of the Pink Palace, go to www.541westpaces.com/