Paces Properties flung open the doors Tuesday to their under-construction, epicurean mecca Krog Street Market, offering the media a first official glimpse at the repurposed warehouse complex that once served as Tyler Perry's studios. Suffice it to say that Inman Park is in for a large-scale injection of delectable proprietorship. By next spring, the east side of Krog Street could morph from a post-industrial wasteland into Atlanta's latest restaurant row. Four eateries with open-air seating or expansive windows will line Krog Street (one 1,600 square-foot space with a patio has yet to be leased), facing Krog Bar and Rathbun's. And that's only one flank of the 30,000 square-foot KSM complex. After the jump, read updates on other aspects of the project and peruse visual evidence that the market is coming together at last.
Talks with future tenants and project leaders Tuesday were insightful.
David Cochran, Pace Properties president, seemed genuinely taken aback by the project's leasing success, though he said weather issues have slowed some construction. "It truly amazes me where we are today, given where we were a year ago," Cochran said. "The interest level (from tenants) has been stunning."
Interestingly, Cochran told Curbed Atlanta the KSM vision might never have materialized if it wasn't for acclaimed chef Kevin Rathbun, whose restaurant and bar overlook the property. Paces had planned to raze the old buildings on site and construct apartments, but Rathbun sat Cochran down and enlightened him to the property's repurposing potential, Cochran said.
Another celebrated Atlanta chef, Ford Fry, told Cochran he wasn't interested in opening his "Superica" Mex-Tex concept on Krog Street if the existing structures would be torn down, Cochran said. Subsequently, Fry's Austin-style restaurant and patio will consume the largest retail space on site. "(Fry) was absolutely the first person" to sign on as a tenant," Cochran said. "That put us on the right path."
Some other notable tidbits of news culled from the event:
· Paces leaders are eyeing a grand opening for the market — with the majority of businesses debuting at the same time — early next year. Business leaders who will be leasing market stalls, such as Gu's Dumplings and Grand Champion BBQ, seem hopeful about opening in March or April.
· Chef Kevin Ouzts announced that his KSM plans for The Spotted Trotter meat and cheese shop will be joined by a full-service restaurant called "The Cockentrice" — a concept he calls a "charcuterie saloon." The restaurant and meat shop will be connected by a doorway. The Cockentrice will front Krog Street and will include a patio.
· KSM could have a total of five sit-down eateries, with one potentially occupying a windowless space that Cochran says would make a fine speakeasy.
· A 3,000 square-foot, brick-sided outbuilding at the corner of Lake Avenue and Krog Street could be finished by November, following substantial rain delays. Paces is in talks with a prospective retail tenant for that space. Cochran said the company nearly signed a test concept by West Elm called "West Elm Market" to fill the corner building, but the national retailer ultimately pulled the plug.
· There are no official plans yet for the gravel lot kitty-corner from KSM that fronts the Beltline. Cochran said he'd once envisioned a boutique hotel on that site.
· KSM will offer more than 200 parking spaces in three lots, including a covered parking area within the building.
· Initial plans call for the market to be open every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. But restaurants and other business will be encouraged to stay open later, if they wish, officials said.
· Construction on a 222-unit apartment complex called "Alexan On Krog Street" could begin by late this year. The garden-style apartments will rise just south of the existing Stove Works complex and should take less than 18 months to complete. One selling point, officials hope, will be the project's hundreds of feet of Beltline frontage.
· Several more tenants should be announced in the next few weeks, officials said. Overall, about 75 percent of KSM is leased.
— Reporting and photography by Curbed Atlanta editor Josh Green
[Above renderings via KrogStreetMarket.com]