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ATLANTA-City Hall East, one of the most challenging redevelopment projects in the city’s modern times, is being purchased by locally based Ponce Park LLC for $35 million or $17.50 per sf, city hall sources confirm for GlobeSt.com. The two-million-sf, 75% vacant building is at 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. near Midtown.

The long-awaited price tag on the 77-year-old former Sears Roebuck Co. catalog warehouse still has to be approved by the city council. The buyer plans a $400-million mixed-use redevelopment that will take an estimated seven years to complete on the 23-acre site.

The city bought City Hall East from Sears Roebuck Co. in 1991 for $12 million or $6 per sf. Since then, the city has invested about $22 million in the structure and still owes about $19 million on loans it took out in the 1990s to renovate the three-winged, 10-story property, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. The debt load is not part of the purchase contract, persons close to the deal tell GlobeSt.com. “The city is responsible for removing the existing debt,” the source tells GlobeSt.com. Phase I of the deal is tentatively scheduled to close Dec. 15.

Ponce Park LLC includes Lane Investment and Development Corp., The Integral Group, The Morsberger Group, Adams & Co. Real Estate and the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership. Ponce Park beat out Atlanta developer Stephen Macauley’s Phoenix Group and local developer Jerrold Millers’ Chesss Partners for the city contract.

The only two tenants at City Hall East are the police and fire departments. Ponce Park plans to redevelop about 2.4 acres of the 23-acre site into 1,600 residences comprised of apartments, condos, workforce-rate apartments and live-work loft spaces. Other components will include about 200,000 sf of retail, 155,000 sf of office and 3,500 surface parking spaces. About eight acres of green space are also planned.

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