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Monday, June 23, 2014

Ponce City Market plans two buildings, plaza for Beltline Eastside Trail

shed_building.jpg
  • Ponce City Market
Two new commercial buildings and a large public plaza will line the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail alongside the Ponce City Market in a major new project whose construction started Saturday.

Construction will take about a year, developers and Beltine officials at a June 19 community meeting at the AMLI Parkside condos, where the plans were generally well-received. The meeting was purely informational - the developers say all permitting is already in place.

The plan involves a major renovation of the existing "Shed Building," a long warehouse structure along the Beltline's popular mixed-use trail. The plan involves turning it into a glassy new market entrance with a nearly 350-foot-long outdoor deck and seating area. The spot eventually could serve as a Beltline transit stop, too.

The new hard-scaped plaza with tables and chairs will run alongside about 100 feet of the trail just north of the North Avenue bridge. A "native grass meadow" will separate the plaza from the trail.

That plaza will lay before an unusual new building - known as the "Boiler Building" - that eventually will be a 16-story condo tower, but will start as a 30-foot-high parking garage with a glass-walled pavilion fronting on the Beltline.

Side view of the Boiler Building
  • Ponce City Market
  • Side view of the Boiler Building
Walter Brown of Jamestown, the company developing Ponce City Market, said the firm has agreed for the space to "be functional early on" with some kind of public activity. That could include pop-up art galleries, some kind of retail business, even lantern-making workshops for the annual Lantern Parade. The flat roof may be open for public events as well, Brown told CL, pointing to a tiny human drawn atop the building in a conceptual illustration.

The Boiler Building will be on ground level after a project to build up a 15-foot-high, tree-covered embankment currently there. A few trees may be saved, but the rest are coming down, as are some trees along the Shed Building. In coordination with Trees Atlanta, about 90 trees will be planted around the neighborhood as partial mitigation.

The building's plan also includes a staircase and an elevator - both publically accessible - between North Avenue and the Beltline. The staircase will include a "wheel trough" to allow bicycles to easily be pushed up and down it.

Jamestown and the Beltline have maintenance and programming agreements in place on all aspects of the projects.

As for the condo tower, Brown said that would be built anywhere from two to five years in the future. Why not right away? He told CL that the developers are already plenty busy rehabbing the rest of Ponce City Market, and the garage part of the building plan is the priority.

That larger rehab of the gigantic, four-building complex into a new commercial and housing hotspot is underway. Eye-popping residential rents were recently announced, and the first commercial tenants should be in business by late summer.

plaza.jpg
  • Ponce City Market

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