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Up on the rooftop 

The satisfaction of living like you're Twelve

Lisa Dowling walks the path of the modern urban woman ­-- a path that starts at the corner of 17th and State streets and weaves through Atlanta's own city within a city, Atlantic Station.

She lives at Twelve, a glass-and-steel tower filled with swanky hotel suites and condos ranging from the mid-$200,000s to $300,000s for a one-bedroom/one-bathroom to the high $300,000s to $400,000s for a two-bedroom/two-bathroom to about $1 million for a penthouse. Inside the building, exposed concrete mixes with drop ceilings, sunken lighting, strong colors and a view for days.

Her 12th-floor condo is almost 900 square feet of urban sleekness. It includes hardwood floors, black marble countertops, surround sound and an Xbox.

A five-minute walk to work at the nearby Wachovia building leaves the 26-year-old attorney plenty of time to shop for skirts at Ann Taylor or Banana Republic while everyone else curses through stop-and-go traffic. But Dowling doesn't need to be told how lucky she is; her 12th-floor view reminds her every day.

So you live within walking distance of your law office, a grocery story, a movie theater, a Starbucks, IKEA and enough stores to fill a mall. Do you ever go beyond a one-mile radius of your home?

I'll not move my car for a week. A lot of my favorite stores are right here. I'll shop on the way home from work, so I spend way too much money, probably.

From the balcony, you can see the city's entire skyline all the way from Midtown to the Georgia Dome. What's the reaction from people you bring up here?

Always amazing. I really think it's the best view in the city. At night, it's unreal. It looks fake. Like on the Fourth of July – well actually [in 2006 it] was the fifth of July because of the rain – me and a friend were out here and we could see like seven different fireworks displays. It was so cool.

Isn't there a 46-floor high-rise currently under construction across the street?

Yeah, that's the only slightly disappointing thing. I knew it was going to happen. I didn't think it would be this soon. I love the unit and the location, so it's OK that I'm going to lose part of the view. Right now the construction is annoying, but at least I'm at work pretty much all day.

Do you ever miss simpler things like a yard and white picket fence?

I think that I want that eventually. Right now I kind of like being a young, single girl. It's just so easy. I don't have to do yard work. It's brand-new so I don't have to fix anything. I'd say within the next five years, I'll probably end up buying a house with a yard and get a dog, stuff like that.

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The satisfaction of living like you're Twelve
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