Charles “Chaz” Coffin and Ann Fritts were living a comfortable life in their 8,000 square foot East Cobb abode that they called home since 1998. Until Charles — retired director of tax affairs for General Electric Global — saw a sight that piqued his curiosity.
written by LaTria Garnigan
photography by Erin Gray Cantrell
“I kept seeing outside my office window these towers and cranes going up, so I finally decided to go and walk and find out [about it].” His office was only a few blocks away.
After that visit and the opportunity to see a top-level unit, Charles was sold and the rest is history. The couple have been in their 3,500 square foot home in the sky since 2008 and have no plans to leave.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION>>As two of the first owners in the building, Charles and Ann were able to get in on the ground floor of the construction process and decided very early on to buy two units and merge them together. They were able to get a one-story and two-story unit together, which created a dynamic space and made it possible for them to have four bedrooms.
“We did a little exploration beforehand and found out there were no vertical plumbing and utilities so we excavated through and stabilized the structure,” said Charles.
There is a breezeway that connects the two units with a common arch theme that can be seen in other areas of the home.
WHAT A VIEW>>Having a top floor unit comes with one of the best views of the area. With the two terraces, Charles and Ann can view — SunTrust Park, Kennesaw Mountain, Lost Mountain, downtown Marietta and even parts of the King and Queen buildings in Sandy Springs.
The floor to ceiling windows cover the bulk of the outside walls of the home and make for some spectacular scenery at night when the surrounding buildings are lit.
From a safety standpoint, the windows are Category 4 Hurricane grade — which came in handy during the tornado of 2009 that damaged several spots in the Atlanta area. They also feature UV protection and shades that can be controlled manually or with “electric eyes.”
“They measure the intensity of the light and if it gets too intense, it will automatically bring the shades down,” he said.
BUILDING AMENITIES>>While Ann said they never thought they would be living in a high-rise, they have quickly acclimated to their surroundings. Most clear days, Ann can be found leaving their building and venturing across the street to connect to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
“It’s literally right behind the building. It’s so wonderful to be able to go and walk along the trail; it’s good for me and the dog.”
Speaking of dogs, the homeowners association helped to build a two-section dog park last year that Charles said has really become a hit for owners and pets alike. He estimates there are 65 units with pets in the building.
Besides a spacious community room on the first floor, the fifth floor provides access to many spaces that come alive in the summer. From there, residents can use the fitness facility, a central meeting room, fully-equipped kitchen and television room and access the pool, hot tub and grill on the outside.
HOME SWEET HOME>>Charles and Ann decided to not cover the exposed concrete on the ceilings and most of the beams in the unit, so there’s a great juxtaposition of industrial and modern design in the space.
As for décor, Ann said they went mostly Transitional. Their former East Cobb home had a French Provincial design and they brought as much of that furniture in that would fit.
She worked with a designer friend on the space and was instrumental in assisting with the design of the large s-curve light fixture that can be seen in the living room off of the kitchen. Its beauty can truly be admired from the upstairs walkway off of the master bedroom.
Part of the initial construction of the unit was to put in studio-quality insulation in the floors and walls of the unit so that sound from their music and home theater would not disturb neighbors. And it works perfectly for Charles’ Sonos surround sound system that has speakers in almost each room.
The kitchen features all GE appliances, an induction cooktop, quartz countertops and cabinetry by Chris Krogh who also built the bathroom vanities.
Another perk of the home is the railing on the stairs that was built by hand in place and pays homage to Ann’s roots as a competitive sailor with an infinity symbol.
HOME OF THE BRAVE>>Being only 3/4 of a mile, or a 15 minute walk, to SunTrust Park is quite the draw for Horizon residents. Ticketholders for years, Charles and Ann have definite plans to frequent the stadium once it’s complete.
And as a community-oriented building, there have been talks of subscribing to four decent home games and have them available for residents.
“We envision having a lottery where anyone can pick a number and if you get a certain number you’ll have a choice of four tickets to a game,” said Charles. “I think that having community seats that you can go back to time and time again will be something the residents will get into.”
Horizon at Wildwood Condominiums
3300 Windy Ridge Pkwy., Atlanta
- The building opened in 2007 — a $65 million property
- It features 273 homes — 107 one-bedrooms units, 163 two-bedroom units and three units with more than two bedrooms
- It is less than one-mile from SunTrust Park, the future home of the Braves
- For access, Horizon is located one mile east of I-75 and one-quarter mile north of I-285
- Within a mile of the property there is $2 billion worth of investment, largely generated by SunTrust Park