Follow The Food
2 min read
As shopping malls and food courts full of fast food chains have fallen to the wayside, a newcomer has slid in as the replacement—food halls. People naturally gather around food, so one place with diverse, affordable, and local options creates an energized buzz that draws in the masses. And the pendulum has swung back to local, healthy food options, explaining why food halls such as Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market in Atlanta have grown in popularity.
Chefs locate their concepts in food halls for the savings on overhead, decreased risk, and the built-in foot traffic. Diners, in turn, are attracted to food halls for the diversity of choice and the ability to to experience the cuisine of big-name chefs at affordable prices. Jamestown, the developer behind Ponce City Market, knew just how to bring in consumers. The former Sears-Roebuck Co. warehouse is home to six—yes, six—James Beard Award winning chefs: Sean Brock (Minero), Linton Hopkins (Hop’s Chicken and H&F Burger), Jonathan Waxman (Brezza Cucina), Anne Quatrano (W.H. Stiles Fish Camp), Hugh Acheson (Spiller Park Coffee), and Meherwan Irani (Botiwalla).
With the increased foot traffic that food halls produce, they’re a great placemaking tool for the revitalization of a building or neighborhood. Take Inman Park’s Krog Street Market for example, which Asana Partners recently acquired along with Stove Works for an undisclosed price tag (but if anyone in the real estate industry knows the amount, we'd love to hear from you). When Paces Properties purchased the property in 2012 for $13.5 million, their intention was to bulldoze the building and construct an apartment complex. However, they chose to instead develop a food hall with adjoining retail using the existing structure. Krog Street Market has become a destination not just for the Inman Park neighborhood, but for the BeltLine as well as visitors to Atlanta.
Real estate investors like Asana Partners are particularly interested in adaptive-reuse spaces like Krog Street and Ponce City Market because of the public attraction that they produce. For Asana, the purchase aligned with their “strategy of investing in urban shopping and dining locations that are closely connected to their surrounding neighborhoods”.
A savvy developer knows that food attracts the crowds. It’s a necessity to live. It creates community. Food halls serve as great placemaking anchors for new developments, generating critical mass of tenants and visitors. Chelsea Market, Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market. The proof is in the pudding in all of those spaces—food halls are an ingredient for success.