Real estate investment and management firm Jamestown Properties has revealed specifics for 700,000 square feet of new development the company feels will lend mixed-use landmark Ponce City Market a fresh dynamic in a post-pandemic world.

In recent weeks, site prep and construction have begun on two corners of Ponce City Market’s block in Old Fourth Ward—one at North Avenue and the BeltLine, the other at Ponce de Leon Avenue and Glen Iris Drive—that will constitute the project’s $175-million second phase.

The bulk of the plans call for more residential development in two 21-story towers on either side of the former Sears, Roebuck and Co. distribution center, plus an office building and three more sections of retail.

At left, the 21-story Signal House project's site along the BeltLine. At right, the 21-story hospitality living tower and adjacent office building now standing at the northwest corner of PCM's property, per a 2020 rendering. Courtesy of Jamestown Properties

The intent, as Jamestown president Michael Phillips relayed in a press release today, is to create a "multi-generational residential community" that caters to "a wide range of lifestyles and living situations,” in conjunction with existing apartments above Ponce City Market.

For starters, the 21-story, 163-unit apartment building facing the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail will be called Signal House, officials say. After construction began two months ago, the project has risen a few stories above a longstanding parking structure.

Positioned where the BeltLine meets North Avenue, Signal House will include 3,300 square feet of retail fronting the BeltLine.

Handel Architects

Jamestown revealed today the building is being designed for active adults and the 55-plus community, with apartments ranging from one to three-bedrooms and a focus on health and wellness. “Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing the fastest adoption of technology in history,” said Phillips. “Signal House will cater to a 55+ community that wants the convenience of technology-enabled living without the friction points.”

At the northwest corner of the property, the other 21-story building will offer a flexible-stay, hospitality-living concept catering to “the global nomad” with 405 units, all fully furnished.

Stays will range from single nights to one-year leases. The building will also include 12,000 square feet of retail with 21-foot ceilings, officials say.

The base of the hospitality-living concept that's under construction at Glen Iris Drive and Glen Iris Way. The west-facing facade of Ponce City Market is shown at right. Handel Architects

“The line between Airbnb and hotels, short-term and long-term rentals, is blurring,” noted Phillips. “The majority of people under 30 default to Airbnb and short-term stay rentals rather than hotels. People want the flexibility of short-term rentals with the service of a hotel.”

The last component, also at the corner of Ponce and Glen Iris, is called 691 Ponce.

The four-story, 90,000-square-foot loft office building will be constructed of mass timbers, with another 23,000 square feet of retail space at ground level.      

The four-story 619 Ponce office project's planned facade and entries on Glen Iris Drive. TILTPIXEL

Planned look of 619 Ponce interiors. Neoscape

Additional facets of phase two will include a public courtyard between the new offices and hospitality-living tower, plus onsite bike lanes, bike and scooter parking, EV charging stations, and designated ride-share drop-off sites.

Jamestown says the next phase will bring more than 550 permanent jobs to the campus, adding to 90 businesses operating onsite now.

Once the next facets are built and occupied, Ponce City Market will be home to 100 businesses, nearly 6,000 employees, and 800 residences, according to Jamestown. 

Construction timelines call for Signal House to open along the BeltLine by the end of 2023. The offices and hospitality tower are expected to follow sometime in 2024.   

Recent Old Fourth Ward news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)