The Lee + White warehouse redevelopment in historic West End is scrapping plans for a standalone food hall in favor of one that’s integrated into existing buildings, while part of its surface parking lots will be remade into a greenspace with a village of repurposed shipping containers, officials announced today.

The result will be the Westside Trail’s first food hall—and what project leaders are calling the largest greenspace integrated into a BeltLine development to date.

Instead of new construction, Lee + White’s 28,000-square-foot food hall will be built within a former warehouse called Building 1020, according to investment partners Ackerman & Co. and MDH Partners. Construction is underway now.

Expect a mix of 13 food stalls, plus full-service restaurants and fast-casual dining options, including the second location of chef Todd Richards’ Lake & Oak BBQ. A large central bar in the food hall will open to a new exterior patio overlooking a parking lot that faces the BeltLine.

That’s where a centralized gathering place called the Great Lawn will reclaim asphalt parking and double the amount of greenspace initially planned. Developers are calling it the largest BeltLine amenity of its kind.  

“The half-mile of BeltLine frontage, the four direct BeltLine entrances to the Lee + White property, and the ample greenspace fronting the hugely popular trail are advantages that even the most established projects along the BeltLine can’t match,” said Leo Wiener, president of Ackerman Retail, a division of Ackerman & Co., in an announcement today.

How the food hall and its patios will meet existing parking lots and the enhanced greenspace. Courtesy of MDH Partners, Ackerman & Co.; designs, Smith Dalia Architects

Also in the works, adjacent to the Great Lawn, is a hub of five 20-foot shipping containers that will be refashioned into pop-up retail spaces. The retail village’s roster will frequently change with small businesses signed on short-term leases, offering everything from clothing to homeware and fashion accessories, officials said.  

Construction on the new Lee + White phase is expected to finish in spring next year. 

Wiener added that folding the food hall into the existing warehouse building allows it to open sooner and “also furthers our sustainable practices and aligns with our green initiatives.” 

View of the adaptive-reuse food hall plans from above the BeltLine's Westside Trail. Courtesy of MDH Partners, Ackerman & Co.; designs, Smith Dalia Architects

Kelly Wilson, Ackerman Retail’s senior vice president who’s leading leasing efforts, said interest has been strong from a variety of food vendors.  

“The energizing environment provided by the surrounding breweries, distilleries, and food manufacturers, along with the additional foot traffic soon to come from new office tenants, make this food hall a highly appealing destination for best-in-class and new-to-market concepts,” said Wilson in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, loft office redevelopments are ongoing at both ends of the 14-building warehouse row.

Those include 61,000-square-foot Building 1050, slated to finish next month with Atlanta-owned nanotechnology company Carbice Carbon signed on as a tenant. At the opposite end of Lee + White, nearest the MARTA rail line, construction is also underway on 90,000-square-foot Building 929.

Construction on building 1050, where the tech startup will be located, as seen in March. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Also in that section, Monday Night Brewery, one of Lee + White’s original tenants, has recently expanded by about 10,000 square feet to allow for more brewing and production.

Ackerman teamed with MDH Partners in 2019 to buy Lee + White for $40.3 million. After lean months in early and mid-2020, the district returned to pre-pandemic patronage levels by November, projects leaders have previously said. 

The roster across the existing 426,000 square feet of spaces includes three breweries (Monday Night Garage, Best End, Wild Heaven), a distillery (ASW), plus Boxcar restaurant, Hop City beer store, Honeysuckle Gelato, Doux South Pickles, and the Westside’s first rock-climbing gym, The Overlook.

Spotted: Fresh BeltLine is being installed on city's Westside (Urbanize Atlanta)