By MARY ANNE CASTRANIO, Staff Writer | Published September 18, 2014
ATLANTA—The house at 3358 Habersham Road, previously the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s residence for the archbishop, went on the market Sept. 17. The house is listed at $2.85 million.
The property has been listed by Beacham and Company Realtors, a firm selected after a search by Catholic Construction Services, Inc., the real estate arm of the archdiocese.
CCSI sent a request for proposals to real estate brokers active in the market. John Schiavone, head of CCSI, said that his team considered “market presence” among other factors in evaluating the proposals they received. They used an interview process to make the decision of which broker would list the property. The entire process of selecting a broker took about 20 days.
Schiavone believes that the house is priced appropriately for the market. He said, “You never know how long it will take to sell a property. We feel that the home is priced correctly, and that is one of the biggest influences. Based on the number of homes in that market in our price range and the history of sales in that same market and price point, statistically, it could take up to 18 months.”
The house was built on property left to the archdiocese by the late Joseph Mitchell, nephew of author Margaret Mitchell. It was built to replace the previous residence for Atlanta’s archbishops on West Wesley Road, which was sold to the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, for use as the cathedral rectory.
At just over 6,300 square feet, the Habersham house includes living quarters, guest rooms and an open ground floor area. No significant changes were made to the house to prepare it for sale. “The stained glass windows in the chapel were replaced with the original windows,” Schiavone noted. The chapel furniture was moved to the home where Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory now lives, close to the Chancery in Smyrna.
Archbishop Gregory decided to sell the house in April following a sudden controversy over its size and cost.
In an April 3 column in The Georgia Bulletin, he wrote, “As the Shepherd of this local Church, a responsibility I hold more dear than any other, certainly more than any configuration of brick and mortar, I am disappointed that, while my advisors and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia.”
Listening to those at a joint gathering of clergy and laypeople on April 5, he made the decision to sell the newly built residence. In his April 5 statement, Archbishop Gregory said, “After consultation with … the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, Archdiocesan Finance Council, and the Council of Priests, and hundreds of well-meaning parishioners of differing points of view—some who sent written observations—as well as my own personal reflection and prayer, I have decided to sell the Habersham property and invest the proceeds from that sale into the needs of the Catholic community.”