Move for school creates new lifestyle for parents, teens

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

May 07, 2012 :

Attorneys Andy and Jill Prussack made a drastic lifestyle change, moving to a brownstone in One River Place, just inside I-285, from a single-family home in east Cobb County

The move cut the size of their 5,500-square-foot residence in half.  They rented their home. They expected it would be a temporary living situation so that son Eli, 15, and daughter Ryan, 14, could attend a particular Fulton County school.

But the entire family immediately enjoyed the community and location. They moved in July 2011, but sold that unit six months later and moved into a brownstone with more space (about 3,200 square feet).

“We went into this thinking we would do this for four years and move back to our house. Now we’re all in agreement that we have no desire to go back,” said Andy, 49, a partner with Holt Ney Zatcoff & Wasserman who practices health care and business law. “We anticipate that we’re going to live here after the kids are gone.”

The Priority

The couple wanted their children to go to Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs, which Jill had attended. “We decided that Riverwood was going to be the best high school for our kids,” said Jill, 44, a partner with Schulten Ward & Turner who practices business litigation. “We decided it was worth undergoing a move.”

The Home

A new three-floor brownstone with four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths and a three-car garage. The home, which overlooks the pond and woods, has an elevator, three balconies, and upgraded details such as tile, hardwood floors, cabinets, wet bar and appliances.

The Lifestyle

“Right when we moved in, there were people around, and they always have events going on,” Jill said. “You can do as much or as little as you want, but there is a strong sense of belonging. If you go to anything, you see the same faces around and everybody knows everyone else.”

Events they’ve enjoyed have included trivia night, and the family also enjoys being able to walk to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area at Cochran Shoals. The location also cut in half Andy’s commute to the Galleria area (at I-285 and I-75), and provided easy access to a job at Publix for Eli.

When everyone is at home, Jill notices they tend to spend more time together. “We’re together as a family more. My husband and I end up in the same room more often because you don’t have 5,500 square feet to get lost in,” she said. “For me, it’s been a blessing in that way.”

The Kids’ Reaction

The best thing for Eli and Ryan is living close to friends and neighbors who have things in common, such as pets. Eli said he’s OK with trading home space for more community activities. They take their black Labrador retriever, Sam, to the dog park and parties. “It’s really nice to see him getting more exercise. In our old house, he could go into the backyard. Now we socialize with other people,” Eli said, who is in ninth grade at Riverwood.

Ryan adds: “Also there’s a Meeting House, and it has a workout room and five TVs in the living area on the bottom floor, and everybody hangs out there.”

Ryan said she doesn’t feel “claustrophobic” at One River Place. “There was so much space we didn’t use (in their former home). Now I feel like, even though we are using all of the space, there’s enough,” said Ryan, who is in eighth grade at Woodward Academy and will be attending Riverwood next fall.

She also can walk to friends’ homes or to babysit. Ryan can think of just one missing element at One River Place: “The only thing I need is a Starbucks.”

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