City Hall East details trickle out: Adios parking deck, hello ‘food hall?’


Wondering when the city and developers will finally close the deal for City Hall East, the massive former Sears Roebuck & Co. distribution center towering over Ponce de Leon Avenue? Most likely within the end of the month, reports Green Building Chronicle’s Ken Edelstein.

The former CL overlord attended a CREW-Atlanta’s monthly luncheon on Thursday where the bigwigs behind the grand plan — which Edelstein says could be the largest adaptive reuse project in Atlanta history — released some details. So sayeth Ken:

Jamestown Properties’ Michael Phillips and Green Street Properties Katharine Kelley also offered a peak at preliminary renderings of the project (although — drats! — they weren’t ready to make those renderings available for publication). A bird’s view shows the parking deck on the west side of the property replaced with a new street grid, walkways, small structures and surface parking. The buildings themselves would be trimmed back to their imposing, red-brick core, but Kelley said “circulation corridors” will be cut through them to make the development pedestrian friendly.

Jamestown plans to hedge its bets by balancing the development equally between office, retail and residential — with office and retail coming first because of market conditions. Among the features the panelists spoke most excitedly about: A “food hall” featuring local restaurateurs, very near the spot where an old spur from the Beltline dramatically entered the building to deliver goods to the Sears warehouse.

“It’s a rare day that one of the great restaurants in the city” doesn’t inquire about space inside the building, Phillips said.

The team wants to clean up the interiors and conduct demolition starting in early spring. They hope to open up some retail and office space by 2013. Edelstein’s got much more info — including details over whether CHE will be LEED-certified or not — over at his place. Venture over there quick-like.