FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 11, 2011
Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta Complete Sale of City Hall East to Jamestown Properties
Ponce City Market project will be the largest adaptive reuse project in the City of Atlanta’s history
ATLANTA - Mayor Kasim Reed and Jamestown Properties, a leading real estate investment firm headquartered in Atlanta, announced today that they have closed on the sale of the historic Sears, Roebuck & Company building. Jamestown purchased the property, currently referred to as City Hall East, from the City of Atlanta through the Atlanta Development Authority for $27 million, including an initial $15.5 million payment at closing. The remaining balance will be paid to the city after the development achieves certain milestones.
The landmark project represents a $180 million investment by Jamestown as well as a partnership between the firm and its sustainable development subsidiary, Green Street Properties. The two firms plan to restore the 2.1 million square-foot property as a mixed-use development named Ponce City Market.
“I am pleased that we have completed the transaction on City Hall East, and am delighted to welcome Jamestown Properties as its new owners,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “This sale gets a $600,000 yearly cost off the city’s books and removes the enormous liability that comes with owning and maintaining a 2-million-square foot building.”
Mayor Reed added: “This building has been one of Atlanta’s signature landmarks for more than eight decades, and I am confident that this historic building is in good hands with this world-class firm. I look forward to the seeing City Hall East transform into a top destination for residents and visitors and becoming the heart of the resurging Ponce de Leon corridor.”
The $180 million investment by Jamestown in the heart of the City of Atlanta will create construction jobs in the short term. In addition, the sale and eventual redevelopment puts the building back on the tax rolls. City officials estimate the deal will yield an economic impact of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years.
“Ponce City Market will be a hub of commerce and community and a critical centerpiece for intown Atlanta,” said Matt Bronfman, managing director of Jamestown. “We are committed to being good stewards of the building as it moves into the next era and becomes a part of Atlanta’s urban landscape. The impact to the community will be significant through the creation of jobs, helping the local economy and engaging a prominent group of retailers inside the perimeter.”
Located on the edge of Midtown, Atlanta’s premier office district, the building is the largest brick structure in the southeastern United States. The iconic building in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward was originally constructed in 1926 by Sears, Roebuck & Company as a retail store, regional warehouse and catalog distribution center. The Obama Administration and Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar played a critical role in making the closing possible by providing approximately $15 million in historic tax credits for the building.
The historic space will boast many original features, including refurbished hardwood maple floors, original steel windows and high ceilings. The structure’s current parking deck will be removed, exposing the original retail facade and some of the building’s interior space will be converted to a parking area. Markets and restaurants, coffee shops and watering holes will entice residents and visitors, tourists and workers. Ponce City Market will become a meeting place and destination for neighbors and strangers alike to commune and connect with one another. Office spaces, filled with established businesses as well as start-ups, will reflect Atlanta’s enterprising spirit and offer a new landscape for economic growth.
In addition, the design plans for the building include integrating it into the surrounding neighborhood with a network of walkable pathways, crosswalks and access points to the Atlanta BeltLine and other public green spaces.
“This project is the last missing piece for reinvigorating this section of Atlanta, and the Ponce City Market location is its most influential factor,” said Katharine Kelley, president and CEO of Green Street Properties. “In addition to historical and environmental initiatives, our focus will be connecting to surrounding activity. We will work to reshape the physical definitions of the property to enhance walkability and accessibility within the metropolitan framework.”
Outlining a two-year timeline, Jamestown and Green Street will begin construction immediately and continue through early 2014, when Ponce City Market will open to the public. The team will restore the building’s former character and adhere to the National Historic Registry as they progress through phases of exterior improvements, interior restoration of the original maple floors and steel-framed windows and the transformation into urban retail, restaurant, office and residential spaces. For more information, visit http://www.poncecitymarket.com.
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