Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ponce City Market vision could include new 16-story tower hugging Beltline

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Jamestown outlined the towers location and maximum height in planning documents submitted to the city
  • City of Atlanta
  • Jamestown outlined the tower's location and maximum height in planning documents submitted to the city
By now, most people know about Jamestown Properties' plans to transform City Hall East into Ponce City Market, a humongous playground of restaurants, retail, and apartments along the Atlanta Beltline. What's less known, however, is some of the other plans for the property, including a possible 16-story tower along North Avenue that would hug the Beltline's Eastside Trail.

Jamestown, the development firm that created Manhattan's Chelsea Market and the Westside's White Provisions District, submitted amended plans to the city in December that include a podium on the property's southeast corner where the Beltline crosses North Avenue. That structure could one day serve as the base of a tower as high as 16 stories, which is allowed under zoning. In addition, future plans call for streetfront retail along North Avenue next to the Beltline.

The idea of a tower on that spot isn't necessarily new. From what we understand, nearby neighborhoods gave their blessing for such a project - with some conditions - in the mid-2000s to Emory Morsberger, the Lawrenceville developer who first planned to turn City Hall East into a mixed-use development. His concept dubbed "Ponce Park" would have included space for arts, cultural, and research groups but stalled when the economy crashed.

Before you freak out about the tower being built anytime soon, rest easy: apparently the project is only under consideration. A Jamestown spokeswoman tells us work crews are building the tower podium now so as to prevent any disruption once PCM opens in 2014. Higher up on the list of immediate concerns should be traffic moving into and out of the mega complex.

We'd heard from little birdies that land on our windowsill that the tower proposal became more enticing after plans to convert an old boiler room building in the southeast corner of the property hit a snag. A Jamestown spokeswoman, however, says the developer is still considering a brewery on the property.

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