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How postindustrial redo The Works is coming together on Atlanta’s ‘Upper Westside’

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Developer: Expect a celebrity chef-driven food hall, plus new restaurant and retail options in coming months

A rendering shows a pedestrian plaza in front of an aging building that’s been rehabbed for retail.
Pedestrian-friendly amenities and greenery planned for the initial 27 acres of redevelopment.
Renderings: Selig Development

Could it be Ponce City Market West? Not quite—at least not yet—but a sizable project on Atlanta’s so-called Upper Westside is planned to echo the adaptive-reuse feel of the Old Fourth Ward behemoth in several ways.

The first phase of Selig Development’s The Works project is transforming 27 acres of an 80-acre site neighboring Topgolf Atlanta. Substantial infrastructure work there is projected to wrap by next month, the company’s senior vice president of development, Malloy Peterson, tells Curbed Atlanta this week

Expect a new grid of streets and sidewalks weaving through a network of decades-old industrial buildings that Selig has owned for about 70 years.

In coming months, despite a wet winter, developers say the property should be abuzz with customers of its existing and incoming retail and restaurant tenants.

An aerial rendering of the project.
The new office building shown at left has been scrapped from the plans in exchange for a potential residential development.

Fronting what’s going to be called the Chattahoochee Row retail strip, a roughly 9,000-square-foot Scofflaw brewery and slightly larger Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q restaurant are primed for spring and summer openings, respectively.

Altogether, the first phase is expected to comprise more than 200,000 square feet of retail. About 10 tenants are slated to open by this summer with more openings planned every few months, Peterson says.

In a massive old building that houses the Ballard Designs furniture and decor outlet, a 19,000-square-foot food hall from celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern is under construction. Eater Atlanta reported last year the food hall will follow the formula of places like Ponce City and Marietta Square markets, with “restaurant stalls that feature ‘international fare,’ ‘artisanal’ shops, chef events, a test kitchen, an indoor-outdoor bar, and an all-weather patio with a firewall” overlooking a large park space.

Called Chattahoochee Food Works, the food hall is on track to welcome tenants by late spring or early summer.

An overhead rendering shows office buildings flanked by green space.
At left, one of several green spaces planned for the project.

Elsewhere on the property, says Peterson, “You’ll see green grass and a lawn or a pedestrian area” around practically every corner.

For instance, “The Spur”—a former rail spur that, until recently, featured train tracks—will be a quarter-mile linear park that stretches from Chattahoochee Avenue to the back of the development.

“It’s got a combination of areas you can walk, areas you can sit and eat; it’s got shade areas, art displays, grass areas, stages for performances,” says Peterson.

The Spur should be finished by March.

Selig officials are also in talks with an entertainment company to bring in a potential concert hall or movie theater, Peterson says.

The entirety of Phase 1—which could also include residences, if the developer is approved for a specific mixed-use zoning designation in coming weeks—is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2022.

Redeveloping the full 80 acres, however, could be a 12 to 15-year endeavor.

Ultimately, plans call for some 350,000 square feet of retail and entertainment options, 600,000 square feet of office space, 500 residences, 200 hotel rooms, and 13 acres of green space.

Those are numbers in the ballpark of PCM, so maybe one day, the comparison won’t seem that far off.