What It’s Really Like Inside Ponce City Market Today

What It’s Really Like Inside Ponce City Market Today

Since construction began in July 2011, much of what has gone on behind the imposing brick walls of former City Hall East has been a mystery to the public. Sure, there have been some renderings and blog posts providing construction updates, but most people haven’t had an opportunity to don a hardhat and enter the 1.1 million-square-foot heavy construction zone. Curbed Atlanta took a walk through a residential unit and the area that will, by next year, be a 65,000-square-foot Central Food Hall inspired by New York City’s Chelsea Market. Come along to see how things are progressing inside Atlanta’s largest ever adaptive reuse project.

The red railing lining the mezzanine level of the Market Hall is visible in this photo.

Tenants announced for the food hall include Dub’s Fish Camp, H&F Burger, Jia (a Szechwan restaurant), Honeysuckle Gelato and Simply Seoul Kitchen.

These walls, among the first erected in the central food hall, give a glimpse into the aesthetic being used there.

Between 800 and 1,000 workers are involved in completing the mega-project.

They don’t look like much now, but soon these elevators in the food hall will soon be spiffy, clean and ready to usher patrons from one level to the next, where 12 to 15 restaurants and 23 to 30 vendors will await.

The main building, where offices, retail and the food hall will reside, was built in 1926. Fascinating remnants survive today.

Developer Jamestown Properties, which also worked on New York’s Chelsea Market, is keeping many of the building’s original elements and quirks. When complete, the goal is not for the building to look brand new.

Floor-to-ceiling windows facing Ponce de Leon Avenue and the shopping center across the street.
Residents and office tenants begin moving in this fall, along with some retail and food vendors. The entire project should be open to the public by spring 2015. There’s plenty of work left to do.

During construction, various historical artifacts have been found throughout the building: original blueprints, Sears catalogues, Sears nightgowns and hand-written notes. A history exhibit featuring some of these artifacts is being planned.
Demolish this one.

Repair this one.

The project is built to silver level LEED standards and expects to have 10,000 people on site at any given time.

Elevator to what will be the west wing of the residential units. Each residential tower will have its own parking, lobby and doorman.

The large concrete columns dictated the width of the flats.

At first glance, the kitchens in the one- and two-bedroom units seem woefully lacking in counter space but according to a representative from Jamestown Properties, the intention was to allow renters to add an optional island to the open living room/kitchen area rather than dividing the space with an immovable island that some renters wouldn’t love. (This photo and the following two photos, courtesy of Ponce City Market.)

This 1,215-square-foot apartment rents for $2,300.

Units on the west side of the building are deeper than those on the east because the sun is able to penetrate further into the unit.

The units are pricey, but admittedly, the views are tough to beat.

Fogarty Finger, a NYC design firm that specializes in economizing space and working with historic buildings helped configure the residential interiors. Stevens & Wilkinson is the architect of record for the flats.

Transom windows in the kitchen allow light from the living area to filter into the bedroom.

So far, most renters are people in their late 20s/early 30s who are renting one last time before buying and empty nesters looking to move closer to the center of town. Undoubtedly due to the price point ($1,225/month for a 575-square-foot studio to $3,395 for a 1,790-square-foot three-bedroom), the tenants are “more mature” than those in some other complexes.

In an extensive survey conducted before construction began, residents indicated a strong preference for having one stand-up shower (rather than bath) in two-bathroom units.

Concrete floors were sealed but otherwise untouched. Indentations, discolorations and even paint drips give each unit unique character.
Perfection was not the goal when renovating the historic building. Here, brickwork original to the 1946 building that now houses the west wing of residential is left untouched.

Like the floors and brickwork, imperfections and quirks in the ceilings were embraced rather than mended. Ceilings are highest in the living room and kitchen areas and lower in the bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate necessary infrastructure.
The original steel sash frames were kept for the windows after undergoing a four-step rehabilitation process. More than 65,000 panes of glass have been replaced during construction.
Here’s a toucan.

The closets are spacious and extra storage is available on each floor, starting at $50 for a locker and going up from there.

There are a total of 259 residential flats available at PCM. Of those, 46 percent are one-bedroom (though that number is deceptive because one-bedrooms with a bonus room, designed to house a couple are counted in that number), 20 percent are two-bedroom units, 25 percent are studios and the remainder are three-bedroom flats. Of those, the studios are the least popular so far, possibly because of the lead time on move-in (or possibly because “Oh my God, $1,225 for 575 square feet!”).

Twenty percent of units qualify as “affordable housing.” Of the leases signed, a third fall into that category.
Soon it will be pretty. For now, Nine Inch Nails could use parts of the building for a video.

During construction, 84,08,840 pounds of material from the original building has been recycled. That’s the equivalent of 4.2 eiffel towers or 3,363 school buses.

The 1.1 million square feet will feature 330,00 square feet of retail and restaurants, 475,000 of office space and 259 residential flats. Office anchors signed include Mailchimp, Cardlytics and Athenahealth.

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