Jamestown buys former Sears building in Atlanta

The Atlanta-based investment firm has purchased the vacant asset for $27 million and plans to spend $180 million to redevelop it into a mixed-use property.

Jamestown Properties has closed on the acquisition of the former Sears, Roebuck & Company building on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta. The Atlanta-based real estate investment firm purchased the property, currently referred to as City Hall East, from the City of Atlanta for $27 million. 

In addition for paying $27 million for the vacant 2.1 million-square-foot property, Jamestown plans to spend $180 million to restore the site as a mixed-use development named Ponce City Market. The reconstruction project will be completed through a partnership between Jamestown and its development subsidiary, Green Street Properties. 

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement: “This sale gets a $600,000 yearly cost off the city’s books and removes the enormous liability that comes with owning and maintaining a 2 million-square-foot building.” Located in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, the building originally was constructed by Sears in 1926 as a retail store, regional warehouse and catalogue distribution centre.

Jamestown and Green Street plan to begin construction on Ponce City Market immediately, targeting an opening in early 2014. The team plans to follow National Historic Registry guidelines as they perform renovations on the building's exterior and interior, as well as rebuild the site to accommodate retail, restaurant, office and residential spaces.

According to Jamestown, the purchase price includes an initial $15.5 million payment at closing. The remaining balance will be paid to the city after the redevelopment achieves certain milestones.