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Why Ponce City Market’s developer wants YOU to invest cash in its intown properties

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For $2,500 or more, “a piece of Atlanta” could be yours. But will Atlantans be willing to take the risk?

An old white building with large windows has a sign that says “Southern Dairies” above it.
The developer’s latest Old Fourth Ward focus, Southern Dairies.
Jamestown Properties

Developer Jamestown Properties, of Ponce City Market acclaim, is taking an unorthodox approach to real estate investment.

Last week, the decades-old company launched Jamestown Invest, an online program that allows the Average Joe to “own a piece of Atlanta,” officials told Curbed Atlanta.

The official pitch goes like this: “Jamestown looks to democratize access to traditionally private offerings via low investment minimums and an ability to invest via its new online platform.”

Essentially, for a minimum of $2,500—a few months rent in Atlanta—you can call yourself a real estate investor.

The first Jamestown developments the public can directly, financially back are Old Fourth Ward’s Southern Dairies, a former milk distribution plant from the early 1900s, and the Upper Westside Portfolio, an industrial complex on the so-called Upper Westside.

The former features about 80,000 square feet of office space neighboring Ponce City Market and the Beltline’s Eastside Trail. The latter comprises 223,521 square feet of “flex-industrial space” spread across four buildings.

The creation of this new program doesn’t indicate Jamestown is having trouble finding funding for its projects, officials said.

Rather, it’s an effort for the company to “share its values” with the community, Jamestown president Michael Phillips told Curbed.

That doesn’t mean individual investors will get to pick what goes where, tenant-wise, or what’s renovated, and what will remain; instead, Jamestown will listen to input and find common themes desired by a community. Think: environmentally sustainable development and other broad ambitions for a project.

“This new fund provides the ability to own real estate with the benefits of building equity and without the hassles or huge down payment need for homeownership,” a company announcement states.

Investors, Phillips said, will also be given quarterly updates on how their money’s doing.

Of course, as with any investment, there’s no guarantee you’ll make your money back, but Jamestown hopes its track record in Atlanta and beyond inspires some would-be investors.

“These risks include, but are not limited to, illiquidity, complete loss of invested capital, limited operating history, conflicts of interest, and blind pool risk,” per the announcement.

Similar concepts have popped up elsewhere in ITP Atlanta this year.

As one example, DreamVentures, a newly established equity firm, launched efforts in September to raise $6 million in public support for investments throughout Atlanta, particularly south of downtown, in such places as East Point, Lakewood, and Chosewood Park.