Market Watch: Ponce City Market on schedule for 2014

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A nod to PCM’s past will be a boxcar cafe on the elevated train trestle.

By Collin Kelley
INtown Editor

Three hundred construction workers are onsite daily to keep the mammoth Ponce City Market project on schedule for its late 2014 opening. The transformation of the old Sears/City Hall East property into Atlanta’s version of Seattle’s Pike Place Market or San Francisco’s Pier 39 will ramp up sharply in the fall when 800 to 1,000 workers onsite, according to James Irwin, vice-president of Jamestown Construction and Development.

Driving along Ponce de Leon or North Avenue, there is clearly a hum of activity going on, Irwin said. “We’re working on the surface parking and greenspace that faces North and will lead to the main entrance of the food hall,” he said. “Inside, there’s new electrical, plumbing and elevator work going on.”

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Renovation of the PCM market hall continues.

The 2 million square feet of space on the 16-acre property will be mixed use at its most grand. The soaring food hall will have two levels of restaurants and retail with the circa-1926 hardwood floors and mushroom-capped support columns still intact. On upper floors, there will be office space and residential. The 4.5-acre rooftop will offer food, incredible views of the city and a miniature golf course among other amenities.

In the just the past two months, Jamestown has announced that the Suzuki School, Binders Art Supplies & Frames and athenahealth (a Massachusetts-based IT health company that will bring 500 new jobs) have signed leases for Ponce City Market. Dancing Goats coffee shop, already open in one of the outparcels, will move into the market hall next year.

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A rendering of the North Avenue main entrance.

“We’re incredibly excited about these deals and more that are to be announced in the next couple of months,” Irwin said. “We’re trying to curate a community that will be useful to the people living and working at PCM as well as the surrounding neighborhoods.”

The curation extends to working with local farmers, restaurants and artisanal food purveyors to create a “purposely frenetic food hall experience,” Irwin said.

Those who want a shot at one of the 259 residential units, to be known as The Flats at PCM, need to get on the waiting list now at flatsatpcm.com. Irwin said the response has been amazing and an onsite leasing office is expected to open by summer’s end adjacent to Dancing Goats.