Ponce de Leon Avenue’s potential metamorphosis from a car-centric thoroughfare to a denser urban environment is coming into clearer focus.
Project leaders revealed site plans and renderings Wednesday at the BeltLine Design Review Committee’s monthly meeting that depict a 250,000-square-foot office tower rising from a sprawling parking lot just east of the BeltLine and Ponce City Market, constituting the second phase of New City Properties’ Kroger-anchored 725 Ponce development.
Aspects of the 715 Ponce De Leon Avenue proposal, dubbed “The Ponce” in renderings, strongly echo its sibling tower next door, from the rectangular geometry, cantilevers, and elevated outdoor spaces to the use of oversized pillars.
Surface parking for the Kroger that replaced the colloquially named Murder Kroger will remain, according to drawings. Ditto for the longstanding Green’s Beverages liquor store along Ponce, though surface parking behind that building would be redeveloped.
The 715 Ponce building would be topped with a rooftop amenity, while a passageway at the base would aim to link the BeltLine and Freedom Park greenspace chain a block to the east, according to plans submitted to the BeltLine DRC.
The project is expected to include seven stories of office space, five levels of parking, and a single story for amenities at ground level, replacing surface parking between Kroger, Ford Factory Lofts, and Green’s on Ponce.
That number of stories would be one more than 12-story 725 Ponce next door.
The new development would include a 300-foot pedestrian connection to 725 Ponce’s existing stairs, which lead to the Eastside Trail, per the BeltLine DRC agenda. No zoning variations have been requested.
Atlanta-based Cousins Properties is teaming with New City and J.P. Morgan Asset Management to redevelop the parking lot. Cousins bought 725 Ponce in 2021 and entered a partnership with New City at that time to remake the adjacent parking lot, continuing a development surge in the area.
Within a block of the site, Ponce City Market owners Jamestown are under construction on two towers and an office building that will surround the 1920s landmark with new housing and working options. Across the street from the 715 Ponce parking lot, Portman Holdings has submitted plans to the city for a mixed-use venture that would drastically remake multiple Ponce blocks.
On a property tour of 725 Ponce five years ago, just after the building had topped out, New City president Jim Irwin pointed down to the parking lot behind Green’s and predicted this day would come. Phase two’s activation has taken years longer than expected, but it’s further evidence the lovably scruffy Ponce of today could be night-and-day different from what’s to come.
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