You’ve heard the saying, “music to my ears…” Well, this announcement is certainly one of them. An Atlanta landmark of sorts seems to be on the verge of a new life, and one that could be an amazing addition to the Midtown/Old Fourth Ward area. If it’s done right.
If you have ever been to New York City and visited the Chelsea Street Market….then you can certainly imagine MY excitement about this massive redevelopment of the old Sears Roebuck & Company building, also known as City Hall East.
City Hall East to Get New Life as Ponce City Market
Jamestown and its subsidiary Green Street Properties are about to close on the purchase of this mammoth 2-million sq. ft building. A visit to the Jamestown Properties website would certainly make you think they are indeed the company with the vision and the money to make such a transition a reality. Indeed, it’s possible. If it’s done right.
Unveiled at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas in May, plans call for some 236,000 square feet of retail space and 21,000 square feet for restaurants. These plans include a “food hall” that would become the focal point of the Ponce City Market. So what could Midtown Atlanta residents hope for in the way of retail?
A look at the retail in Chelsea Market does not show any of those big box guys, but an eclectic mix of shops….just what the doctor ordered for the ailing retail segment of Midtown/Old Fourth Ward. I visited Chelsea Market when I was in New York City in December…it was awesome to say the least.
But, and there is always a but. Chelsea Market is in the heart of ultra density….Manhattan.
City Hall East Let’s start calling it the new name, Ponce City Market sits on the edge of Midtown Atlanta and the edge of Old Fourth Ward. With the exception of a couple apartment buildings, it’s not at all a walkable destination for Midtown Atlanta condominium residents…or even Historic Midtown. (Can you say….CAR?) It does however, sit alongside the Beltline, a 22-mile loop of railroad tracks that are to be transformed into a transit/bike/walking ring around the city, connecting to multi-use developments….like Ponce City Market. The other “but” is the developer’s deep pockets. And that works two ways. One, they have the money to develop the Market, and sit on it. “But” they also have the money to help subsidize rents to get the place filled up, vibrant and happening, and then be able to move rents up, hopefully not running tenants out of business before they can become established.
Plans also call for office tenants that want true loft space for their offices. The building can offer up to 100,000 square foot plates for such, and also offer skyline views of Midtown and Downtown Atlanta.
I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one and let’s hope it’s a winner. No timeline for completion was listed in the information I found. Here is a photo I snapped while attending the dedication of the Historic Fourth Ward Park. City Hall East a.k.a. Ponce City Market is the huge brick building to the right.