Sunday, December 21, 2014

60 Days Inside Ponce City Market


Well, I'm sure you are eager to hear how things are progressing inside the world's most watched building.   Reports on redevelopment of this building are coming in from all over the place.  The Wall Street Journal just covered the redevelopment of this iconic structure.   CNN will be here on site on Monday (I'm being interviewed in Loki in a Box for a portion of the report about tenants life inside the building). This old Sears building has become a rock star among the adaptive reuse crowd, foodies and Anthropologie groupies - and its not even open, yet.

Loki and I have now been in our Flat (aka; Loki in a Box) for a little over 60 days and while progress is slow on the Residential side, things are moving right along in the corridors of the business Flats.  I recently got a tour and was very impressed with the progress.

Things from the street may look quiet but it certainly is hopping within our walls. We have about 92 of 259 Flats occupied with about 120 or so people living here. However, this is just a small fraction of who all is inside the building now.

The developer, Jamestown, consolidated its two Atlanta offices and now occupies a big chunk of the 7th floor and has all their Atlanta people working in the building.
 
Jamestown offices could win awards.
But the most fun for me was looking at all the  photos of the building and mechanical gadgets used as decoration throughout the space.

Slam is ensconced.
Cardlytics is trucking along.
AethenaHealth is happy.
MailChimp will have the largest staff in the building.

All total, by my not so scientific and not yet confirmed headcount, over 1,000 people will be working in commercial offices within the building (mostly on the Ponce de Leon side of the building).  Each of the office spaces I have seen are spacious, bright, hip and trendy - bubbling with the new office design concepts of open space and work cubes (instead of 10x10 office boxes) with collaborative work spaces (no longer called conference rooms) sprinkled throughout. Everyone has chosen to place work cubes in the center of their spaces and leave the windows, with amazing views, accessible to all.  

The morning inflow of cars is constant between 7:30 and 9AM, but employees arrive in all kinds of ways.  Some ride the PCM shuttle that runs to and from the North Ave MARTA station about every 15 minutes.  Others arrive by scooter or bike and I saw someone on a skateboard the other day.  It's awesome.  But, tenants who live here (and pay for parking) are already expressing concerns about the 'shared' parking arrangements in the building.  Watch for the construction of a new parking deck to be built right off North Ave and next to the Beltline near 'the shed'.

Other recent additions include an electric car charging stations at front door rock star parking location.  Walter Brown of Jamestown demonstrating below.


It looks like the rooftop fun spots are well into development.  This happy place on the '10th' floor, with big illuminated bubbles suspended from the ceiling, will be a restaurant with access to the roof.  


Work continues on the entrance to the Beltline but it's way too slow for those of us who have wanted to get out to enjoy this mild winter weather. Seems Jamestown has plans for 'the shed' and it needs to be farther along in repair before we can pass through to access the Beltline.  Right now, its in shambles and could be another 2 months or so before we can pass through.   Hoping the weather stays warm and allows for continuous work days to speed up progress.

When its finished I know the Shed will be a happening place for people walking the Beltline and I sneak down there from time to time to watch its transition.
GOOD NEWS:  The sign on top warning the hobo train riders to duck, will remain.

Binders is open and is a awesome cool and its huge!  You can find it off of North Ave on the left as you enter the parking lot.  I'm told its the happening location for urban street artists to obtain their wares and supplied all the spray paint for the happy child-like mural on the side of Ponce Kroger.

The Food Court preparation is a priority and many of the spaces are already contracted by locally-based food entrepreneurs chomping at the bit to open and feed all of us (and you...smile).  Looking at early Spring.....sigh.




Here is who is waiting to move in
http://www.poncecitymarket.com/directory/category/food/

So in the meantime, residents numbers are growing slowly and we are getting to know each other.  There is already a Bible Study group (I have not joined....smile)  and we are planning a Flats Progressive Party for early next year.  Many of us are just dying to see how the others have turned cold concrete lofts into warm homes.   We chat briefly, but enthusiastically, when we meet in 4th Ward Park with our dogs.  

We all recently attended a tenants holiday party breakfast to get to know each other better and tour the building. Many who live here had never seen the inside of this massive edifice.  They all came back very excited and slightly more tolerant to the constant construction noise and intrusion.  As I talk with my neighbors it does amaze me how many have moved in with very little knowledge of the history of this building.  They are here for its future, not its past, I suppose.


A reminder that some of the building is still a hardhat zone.

So life goes on and work continues here.  Loki seems happy and, of course, that's what really matters.

Behind me, if you count three windows in from the right and four down  you will locate the North Ave window of Loki in a Box.  All the apartments came with window shade and they make a huge difference in the apartments with south facing windows.

More soon.  Happy Holidays!