We had two hours inside a 2 million square-foot building.
Thursday night, the Fourth Ward Alliance held their monthly meeting inside the former City Hall East. Jamestown Properties, the development company that recently purchased the 16-acre property, gave tours and explained their plans for Ponce City Market.
Jim Irwin, vice president of development for Green Street Properties (a subsidiary of Jamestown), told people that the developers looked forward to working with the community on the project.
"Four distinct neighborhoods have grown up around the building," Irwin said. Those neighborhoods are Midtown, Old Fourth Ward, Virginia-Highland and Poncey-Highland.
"We feel a deep sense of responsibility to make this place what it should be," he said.
That includes making the largest brick building in the Southeast passable by pedestrians. A link will be built to the BeltLine trail. And people will be able to walk from Whole Foods Market to the Historic Fourth Ward Park through the building, he said.
The development, which will one day feature retail, office and residential space, will be redeveloped to "create a true market," Irwin said. Tenants such as bakers and butchers will be recruited. There will be a canning kitchen in the basement and 10,000 square feet of organic rooftop gardens, he said.
"It's really like nothing Atlanta has ever seen," Irwin said.
He said 100 percent of the retail and office space would be opened by spring 2014. Work to remove the heavy machinery inside should begin next week.
You can tour the building during an Oct. 1 mega party called Party at Ponce.