The Atlanta Regional Commission awarded Atlanta BeltLine Inc. a $4 million grant that will be used to improve the Ponce de Leon Ave. streetscape around Ponce City Market and construct bicycle and pedestrian links to the Atlanta BeltLine.
"This is a major victory for Ponce City Market, the BeltLine, and the vibrant neighborhoods that surround the old Sears Building," Matt Bronfman, managing director of Jamestown Properties, the developer of Ponce City Market, said in a statement. "We are grateful for Mayor Kasim Reed’s support of the application as well as Brian Leary, president of Atlanta BeltLine and the BeltLine staff."
In July, Jamestown announced it purchased the old City Hall East building at Ponce and Glen Iris Drive from the city for $27 million. It plans a $180 million renovation for the massive site, which serves as the signature building for the Old Fourth Ward.
The grant, called the Livable Centers Initiative, is designed to improve pedestrian, transit, and alternative transportation connectivity throughout the region.
The Atlanta Regional Commission received 48 applications requesting nearly $97 million. Of those, 13 projects were chosen and the Ponce de Leon project received the largest sum of money.
More than 30,000 cars travel Ponce de Leon Avenue daily. With numerous traffic lanes and narrow sidewalks, the corridor is badly in need of repair.
Jamestown expects the grant to help make needed safety and aesthetic improvements and create meaningful connections with the BeltLine, similar to what exists in major metropolitan areas such as New York or San Francisco.
"As one of Atlanta’s signature landmarks for more than eight decades, I am excited that Ponce City Market is under construction," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement. "This project, with the help of the LCI allocation, will spur job creation, stimulate the local economy significantly and provide a more pedestrian and bike friendly environment."
Improvements to be made with the grant money will take place in conjunction with the redevelopment of Ponce City Market and Beltline construction.
Editor's Note: The original version of this story failed to reflect that Atlanta BeltLine Inc. recieved the grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission. Patch regrets this error.