Like the city at large, curiosity gets the best of us when it comes to that gargantuan brick edifice known as Ponce City Market. Is the project — one of the largest building redevelopments in the country — as transformative as it seems? When will its doors fling open for good? What's up with the roof? This week, a consortium of Jamestown Properties officials agreed to field questions posed by Curbed Atlanta as the project teems with construction crews and barrels toward a projected opening in a little more than a year.
Curbed: Progress at Ponce City Market looks to be substantial. We keep hearing that you expect to open in about a year. Can you be more specific, in terms of your goals for opening the entire project?
Jamestown Properties: Office, retail and restaurants will open mid-2014 and will continue through spring 2015. Residential move-ins will begin mid-2014 as well.
Curbed: How has the retail and office leasing process been going?
JP: The process is going well — we're excited to have recently announced that the Suzuki School will be opening a campus at Ponce City Market.
Curbed: Is there any way to quantify what people can look forward to upon the project's opening? Can you give an approximate number of new restaurants, for instance?
JP: While specific square footages are readily available online, Jamestown can confirm there will be four to five full sit-down restaurants in the food hall alongside the smaller food vendors in addition to several other restaurants scattered throughout the property.
Curbed: What are the prospects for the development bringing new bars, or a brewery, to the area?
JP: Some fun things are in progress, and anything is possible.
Curbed: Do you have plans for better connecting Ponce City Market to the Historic Fourth Ward Park? As is, crossing North Avenue there could be pretty hairy.
JP: North Avenue will offer signaled crossing, bike lanes and parallel parking. Additional improvements are slated on Ponce de Leon as early as this summer including restriping and bike lanes in front of our property. Within two years, additional improvements along Ponce will include landscape buffers, new transition lanes and bike lanes that are part of a more comprehensive streetscape improvement.
Curbed: Can you enlighten us as to what the roof of Ponce City Market will offer, and how much of it will be accessible to the public? Renderings seem to depict everything from a running track to a carousel and miniature golf.
JP: We'll release more details soon, but we can confirm that miniature golf, food and beverage options, a possible stage area and a nostalgic amusement area with both mechanical and human-powered rides are in design. The running track and pool are tied to a third-party operated fitness concept. (Editor's note: The roof will have public access and the fitness center will be operated on a membership basis.)
Curbed: How will the project be accommodating to Beltline patrons, on bike or on foot?
JP: The project will be extremely accommodating as visible in our model and discussed on our regular tours. There is a bridge connection from the Beltline Shed into the main building with bike valet, which is a direct pedestrian and bike entrance into the heart of the public space.
Curbed: What's to become of the long, shed-like structure that sits alongside the Beltline's Eastside Trail?
JP: Renderings will be released soon — the area is being reclad and repurposed for retail.
Curbed: There's a lot of apartment activity in Atlanta right now. What will differentiate your offerings?
JP: Ponce City Market will offer 259 flats, which will come online in 2014. Our building amenities include historic structure with steel windows and on-site food, shopping and entertainment as well as direct access to the Beltline. History comes back to life at PCM.
Curbed: Lastly, what would you say the chances are that Ponce City Market becomes a bona fide tourist attraction, in the vein of Pike Place Market in Seattle, or your own Chelsea Market in Manhattan? It's not exactly next door to the Georgia Aquarium.
JP: Our chances are very good as Ponce City Market will offer a range of unique activities, shopping, roof amusements, dining and rotating entertainment, as well as festivals, gallery space and a potential farmers' market (with many additional ideas in the works) that will provide hours of entertainment for guests and locals alike. We're situated on the Beltline, one of the biggest local tourist draws and only a half-mile walk from Piedmont Park and Atlanta's Arts District.
Further reading, and cool visuals for context, here:
· Behold: An Interactive, 3D Glimpse At Ponce City Market! [Curbed Atlanta]