Jul 25, 2014

Historic Ponce Apartments Slated for Renovation

Construction set to begin this summer

Historic Ponce Apartments Slated for Renovation

A historic building on Ponce de Leon Avenue is slated to get a much-needed facelift.

After years of empty promises and lack of money, the nine-story building on the corner of Ponce de Leon Avenue and N. Highland Avenue will be purchased and renovated later this year by a Maine-based real estate company.

The brick building, formerly known as "The 750,” was constructed by a real estate firm owned by Asa G. Candler Jr. — the son of the Coca-Cola mogul Asa Candler Sr. — and opened in 1925 as a luxury apartment complex.

Years later it was converted into a 400-room hotel and renamed Briarcliff Hotel.

Today, the 200-unit apartment building known as provides Section 8 housing to the elderly.

The building is falling apart inside and out. Crime and drug use is a constant issue in the area and the apartment homes are outdated and in desperate need of repair.

But in just a few months, the chipped paint on the walls and odd smells in the hallways will be just another chapter in the history of the building.

Evergreen Partners Housing, a Portland, Maine-based real estate investment firm, plans to close on the deal in late May 2012, a company spokesman said. Renovations are set to begin in summer 2012.

Both the exterior and the interior of the building located at 1050 Ponce de Leon Ave. will be restored, but the historic components of the structure will be preserved. Plans to refurbish the facade of the building have already been approved by the Atlanta Preservation Group.

New flooring, appliances, cabinets, windows, lighting, doors and bathroom and kitchen fixtures will be installed in the apartments. More amenities including a wellness center, computer center, fitness center and an activity area will be added in the building, which will remain Section 8 housing after the renovation.

"I look upon this as a tremendous step forward in the public safety aspects of this area of VaHi as well as good news for the deserving tenants of this beleaguered building," John Wolfinger, Virginia-Highland Civic Association safety chair, said. "This renovation will just echo the rehab by Jamestown of Ponce City Market and helps to signal better days ahead for all of Ponce de Leon Avenue."

It's unclear what will happen to the current residents during the renovations.

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed but in 2009, the property was assessed at $8.16 million.

Evergreen tried to purchase the building last year, but failed to receive the tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs needed to complete the deal.

But earlier this month, the state awarded the tax credits to the real estate company and the deal will now officially move forward.

What do you think of the plan to renovate Briarcliff Summit? Tell us in the comments!

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