Atlanta real estate firm buys historic Marietta properties, food hall

Take a tour of Marietta Square Market

Take a tour of Marietta Square Market

An Atlanta real estate firm recently purchased several redeveloped, century-old buildings in Marietta, including the property transformed into Cobb County’s first food hall.

Bridger Properties bought roughly 97,000 square feet of building space in Marietta Station along with the Marietta Square Market food hall and several retail properties along Church Street, company representative told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Sale price details were not released, but county property records show one of the properties sold for nearly $10 million.

“We think Marietta station is an absolute landmark,” Jack Arnold, co-founder and principal at Bridger, said Wednesday. “It’s this fantastic old series of buildings that has a lot of really interesting character, and we think it has a lot of upside in terms of how we can further activate it.”

Most of the historic industrial buildings have been converted into office space, and the retail space is filled by several tenants. Arnold said there’s no plans to drastically change the properties or how they’re managed, so tenants and customers likely won’t notice a difference from the change in ownership.

“The asset is in great shape,” he said. “It’s been incredibly well-maintained and taken care of, and it’s got super unique bones. Our view in general is that there’s continued room for improvement specifically at Marietta Station to continue to capture and expand upon the increased growth of Marietta.”

Bridger, which made the acquisition in a joint venture with Chicago-based Northpond Partners, also now owns a pedestrian bridge and a parking lot north of the food hall. Wharton Management sold the property on behalf of its longtime owners, the Eubanks family, on Jan. 21.

Merritt Lancaster, who is also a co-founder and principal at Bridger, said his company purchased the land for the popular food hall but did not acquire the building or operations. Marietta Square Market, which opened in 2019, is the city’s answer to popular food halls in the Atlanta area, such as Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market.

“The food hall is really great and really active,” Lancaster said. “You go out there really any day of the week and there’s a lot of folks there.”

Bridger, which owns and operates more than 50 properties in North Georgia, is bullish on the continued growth of Atlanta’s suburbs, Lancaster said. He said the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced the amount of time many workers spend in an office, has led to more suburban residents working and shopping closer to where they live.

“If you’re spending more time at home, you’re typically spending more time in your immediate market,” Lancaster said. “... what we will continue to see is increased demand in immediate markets where there are strong demographics and kind of a good core. Marietta very much falls in that.”