Atlanta INtown, “’BeltLine’ Kroger on Ponce set for big redevelopment”

Whether you call it “Murder Kroger” or “BeltLine Kroger,” you’ll soon be calling it dust as the Ponce de Leon Avenue supermarket is demolished to make room for a new mixed-used development.

Kroger’s Atlanta Division and New City, LLC, announced today plans to develop 725 Ponce, a mixed-use development on the Atlanta BeltLine, adjacent to Ponce City Market between North and Ponce de Leon Avenues, according to a media release on the project.

The development will break ground in the spring of 2016, and will include a new 60,000 square-foot Kroger below 360,000 square feet of Class-A loft office space, designed to take advantage of the spectacular views of the adjacent BeltLine, Ponce City Market and Historic Fourth Ward Park.

New City founder Jim Irwin, who spearheaded the redevelopment of Ponce City Market for Jamestown, will lead the development team. “Our goal for 725 Ponce is to build on the incredible momentum of Ponce City Market and the BeltLine,” said Irwin. “It’s exciting to be able to partner with Kroger to revitalize the property and have an opportunity to design a new building that fits within the context with the historic structures next door – adding another layer to the urban landscape.”

The office space will be delivered in a similar fashion as Ponce City Market, which is currently more than 90 percent leased. The building will cater to the in-town worker, and includes open floor plates with exposed 13-foot ceilings, divided light windows and a refined industrial aesthetic. The building will feature multiple stair-stepped outdoor terraces, which will provide office tenants with the opportunity to work and congregate outdoors and enjoy spectacular views of the Atlanta skyline.

The existing Kroger facility, circa 1986, will be demolished and a brand-new 60,000 square-foot Kroger prototype will be constructed in its place. The new store will be immediately adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine with a dedicated entrance directly on the path. “Kroger is excited to build a new store to suit the unique needs of our in-town customers,” says Glynn Jenkins, public relations director for Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “The new store will include an expanded natural foods and organic assortment of products, extensive prepared foods, ‘Click List’ online grocery ordering and other amenities so we may offer even more choices and convenience for our loyal customers.”

Below the footprint of the project, more than 900 new parking spaces will be constructed to serve future office tenants. Additionally, on evenings and weekends, this parking will be available to the public for those visiting the BeltLine and Ponce City Market. Finally, New City will be working with the owners of the adjacent Ford Factory to create a new dedicated BeltLine entrance to their building, public breezeway and new BeltLine-facing retail space inside the existing structure as part of the overall redevelopment.

“This project exemplifies the catalytic role the Atlanta BeltLine continues to play in advancing Atlanta’s stature as a world-class walkable/bikable city,” said Paul Morris, CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine. “The confidence New City and their investors are showing at 725 Ponce further solidifies the urban development revolution taking place around the BeltLine, with robust economic development that affords residents the ability to work, shop and live their lives using the BeltLine as their primary means of transportation.”

Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall has been instrumental in the adoption of the Poncey-Highland and Old Fourth Ward master plans that have paved the way for projects like 725 Ponce and Ponce City Market.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to see the results of years of hard work by the community,” says Councilman Hall. “I’ve built great relationships both with Kroger and Jim Irwin during his work on Ponce City Market, and I’m excited to work with both on this new project to provide additional amenities and business opportunities for the residents of our historic neighborhoods.”