Revealed! First retail tenants announced for Ponce City Market

Included are small shops and first-to-market brands like Frye, plus J.Crew, Anthropologie, West Elm
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Three hundred thousand square feet of retail is a lot.

We’ve been waiting for years to hear what would fill that massive floor space at Ponce City Market, the mixed-use re-development project in the former Sears building—said to be the largest brick structure in the South.

On Friday, Women’s Wear Daily revealed the current retail roster for the development in an interview with the president of Jamestown Properties, Michael Phillips.

According to Phillips, the company is looking to introduce a number of first-to-market brands, and we confess, there were some on this list we’d never heard of. But we all know the Frye Company—one of the oldest shoemakers in the country, now famous for its men’s and women’s boots, from Western to motorcycle.

We may be most excited about a local men’s shop called Oakleaf & Acorn. The jolly, bearded owner, John Rich, has made appearances at pop-ups and in our social media feeds with amazing artisan finds for some time now. He closed his little shop in Braselton a couple of years ago, and this will be his first brick-and-mortar since, though he has been doing a brisk online business in selvage denim, handmade knives, and manly apothecary goods from the likes of Forge & Foundry and local company Chiefs, all of which we expect to see in his little 700-square-foot shop.

Others new-to-market include the Jean Machine, a new concept store with custom-fit, branded jeans from local retailer Farshad Arshid, behind Standard and G-Star at Lenox Square; the first Georgia location of Goorin Brothers Hat Shop, with bowlers, Panamas, and flatcaps (control yourselves, hipsters); and Lou Lou, a family-owned, Virginia-based accessories shop (affordable).

Michael Stars, the Cali-style T-shirt purveyor, recently launched a men’s line and will also be setting up shop.

Some bigger guys include J.Crew and Anthropologie, buddied retailers who seem to like following Jamestown properties (see: Westside Provisions District and Chattanooga’s Warehouse Row). Fitting right into that target demo is West Elm, the accessibly priced modern furniture shop. There are also plans for a second Atlanta location of Mountain High Outfitters, an all-purpose outdoor store that BeltLiners will love.

(Ponce City Market has already secured plans for restaurants from top chefs like Anne Quatrano and Linton Hopkins, as well as office space for companies including AthenaHealth, email marketing services MailChimp, and the start-uppy tech school General Assembly.)

We did the math on the announced square footage for this retail roster, and we should expect many more retail announcements to come. Maybe soon—they say 69 percent of the retail space is leased.

At this point, openings are scheduled to “begin” this spring. Here’s hoping for 2015!

Update: Cosmetics Market was removed from the original post because it is no longer on the roster. Now, add to the docket Rejuvenation Lighting and a flagship store for Williams-Sonoma Home, as well as J.Crew sister Madewell.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Jean Machine was a London-based company; it is actually a new store by local retailer Farshad Arshid.

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