Ponce City Market opened in 1926 as an industrial site in Atlanta built by Sears Roebuck & Company. A massive brick warehouse and distribution center with more than two million square-feet on a sixteen-acre site, in 2017 it remains one of the largest buildings in the American Southeast. In the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood and sited underneath the former elevated railroad, it is testament to the infrastructure of 20th century retail when Sears sold everything from houses in a box to doll clothes. Like so many industrial buildings of its era, its beauty is in its scale, not necessarily in its details. At some point, somebody must have called it a white elephant: too big and too dark to be repurposed or reinvented, and much too far from downtown to ever be relevant. The city of Atlanta tried to make it work as a branch of city hall, having bought in for a meager $12 million in the early 90s as Sears’ star faded. Jamestown, an adventurous property developer, bought it from the city for peanuts in 2011 and took the plunge. 

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