Panorama of my town

Panorama of my town

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

30 Days Inside Ponce City Market Flats

For about a year I have been writing about my 10 year journey to become the first resident to live in the 'old Sears' building.  Well, it's official, Loki and I are now completely ensconced into our new 655 square foot Flat at Ponce City Market.  Because I wanted to paint my unit before I moved in, I was actually the 3rd person to spend the night under the roof of this building, but close enough.

So here are the answers to all the questions I have been getting from friends and Facebook buddies about life in the first 30 days inside Ponce City Market.

Yes, it is as cool as I had hoped.

Yes, it is small (apartment is now officially renamed 'Loki In A Box').

Yes, the views are heavenly.

The units are for rent and come unfurnished and are painted white, white, white (yuk).  I have some awesome and creative friends (thank you Dolly and Teresa) who made my vision come true, but before I leave I'll have to paint it back to white.

Yes, the management team are wonderful.  On the day I painted, I came into the unit and found, to my complete surprise, several housewarming gifts from the Jamestown (developer) and Greystar (residential leasing) teams including spaghetti and sauce from Whole Foods to make dinner easy on that 1st night (and it did!), and a few branded keepsakes that I treasure.  The bottle of wine in this photo was a special gift from Walter and Annie - thank you, both - who came to welcome me on painting day.

But all that said, this is a work in progress, for sure, and there have been lots of ways that has been proven in the last 30 days.

Moving was everything you come to hate about it, but for me it came with the added stress of the 'making it up as you go alone' factor for all things related to this still-a-work-in-progress building.    What elevator do we use to haul in furniture and boxes?  No freight elevator - seriously, in a building that was a warehouse for 70 years!    Where does the moving truck park? In the parking lot - no loading dock -  uumm...ditto.  Where do I put trash and crushed boxes as I unpack?  Take it yourself down the hall (which are VERY long) to the chutes. What do you mean 'garbage pickup hasn't started yet'?  Too much stuff, where do I put it?  In the not-yet-ready-for-prime-time storage room.  What do you mean you don't know which storage unit is mine?  I just filled one up and put a lock on it!

I got lost twice learning how to get to the 6th floor parking deck to park near my apartment.  Seriously, it is THE most confusing thing I have ever traversed. I think I enter on the 1st floor then go thru 3rd floor then up to 5th floor then around inside the building and up to 6th floor, or something like that.  I still can't figure out how I lost the 2nd and 4th floors.  Its like magic.  Its confusing.  I park outside the building most of the time.

Yes, PCM is convenient to all things important to me (work, friends, shopping) and Loki (he is particularly happy to be walking in the 4th Ward Park every day).  I have all but a few modest boxes unpacked, and have had a few friends come over (2 at a time so we all have a place to sit- LOL).  

Yes, eventually I am going to hold an Open House (which we are going to call an Open Hall, because that is where most people will be standing) but not until the building is a little more 'stable.'

No, the development is NOT complete. In fact, it is VERY not complete.  Its an active construction site/village in the making.  Construction workers stream in around 8am and leave around 5pm, six days a week. Security guards zip around in golf carts and stand at the North Ave entrance looking for a parking passes as cars and trucks come and go.

Binders is open and there is a little early education center in the same building at Dancing Goat. So there is some public activity happening in that corner.

In the 'main' building there are about 50 residents scattered around the building on 6 floors and about 200 AethenaHealth employees on the 8th and 9th floors (I think). Residents know each other by the lack of a uniform or when there is a dog on a leash - we wave, and chat briefly, but have not yet coalesced. I have neighbors on either side of me...combined, their ages don't add up to mine.  Both both are very quiet.

Office tenants come and go in their cars but can't get to our residential parts of the building, so we just see them as they buzz up and down the parking ramps far more expertly then I.

The issues of living in a BRAND spanking new apartment community are what you'd expect  - not all the services had been nailed down as of the 1st of October when residents began to arrive.   Residents finally got keys to their mail boxes 2 weeks ago. Garbage pick up started almost 3 weeks after I moved in. Getting internet access was a nightmare.  The residential internet portal still doesn't work quite right yet, so we just email the leasing office with any issues and a couple of really great guys come take care of things (thanks, Tim!).

Of course, funny shit has happened in this still-figuring-it-out-as-we-go-along building. Someone mislabeled the 'Garbage' and 'Recycling' chutes so we spent the 1st week in October throwing stuff into the wrong reciprocals in the basement before they figured out we residents were not just a bunch of idiots.

No, there is no entrance to the Beltline from the building, yet.  But, I watch that 3rd floor breezeway like a hawk and while there is real progress, I understand it will be a few more months before we get to use it.

No, there are no restaurants inside the building.  I am beside myself with anticipation at the announcements of who is coming, but I understand it will be Spring before we see an occupied Food Court.  If you follow me on Facebook or read the news about PCM, then you have seen some of the names and you know what's coming will be amazing.

In spite of the 'growing pains' and getting lost in the parking deck, and garbage pick up and internet access confusion and constant noise from construction (or perhaps in some ways because of it all) Loki and I are quite content. We like the hustle and bustle. We like to open the window and listen to the trumpet player on the corner at the Masquerade in the evenings.  We like the staff who field endless requests and inquiries of one kind or another with kindness and a pleasant tone.  We like our compact space and are developing a rhythm of life in Loki's Box.

The fact is, when the building is complete and the construction is done and the Food Court is open and the business offices are filled, then the hustle and bustle will only really just begin, as thousands of people will come and go at all hours of the day and night, to live, work, eat, drink and play in this fine old building.  So Loki and I await it all in the relative calm, for now.


Terry said...

I toured the open apartment at PCM during the O4W home tour. It was a top floor single facing HO4W Park, nice. But I'm still lost. The hostess seemed shocked when I asked if they had little carts to help tote the groceries and beer. She said they had thought of it. I don't think I could manage it otherwise.

Unknown said...

Terry- I am able to park my car less than 100 feet from my front door. also, our refrigerators are very small so I shop a few times a weeks in smaller amounts. Food is fresher and I don't have as much to carry.

Anonymous said...

Great recap...looks like it'll be really great when the entire project is complete!