THE NIGHT BEFORE BRECKINRIDGE STATION HAD its grand opening, the weather turned nasty in the metro Atlanta region. Sleet and freezing rain tend to keep folks from turning out to a sales event.

Not this time.

“When we got there that Friday morning, there was still ice on the ground,” says Randall Moore, vice president of sales for Bowen Family Homes, based in Duluth, Ga. “At 6 that morning, there was a line. People started arriving at 3 in the morning.”

By the end of the weekend, Bowen had sold 77 of the available 399 homes—in the highly competitive Atlanta housing market.

“It's the most successful project we've ever done,” Moore says.

Several elements contributed to that success. The first was the location, which might come as a surprise based on conventional wisdom, since the 80-acre community of 228 town-houses and 171 single-family houses is surrounded by commercial office and industrial space. The team at Bowen Family Homes had immediately seen the potential of building a neighborhood in the middle of thousands of jobs.

“I think this appealed to a lot of people who worked in that corridor,” Moore says. “It gave them an opportunity to walk or bicycle to work or to have, at most, a five-minute commute. To anyone in Atlanta, that's a treasured commodity.”

Besides, he say, office buildings make great neighbors. When you're at home in the evenings and on the weekends, they're empty and quiet.

Another success factor was Bowen's significant investment in amenities for a project geared to first-time buyers. The builder offered a gated community and a million-dollar clubhouse, even with a base price of just $149,900.

“We realized it was unique,” Moore says. “Rarely do you find a gated community at this price point. We gave it some features other builders or developers wouldn't [have].”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA.