- Jamestown LP, which is developing a near-century-old, 2-million-square-foot former Sears distribution center near Atlanta’s BeltLine park, has inked a deal with Slater Hospitality Group to operate an amusement park on the building’s roof, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- A portion of the building’s 6-acre rooftop will host miniature golf, food vendors, a dunking booth, a steeplechase game, a giant slide and a free-fall ride.
- The "low-tech" attractions of Skyline Park, according to Jamestown officials, are meant to mimic the 19th century amusement park that once operated on the same site, taking visitors "back to a simpler moment."
Skyline Park is the most recent development along Atlanta’s historic 22-mile railroad corridor that developers say will one day include parks and trails, as well as transit, all along a former railway that circles the city. Atlanta is just one of several U.S. cities trying to mimic the success of New York City’s elevated railway park, the High Line, which has boosted development in neighboring areas, according to The Journal.
Finding new ways to utilize obsolete infrastructure is paying off in terms of tourists and rising property values in many areas of the country, The Journal noted, and the same holds true for the BeltLine park's effect in Atlanta. Jamestown has spent approximately $360 million on improvements since it purchased the Sears building, now called Ponce City Market, in 2011 for $27 million. The mixed-use building now hosts the likes of MailChimp and Twitter in its offices, and J. Crew and Anthropologie, among others, occupy its retail space.
Across the country, convenient access to parks like BeltLine and mixed-use developments like Ponce City Market are helping to drive the "population bookends" of millennials and older baby boomers to urban environments.
Gregg McDuffee, chairman of the Urban Land Institute Michigan, told Construction Dive in February, "People are figuring out how to capture these important urban areas and make them walkable, bikeable recreation venues, and, again, it’s back to quality of life. And that’s something that is not optional, it’s imperative. You’ve got to figure out how to create great urban spaces and create places where people really want to be. And they need to recreate at all ages. Everybody needs that opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle."