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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Developers pitching apartment complex along Beltline near Ponce City Market

Perennial Properties wants to rezone nearly three acres (in blue) to allow for apartments
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  • Perennial Properties wants to rezone nearly three acres (in blue) to allow for apartments
Want to see a part of Atlanta that's bustling even though times are tough? Cast your gaze toward Poncey-Highland and Old Fourth Ward along the Atlanta Beltline.

Perennial Properties, the Atlanta-based mixed-use commercial development firm behind the Pencil Factory Lofts, Apex West Midtown, and Highland Walk, have started jumping through hoops to eventually build an apartment building — possibly with 240 units — along the Beltline across the street from Ponce City Market and the Masquerade.

Company executives told CL they preferred to iron out some details over the next week before commenting about the proposal's specifics. But the group has asked the city to rezone three separate parcels — totaling nearly three acres — on Somerset Terrace from light-industrial to allow multifamily residential use.

The proposed sites overlook the 22-mile loop of parks, trails and (future) transit and Historic Fourth Ward Park, the final phase of which is under construction along North Avenue. Currently, the parcels feature a private skate park and the former home of Barking Hound Village, which relocated to the corner of North Avenue and Somerset Terrace. The Dixie Seal and Stamp Co.'s headquarters once sat on the property, but burned several years ago.

If built, the development could help the area, already home to the Ford Factory Lofts and other residential projects along Glen Iris Drive, become one of the Beltline's most dense and active spots. Jamestown Properties plans to transform City Hall East, the massive brick behemoth that sits between North and Ponce de Leon avenues, into Ponce City Market, a residential, commercial and retail hotspot. Chicago-based developer AMLI has announced plans to build a 260,000-square-foot apartment development on the parking lot across the street from Ponce City Market and the Masquerade.

Construction on the Beltline's Eastside Trail between Piedmont Park and DeKalb Avenue, and which would run directly in front of Perennial's development, is expected to finish next April. Should metro Atlanta voters OK a one-cent transportation tax next summer, that particular segment of the Beltline might also include transit.

Numerous sources have told us that Smith Dalia Architects, the firm behind the Westside's White Provision redevelopment, King Plow Arts Center and other local adaptive reuse projects, will design the Perennial development. The firm is also apparently involved with AMLI's proposed development across the street from Ponce City Market.

Perennial pitched its proposal to Neighborhood Planning Unit M this week as a courtesy — the sites are located just outside the NPU's boundaries — and is expected to stop by other community groups in the coming weeks. If you were among the attendees at one of the sessions, saw renderings, and wish to opine, feel free to do so in the comments or send me a line.

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