Despite setbacks related to construction material sourcing, a boutique condo building continues to make progress after years of planning on a section of Ponce de Leon Avenue abuzz with new investment and development activity, project leaders tell Urbanize Atlanta.

The Leon on Ponce, a relatively rare development of for-sale intown condos, has completed construction of its parking podium, with five stories of living levels (include rooftop spaces) now set to top that.

Pauline Miller, managing director for new development with Compass, tells Urbanize Atlanta that securing construction materials needed for a project that falls between single-family and high-rise scopes has been challenging since The Leon broke ground a year ago.

Floorplans continue to be tweaked accordingly, and the unit count has been bumped up by three versus initial plans.  

“We’re just making sure the units can come in affordably for buyers—at one time they were larger, now we made them smaller,” said Miller. “The good news is that we didn’t have a pre-sale requirement, so we didn’t get caught. When you build a building, and it costs more than you sell it for, that’s never good.”

Construction progress on The Leon earlier this month. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

The Leon, now a 75-unit mid-rise project, was first marketed in May 2019 as the replacement for a cleared site that had served as surface parking. The .9-acre property sits between Mister Carwash and a new boutique hotel, less than a block west of Ponce City Market.

Atlanta-based Urban Eco Group is leading the development, with designs by another local company, Place Maker Design. The architecture firm’s previous work includes designs at The Beacon in Grant Park, Alpharetta City Center, and Atlantic Station’s Atlantic Stacks condos.

Miller said plans call for bringing The Leon to market in the first or second quarter of 2023, with the building expected to deliver sometime in the fourth quarter.

Condos will range from one-bedrooms with 610 square feet up to two-bedroom options with 1,100 square feet.

According to Miller, prices will range from the high-$300,000s to the $600,000s—similar to the original price points. 

“They’re really beautiful, efficient plans, really pretty,” she said. “We’re making sure it’s going to be really nice.”  

The Leon's proximity to the new Wylie Hotel, an adaptive-reuse project finished last year. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

With the exception of a few shipping containers, the site’s last occupant was the controversial Phoenix bar, which the city shut down in 2005. An LLC called 567 Ponce de Leon Partners PL1 scooped up the property in April 2019 for $2.14 million, property records show.

Prior to The Leon breaking ground, a “Coming Soon” sign for the project stood at the property for more than two years.

An updated rendering of The Leon's facade along Ponce provided to Urbanize Atlanta this week. Courtesy of Urban Eco Group/Compass; designs, Place Maker Design

The Leon joins thousands of Old Fourth Ward apartments developed over the past decade but only a handful of condo offerings. Those include Capital City Real Estate’s 29-unit Flats at the Indie condo project (formerly priced from the mid-$300,000s, but now sold out). Earlier this year, the same company topped out a 12-story condo project called The Indie next door.

Beyond The Leon condo development, investment has been pouring into this formerly scraggly section of Ponce in recent years.

On the property immediately west, the boutique, 111-room Wylie Hotel opened last year, reviving a landmark building from the 1920s. Less than two blocks away, on the same side of Ponce, Chick-fil-A has cleared a former gas station site to build a brick-clad, drive-thru restaurant at the corner of Boulevard.  

Meanwhile, just to the east, Ponce City Market’s second phase—to include two new residential towers more than 20 stories tall—is also barreling ahead with construction.

Recent Old Fourth Ward news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)