“You see places get developed and things change, and you hope it’s not coming to you,” Ryan Purcell, the owner of MJQ, previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “A lot of the classic places that people love are just being taken away.”
Mike Greene, vice president of development for Portman, who is overseeing the project, repeatedly told Virginia-Highland residents and reporters that the project would only move forward if it received backing from the community. The rezoning request was described as the pivotal step that wouldn’t happen if the neighborhood rejected Portman’s pitch.
While the rezoning request has yet to appear on the City of Atlanta Department of City Planning’s website as of Monday afternoon, a Portman representative confirmed the request’s submittal earlier in January.
The dozen renderings show how Ponce & Ponce’s mid-rise towers would reach heights matching the nearby Ponce City Market and Ford Factory Lofts, some of Atlanta’s most well-known adaptive re-use projects. The current buildings, which would need to be demolished for the redevelopment, are shorter and lack the glassy architecture envisioned by Portman’s design team.
“One thing is clear and it’s that the neighborhood feels like they’re unique and they deserve something unique,” Green previously told the AJC.
Portman’s vision includes more than 350 apartments, 470,000 square feet of office space and roughly 38,000 square feet of new retail space.
The project site is bisected by Ponce de Leon Place. The east half would have a residential tower and an office and retail building, while the west site would connect to the Beltline and consist solely of shops, restaurants and offices. Parking would be underground below the buildings.
Portman aims to begin construction in 2024. The development, which is contingent upon Portman rezoning the land by mid-2023, is targeted to open by 2026.