A new tower could soon replace a parking lot on Ponce de Leon Avenue near the bustling Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail.
The 250,000-square-foot development named 715 Ponce would include ground floor retail, seven stories of office space, an amenity floor, and five levels of parking. It would rise on the 1-acre lot between Green’s Beverages and the Ford Factory Lofts and adjacent to 725 Ponce, the 12-story office and retail tower located on the Beltline ]across from Ponce City Market.
The project is the second phase of 725 Ponce, completed by New City Properties in 2019 and sold to Cousin Properties for just over $300 million in 2021. New City and Cousins are working together on the proposed 715 Ponce project.
“This is a long time coming,” Jim Irwin, president of New City Properties, told members of the Atlanta BeltLine Design Review Committee during a presentation of the project at their May 17 meeting.
“[This] is something that we’ve always had in mind from the beginning.”
Initial plans for 715 Ponce include a “crack,” or passage, through the building so pedestrians and cyclists can access the Beltline via the 725 Ponce plaza. Irwin said he also wants to build a pedestrian bridge between Green’s and an apartment building to connect to the Freedom Park trail.
Food and beverage vendors are planned for the rooftop and ledges for irrigated plants are being considered as part of the building’s design. The building would be made of all masonry, including some glazed terracotta around retail entrances.
Irwin said a timeline for the project is still to be determined. Currently, talks are taking place with Green’s to make improvements to the store, including a potential expansion, in exchange for the ability to build above the liquor store, he said.
“I can tell you the committee was really happy to see that Green’s is being saved,” said DRC member David Hamilton and principal at Praxis3 Architects. “I think a lot of people will be.”
Irwin said when he worked for Jamestown Properties in 2010 and led the development of Ponce City Market, an Atlanta City Council member told him, “I love what you’re doing, just don’t mess with my Green’s.”
“Yes, ma’am, I promise,” he said he told her. “And I’ve remembered that ever since.”
Jay Suever, senior project manager for Atlanta BeltLine Inc., told Irwin the space for the project is a “tough puzzle, but I think you all figured it out.”
Hamilton had high praise for the project as well.
“I think you’ve done it again,” he said.
“I really appreciate how you’ve really upped the game and upped the paradigm for architecture along the Beltline and architecture in Atlanta in general,” Hamilton said. “I hope that other developers … take your example to heart.”