A project brewing at Pratt Pullman District will soon combine three things common across intown Atlanta: deep railroad history, ailing buildings being repurposed, and boozing outdoors.

The first public-accessible facet at the redevelopment of Kirkwood’s historic Pratt-Pullman Yard will be a “movable alcohol park” built on historic rail lines uncovered across the property, developers tell Urbanize Atlanta.

Called the Historic Rail Park at Pullman Yard, the project’s first segment will open next month, but it’s expected to keep evolving over time as Atomic Entertainment’s 27-acre Pratt Pullman District is built out, according to company cofounder Adam Rosenfelt.  

A masterplan for the Rail Park and surrounding site was compiled by James Corner Field Operations, the firm behind New York City’s High Line and other highly regarded projects around the world.

As depicted in this circa-1920s image, rails branching into the former industrial district will be used for the linear park. Rosenfelt says his team has uncovered more buried rail than what's shown here. Courtesy of Historic Atlanta

MARTA’s tracks and other heavy rail run along Pratt Pullman District’s northern border, but there’s also a rail spur branching off CSX’s lines that covers about 10 acres, bisecting the full district.

Those rails, largely buried for ages, have been deemed historic by the National Parks Service and Georgia’s Historic Preservation Division.  

According to Rosenfelt, the rails once functioned as the industrial site’s spine and are poised to again—only this time, they’ll be toting portable shipping containers serving local craft beers, cocktails, and other drink options. It’s the “interactive experience for the public to enjoy” that Rosenfelt and his team have long envisioned for the subterranean tracks, he said.

“The concept of adding train-truck wheels to shipping containers is unique,” Rosenfelt wrote via email. “We worked closely with a team of train and rail experts and welders in order to perfect the structure and mobility capacity for the containers.”

An overview of where the first Rail Park section will operate, at left, at the 27-acre property. Google Maps

The Rail Park’s first phase will run from the CSX line spur at the northwest corner of the site for roughly a block and ½, parallel to Rogers Street, ending next to a large white structure that’s been used for movie production and film screenings.

That section will be open daily to the general public beginning May 19, to coincide with the debut of Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, which is being held at Pratt Pullman District until at least the end of 2021.  

watermark The Pullman site activated for an open-air chef's market in September where the Rail Park will open next month. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Expect five moveable containers at the Rail Park initially. They’ll be operated by the crew behind Abby Singer, the district’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant, which is also expected to debut with the Van Gogh spectacular. 

Eventually, more containers will be added to the rails with varying concepts—food, art, and some retail—with a goal of constantly changing the park so it never feels static, said Rosenfelt.

“We’ll add carts as we go and more aspects of the site are opened,” he said. “This concept will be an exciting draw for the public to enjoy during the Van Gogh exhibit and beyond.”

This central park design is planned just beyond where the Rail Park's first phase will stop for now. Courtesy of Atomic Entertainment

Atomic Entertainment, owned by Rosenfelt and his wife, fellow producer and business partner Maureen Meulen, purchased the site from the Georgia Building Authority for $8 million in 2017.

Their vision calls for a mixed-use development anchored by movie and TV production facilities, costing upwards of $100 million and spread across one of the largest development sites left in eastside Atlanta.

Elsewhere at the Pullman property, national multifamily developer Alliance Residential Company is in the midst of constructing its largest of six projects in metro Atlanta. Broadstone Pullman will consist of 354 rentals in three different buildings, all spread across 5 acres at the Pullman property’s south end.

Directly across the street, Proxima Residential has gone vertical on a rare eastside venture of for-sale condos. Called Pullman Flats, that project is expected to bring 60 residences, offices, and retail fronting Rogers Street.

Recent Kirkwood news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)