Atlanta Business Chronicle, Murder Kroger to close this month, $190 million project to rise

Atlanta’s “Murder Kroger” will face the wrecking ball later this month, making way for a $190 million redevelopment that will bring an updated store and office building to the site along the Beltline’s Eastside Trail.

Atlanta development firm New City LLC and The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) reached an agreement to close the store Oct. 28. New City had most of the site under contract since January, but recently bought more land and now owns about 5.5 acres where the project will rise.

Demolition of the Kroger could begin by mid-November, the developer said.

Officially named 725 Ponce, the redevelopment will feature a new 12-story office building over a 60,000-square-foot Kroger. The office building is set to be finished by the end of 2018. The new grocery could open in early 2019.

Built in 1986, the Kroger store has been a fixture on Ponce de Leon in an area where several intown Atlanta neighborhoods converge, including Poncey-Highland, Old Fourth Ward and Midtown.

The new 725 project continues to mark the area’s transformation. It’s shaking off a perception of crime, as more people use the Beltline, a planned 22-mile loop of former railways that links the city’s neighborhoods with parks, restaurants and mixed-use projects.

Ponce City Market is also filled with tech and media companies such as Twitter, MailChimp, athenahealth, Cardlytics and HowStuffWorks.

Cooper Carry will design the new 12-story building, which will feature 360,000 square feet of office space. New City has not signed an office tenant, the developer said.

New City secured capital partner J.P. Morgan Asset Management, which is investing in similar creative mixed-use projects in Atlanta. New City will finance the construction with its own equity. Brasfield & Gorrie is the contractor.

The project is inspired by Ponce City Market, formerly the massive Sears Roebuck and Co. warehouse on Ponce that real estate company Jamestown redeveloped.

New City founder Jim Irwin helped lead the project when he was a senior vice president for Jamestown. Manhattan’s The Standard Hotel and Starrett Lehigh, a former industrial building that’s been turned into an office tower, are also influences on 725 Ponce, which Architecture firm S9 helped design. S9 was also the architect on Ponce City Market.