The death knell is tolling for the infamous Kroger on Ponce de Leon Avenue adjacent to the Atlanta Beltline. In November, we caught wind of a major redo planned for the 1980s suburban-style grocery facility, but both Kroger and Ponce City Market were tight-lipped (while not denying that something was afoot). Today the cloak has lifted, and it’s official that Murder Beltline Kroger will be demolished for a 60,000-square-foot Kroger prototype. The project also includes a mixed-use component called 725 Ponce, which will rise above Kroger with 360,000 square feet of office space (but no residential units) designed “to take advantage of the spectacular views of the adjacent Beltline, Ponce City Market and Historic Fourth Ward Park,” officials said. It’s a team effort by Kroger and a company called New City, founded by Jim Irwin, the guy who spearheaded Ponce City Market.
More specifically, the office space will be delivered in a similar fashion as Ponce City Market, in that it “will cater to the intown worker and (will include) open floor plates with exposed 13-foot ceilings, divided light windows and a refined industrial aesthetic,” per developers.
And for fans of non-blah architecture, there’s this:
“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 new Kroger will boast an entrance directly onto the Beltline. Expect an expanded selection of natural foods, prepared foods and organic products, according to Kroger.
The 900 new parking spaces below the project will be available Beltline and Ponce City Market patrons on evenings and weekends. What’s more, New City is working with the owners of neighboring 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.”
Developers expect to break ground this spring.
Here’s what officials have to say about the deal:
New City founder Jim Irwin, who spearheaded the redevelopment of Ponce City Market (more than 90 percent leased now) for Jamestown. He 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 and adds another layer to the urban landscape.”
Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, a cheerleader for smart urban development:
“We’ve built great relationships both with Kroger and with Jim Irwin during his work on Ponce City Market. I’m excited to work with them both on this new project to provide additional amenities and business opportunities for the residents of our historic neighborhoods.”
Paul Morris, Atlanta Beltline CEO:
“This project exemplifies the catalytic role the Atlanta Beltline continues to play in advancing Atlanta’s stature as a world-class walkable/bikable city … 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.”