On a drizzly late-summer day, developer Jim Irwin peers down from his office at the 50-foot crater that used to be Atlanta’s infamous Murder Kroger. From the pit will rise three stories of underground parking, topped by a hip new Kroger (think industrial-style finishes and interior street murals) and, above that, an office tower. Costing $190 million, the 725 Ponce project is the largest investment in new construction on the BeltLine to date.
Irwin, 38, a Buckhead native, concedes that he’s paying a premium to bury the majority of parking, but his team “felt it was the right thing to do for the community.” Quality design and experience are the top priorities guiding his company, New City, and its ambitious development rising across the BeltLine from Ponce City Market—the gargantuan project Irwin led as senior vice president of Jamestown Properties.
Eight architecture and engineering firms have contributed to designing the boomerang-shaped, 12-story structure. A section of the BeltLine will run under one corner. Irwin said, “I want people, when they walk under this, to have these moments of wonder and surprise and say, ‘My gosh, we can do something better. We can be different.’”
This article originally appeared in our November 2017 issue.