The Original Sears Building of Atlanta. Now Under New Ownership and Renamed Ponce City Market
The original Sears building on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta is a free standing brick building comprising of 2 million square feet of space, the largest of its kind in the south to date. Sears originally opened its doors in 1926, operating as both a retail store and distribution center for all of the southeast. By 1989, Sears closed up shop and sold the property in 1991 to the City of Atlanta. For the last 20 years, the building served as city offices and was renamed City Hall East, using only 10% of its total capacity.
Over the summer, a deal was announced between the City of Atlanta and Jamestown Properties for Jamestown to purchase the entire parcel from the city with a vision of completely transforming the site. The newly named Ponce City Market will breathe new life into this historic property while retaining its vintage character. Current designs call for a mixed use development, with an assortment of restaurants, retail shops, and apartments. What makes this property so unique and poised for success, is its position within a cluster of established neighborhoods -- Old Fourth Ward, Virginia Highland, Poncey Highland, and Midtown -- plus its stone's throw location to the Beltline, a project in the works to revamp original rail lines throughout the city as pedestrian friendly greenspace. A highly anticipated opening is slated for early 2014.
A concert event -- Party at Ponce -- to benefit the Beltline and in celebration of Ponce City Market and Green Street Properties 10th anniversary, is happening on site this Saturday October 1st. Party at Ponce is bringing together local Atlanta favorites.... musicians The Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins, and Francine Reed will be performing and chefs from the area's adored restaurants will serving up delectable dishes. The price of the ticket includes a scheduled tour of the interior of the building to get a glimpse inside the original space. Our tour was yesterday and needless to say, it was pretty amazing! Its like time stopped.... fixtures like the time card holders to punch in on the clock remain on the walls, the assembly line system to fill Sears customer orders remains intact, and the original mechanical room housing the electrical fuses is untouched. Click here for ticket info and check out my photos from our tour below....
Cubicles to fill customer orders on an assembly line configuration (above) -- this picture doesn't even begin to show the depth and size of the structure. Individual filling station (below).
Actual railroad cars were brought into the building to load shipments of product. The ceiling (above) shows structural reinforcement to accommodate the weight of the cars and the location where they arrived (below).
From the roof -- looking out over the Whole Foods shopping center to the buildings of Midtown (above) and Buckhead (below).
From the roof -- overlooking the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood and the buildings of Downtown (above and below).
Watch the Video Below for a Quick Overview of the Upcoming Plans for Ponce City Market