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Pullman Yard project hires Ponce City Market’s development manager

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Ideas for the 27-acre Kirkwood site call for transformation into a “creative city”

a rendering of the development
Plans for a new “creative city” in Kirkwood.
Renderings: Atomic Entertainment

By this time next year, the century-old Pratt-Pullman Yard could look drastically different and yet, in many ways, very much the same.

At one point a processing plant for sugar and fertilizer, and later a train car repair depot, the 27-acre site is now a beautiful mess of weathered industrial buildings, weeds, and graffiti. It’s primed for a roughly $200 million redevelopment, thanks to Los Angeles film producers—and now, one of the leaders of Ponce City Market’s transformation.

Maureen Meulen and Adam Rosenfelt, heads of production group Atomic Entertainment, aim to transform the historic property into what they call a “creative city”—a mixed-use district wrapped around a 20,000-square-foot soundstage, which will be used for film and television production.

The lawn’s potential look, with the hotel and food component to the left of the screen. The sawtooth building at right is likely slated for office use.

Last week, Atomic reps announced they’ve tapped Rainey Shane, of JLL’s new adaptive-reuse division, to manage the Kirkwood property’s makeover, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Shane is known for her work as a development manager for the Ponce City Market project, which saw the revival of the Sears, Roebuck & Co. building in Old Fourth Ward.

In August, Atomic filed for building permits with the city, and, according to the Business Chronicle, construction could kick off in early 2019—later than predicted earlier this year.

The Pullman Yard property in Kirkwood Atlanta. Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

But the Pullman Yard property, which has played host to several gritty movie scenes in flicks like The Hunger Games and Baby Driver, won’t lose all of its industrial luster during the overhaul.

Rosenfelt told Curbed Atlanta during a tour in May the site has plenty of character that needs to be preserved, and it now has a spot on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The first phase of construction will see the renovation of some small, old buildings, which are slated to become food vendors and a film stage, the paper reported.

The main former train building at Pullman Yard in Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood. Photos: Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

Other changes call for a boutique hotel, outdoor music venue, office space, and residences. The rest of the property could one day host a network of pedestrian and cyclist pathways, too.

The Pullman Yard project will also be the star in an upcoming documentary film being produced by actor and director Raphael Sbarge.

Sbarge told Curbed in August his project was in the editing phase.

A film crew sets up for an interview with Jack Pyburn, a longtime preservationist with Docomomo, who is the chief Lord Aeck Sargent architect for the project.
Boris Martin

This story has been updated to clarify that Rainey Shane was not the only development manager for the Ponce City Market adaptive reuse project.