The Complete Guide to Ponce City Market

Food hall favorites, shopping tips, and sneak peeks into the upper floors of the development transforming Atlanta’s east side

BY - December 16, 2015

Ponce City Market
Illustration by Claire McCracken; background by iStockphoto.com

Seemingly just like that, Ponce City Market has established itself as a community hub that’s fast-tracking the intown renaissance by packing in top chefs, specialty retail, industrial-chic apartments, and hip workspaces. But its sheer size—it’s the largest brick structure in the Southeast—can be overwhelming. How do you get inside the darn thing, for starters—and what’s worth your time? (We spent hours testing desserts alone.) And then there’s the history. Locals once picnicked by the (now-capped) springs that flowed there, until 1926, when Sears, Roebuck & Co. set up its regional distribution center and retail store. The building was sold to the city in 1990 and christened City Hall East, but most of the 2.1 million square feet sat vacant—as did much of the Old Fourth Ward. In 2010 the city moved out, agreeing to sell the building to Jamestown L.P. for roughly $15 million in cash. The next year, Jamestown embarked on Atlanta’s largest adaptive reuse project ever, spending a whopping $325 million on its rehab. With PCM’s location on the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail, it’s become a place for gathering and commerce once again. Here’s how to navigate it.

What you need to know first
➸ 4 entrances—from North Avenue, Glen Iris Drive, Ponce de Leon Avenue, and the Atlanta BeltLine
➸ 5 ways to enter the food hall—from 3 main entrances from the parking lots and courtyard; through the front doors on Ponce de Leon; from the BeltLine entrance, across the trestle, and down the spiral staircase or elevator
➸ 10.25 the closest mile marker on the BeltLine
➸ 400 free bike parking spaces—complete with a bike valet who will stash your wheels for you. (Hint: Tip like you would a car valet.)
➸ 2,000 parking spaces (once a new deck is completed in 2016, there will be more than 2,500)
➸ $1 for each half hour of parking; $10 for 4 to 8 hours (or $15 if you valet), and $15 for up to 24 hours. Pay by kiosk, phone, or the ParkMobile app. Annoying, yes, but at least . . .
➸ $1 of your parking cost goes to the BeltLine.

  1. Ponce City Market Guide: Where to eat
  2. Ponce City Market Guide: Where to shop
  3. Ponce City Market Guide: What it's like to work here
  4. Ponce City Market Guide: What it's like to live here
  5. Ponce City Market Guide: Why it took so long to get here
  6. Ponce City Market Guide: Meet the man behind the big picture
  7. Ponce City Market Guide: What to expect on The Roof