Residents weigh in on plan to revamp stretch of Ponce de Leon Avenue

Community members weighed in on a development project that would transform the north side of Ponce de Leon Avenue. The mixed use development plan would revamp a popular nightlife strip.

Portman Holdings wants to build a massive office and retail space on the property that backs up the Atlanta BeltLine eastside trail. The proposed name is Ponce & Ponce. It would redevelop roughly four acres across from the Ford Factor Lofts, 725 Ponce building, and Kroger.

The plans would include officer towers and an apartment building with about 38,000 square feet total of retail space, 470,000 square feet total of office space, and 354 apartments units with a total of 285,000 square feet of living space. Developers say the towers would be shorter than nearby towers.

The Virginia Highland Civic Association hosted a town hall on Wednesday to discuss the project.

Some are upset the project would dramatically change the area, increase traffic flow, and destroy existing businesses. Those businesses in question include MJQ Concourse, Friends on Ponce, The Bookhouse Pub and The Local as well as a Chipotle location. At least one other restaurant closed last year after learning the property had sold. The area also includes Paris on Ponce, which was destroyed in a 2019 fire.

Project planner say they would make the area more walkable, connect it to the BeltLine, create more green space and work with the city on traffic matters.

The project is within the BeltLine Overlay District which restricts rent rates in compliance with the city’s affordable housing goals.