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Volume 20 No. 42
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The Battery: Where the ballgame and more are just outside the front door

Jeff Dauler has become the Atlanta Braves’ primary ambassador for The Battery Atlanta.

Dauler, a local radio personality, and his wife, Callie, were among the first people to rent apartments at The Battery. The couple and their two dogs recently moved into a two-bedroom unit at The Residences, the first of three apartment buildings to open down the street from SunTrust Park.

Together, they enjoy what they feel is a cool vibe attached to the development and its bars and restaurants. Dauler isn’t shy about mentioning his new home during Star 94.1’s Jeff & Jenn show, a top-10 morning show in the market that runs 5:30-10 a.m. weekdays.

“It’s a proud energy,” said Callie, who works at CNN as morning anchor Robin Meade’s assistant. “Everyone is really proud, the whole city is proud. We haven’t had the fanciest stadiums … but we really matter now. We’re on the map.”

Battery Atlanta residents Callie and Jeff Dauler with chef Todd English

For the Daulers, it all started after the couple married in October and started looking for a new place to live. Jeff goes to work at 4 a.m., when traffic is light, but still wanted to cut his eight-minute commute even shorter. (If that’s not early enough, Callie’s alarm goes off at 2:45 a.m. before she drives downtown to CNN’s offices.)

Through his various radio jobs, Dauler has made friends with some of the Braves’ front-office staff. At one point, he mentioned to Adam Zimmerman, the team’s vice president of marketing, that he was in the market for a new dwelling and might be interested in The Battery’s apartments.

One week later, Dauler received an introductory email from The Battery. Both Jeff and Callie toured the 81-unit property, which was still under construction last fall. They both loved the site and the prospect of living on the grounds of a major league sports venue.

They signed a one-year lease and took occupancy in early April. Monthly rents run from $2,655 to $3,355 for two-bedroom units with about 1,300 square feet, smaller than their old townhouse in nearby Sandy Springs.

To date, Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, the Braves’ partner in the apartment project, has leased about 130 of the three buildings’ 531 total units, according to Mike Plant, the Braves’ president of development, who lives in the same building as the Daulers. The initial goal was 100 leased by Opening Day, Plant said.

“They’re getting 30 percent to 35 percent of people coming through here signing leases, and they’re the highest rates really anywhere in this part of Atlanta,” he said.

The Daulers decided on a two-bedroom so Callie can set up an office in the extra bedroom. Jeff said forgoing a spare bedroom is also designed to cut down on the number of “tipsy friends” hitting their apartment buzzer after a Braves game because they need a place to sober up for the night before driving home.

Jeff timed his new commute and said it has been reduced to two minutes and 40 seconds. He also plans to walk to work when the weather is nice, which takes about 10 minutes.

“I was a little worried,” he said. “We lived in a big townhouse, which was more suburban, and we were leaving that, but there was just an energy around here. I love experiences that are new and exciting. I’m not even a huge sports fan. I know the Braves aren’t doing great right now, but that’s it.”

The Battery Atlanta’s residences look over lanes of shops and restaurants as well as the ballpark.
Callie, by comparison, grew up rooting for the Braves and has been going to their games her entire life. Her father is a longtime Braves season-ticket holder, “so this to me is just the coolest thing,” she said.

“Adam took my dad on a behind-the-scenes look here and I think my dad choked up at one point,” Callie said. “We bought a legacy brick [lining the stadium’s perimeter] so our name is out there. We feel excited to be a part of it.”

Because both of them get up before the crack of dawn, they most likely won’t be sitting through a full nine innings of a Braves game, but Jeff said there will be opportunities to buy cheap tickets, grab a few beers and a hot dog and catch about three innings before heading back to the apartment. The apartment is soundproofed to the point that they can barely hear a thing during Braves games when their windows are closed, he said.

The Daulers caught the front end of development. About half of The Battery components opened in April and the remainder are scheduled to debut over the next several months.

“We were joking that if they put a grocery store in here, we would never leave,” Callie said.

The Braves, filling the role of developer, expect a small neighborhood grocery will open in one of The Battery’s final phases. No deal is signed yet, but Plant says it would be similar to a New York-style bodega, offering staples such as fruits, vegetables and bacon and eggs.

“But if you need steak or tenderloin, you go to Publix or Fresh Market a few miles away,” Plant said. “That’s what we’re thinking right now.”

Said Jeff Dauler: “There’s not a ton of retail open yet. Once that’s done and if they make the grocery store happen, it’s a complete project.”