A 23-acre collection of aging brick warehouses along the Atlanta Beltline‘s Westside Trail will become home to some of Atlanta’s best known local food and beverage brands.
Atlanta’s popular Monday Night Brewing will anchor a new project that’s transforming seven buildings in southwest Atlanta’s historic West End neighborhood into a hub where the public can tour a multi-tenant manufacturing facility and taste products.
Dallas-based Stream Realty Partners is developing the nearly $30 million project at 993 Lee St. that was envisioned as a beer garden on the Beltline. It could draw similarities to the hip food courts at Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market, except people will be able to see the products being made.
Stream has also signed other local brands including Honeysuckle Gelato, cheesemaker Southern Aged and Doux South Pickles, which also will bring their manufacturing facilities to the development and ultimately plan room for tastings and tours.
The project comes as the Beltline begins to pour concrete for the Westside Trail, its latest three-mile segment that will run from Lena Avenue in Washington Park, south to University Avenue in Adair Park.
Expected to be complete in 2017, the Westside Trail will connect four schools, four parks and a dozen neighborhoods in southwest Atlanta, which was hit hard during the Great Recession.
Stream Realty’s project is one of the largest pieces of land along the Westside Trail, with a half-mile of trail frontage and 426,000 square feet of warehouse space. So far, the team has leased 80,000 square feet.
While developers have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into projects along the Beltline’s Eastside Trail — including Ponce City Market, new apartments and townhomes — southwest Atlanta still features a gritty warehouse vibe that’s less expensive.
“These are food manufacturers that wanted to be intown and shared our vision for the Beltline, but they also needed a more cost-effective solution,” said Ben Hautt, co-managing partner with Stream Realty’s Atlanta office.
Hautt added, “I have to give them all the credit. They’ve introduced us to a lot of other food manufacturers, and we now have very good momentum to create a thriving food and beverage district.”
Eric Kronberg of Kronberg Wall Architects LLC is the project architect. The first tenants could move in this fall. Monday Night hopes to open its facility at the Westside Trail next year.
Monday Night, known for its craft brews including Drafty Kilt, will take 22,000 square feet at the project, more than doubling its production space in Atlanta. The brewery has a 20,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta’s trendy Westside, which will remain open.
The expansion will allow Monday Night to expand its barrel-aging and sour beer program. Among the features on the Westside Trail, Monday Night plans an orchard garden to grow fresh fruit for its brews and a tasting room with a large outdoor courtyard.
The Monday Night team hopes its investment helps entice more people to southwest Atlanta, an area that’s still riddled with economic challenges including vacant homes.
“We don’t want to be the lone rangers,” said CEO Jeff Heck, who founded Monday Night with Jonathan Baker and Joel Iverson. “We want to be the catalysts to bring more people to the trail.”
Honeysuckle Gelato will take 7,000 square feet initially and plans to expand to 14,000 square feet over time. The company, which also has a retail presence at Ponce City Market, will move its production facilities to Stream Realty’s project from a location near Atlanta Community Food Bank.
“Everybody has seen what the Beltline has done on the Eastside,” said co-founder Wes Jones. “I think people all over the city want to have access to this. I would love in a few years to able to ride my bike to both of my locations on the Beltline.”
Southern Aged, which crafts handmade cheese from a creamery in Elberton, Ga., will relocate to the project, taking 6,700 square feet.
It’s an attempt to be closer to the Atlanta chefs who feature the cheeses, said Julie Schoen, who owns the business with her husband, Mark. The cheeses already are offered in top Atlanta restaurants such as Restaurant Eugene and Bacchanalia.
“We all have a huge chance to contribute to this neighborhood,” Schoen said.
And, Doux South Pickles will take 6,000 square feet of space and will become the first tenant at the project.
“We’re excited about it,” said Mark Hungerland, who runs the business with his son-in-law Chef Nick Melvin, a partner at popular Old Fourth Ward music venue and restaurant Venkman’s. “I think this area is really going to explode.”
There’s already a spirit of collaboration among the tenants, with Monday Night partnering with Honeysuckle Gelato and Southern Aged on new products and pairings.
Stream Realty acquired the property last year as part of a 2-million-square-foot portfolio transaction — one of the largest off-market deals ever in Atlanta based on square footage.
By: Amy Wenk
SOURCE: Atlanta Business Chronicle