Artist's rendering of the Ponce City Market
ATLANTA -- The Suzuki School is opening a Midtown campus at Ponce City Market, the redevelopment of Atlanta's more than 2-million-square-foot former Sears Building.
The Suzuki School is among the first tenants to commit to leasing space in the massive mixed-use project at Ponce de Leon Avenue and North Avenue, not far from Midtown's Fox Theatre.
Suzuki School, one of the oldest and most respected private preschools in the Southeast, is slated to open its Midtown campus in fall 2014. It will occupy roughly 20,000 square feet of the two-story Ponce City Market building that currently houses the Dancing Goats Coffee Bar. Suzuki School also has campuses in central and south Buckhead.
Ponce City Market is one of the country's largest redevelopments of an existing building, and it has raised expectations that it can hasten an urban renaissance in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.
"Ponce City Market is designed to be a well rounded community asset, a cultural and economic focal point for the surrounding neighborhoods," said Michael Phillips, chief operating officer of Jamestown, the real estate investment firm behind the redevelopment.
"Ponce City Market is a great fit for our Midtown campus," said Robert Charles of The Suzuki School. "Environment is a core foundation to the Suzuki philosophy, where the belief is that physical environment plays a critical role in early childhood learning. We're excited that Ponce City Market's facilities will allow us to conceive and create - from architectural design through construction - one of the key components in our educational process."
Jamestown is well under way on the high-profile project.
The Sears distribution and warehouse center was the largest brick building in the South, with one of its towers dating back to 1926 and rising up to 14 stories over Ponce de Leon and North avenues. The entire project is about a mile east of the Fox Theatre.
Ponce City Market has parallels with another Jamestown project: Chelsea Market, one of Manhattan's best-known office buildings and food halls.
Chelsea Market is a former Nabisco factory that was redeveloped into a 1.1 million-square-foot magnet for high-tech and media companies including the Food Network, Time Warner and Google, along with a mix of local restaurants and shops.
Ponce City Market is already drawing interest from Atlanta's high-tech sector.
Atlanta Business Chronicle has reported that technology company athenahealth will eventually house more than 700 jobs in the building. The Boston area-based company will invest up to $10 million and lease up to 60,000 square feet.
Athenahealth will take 120,000 square feet over the next five years.
Software company Cardlytics Inc. has also reached out to Jamestown and its leasing team Cushman & Wakefield about its interest in potentially relocating to the building.
Ponce City Market will offer 441,000 square feet of office space when the building is complete in 2014. It rises over the Atlanta BeltLine's newest section that connects Piedmont Park, the historic Old Fourth Ward Park and Freedom Parkway trails.
(Atlanta Business Chronicle)