New Mixed-Use Developments In Atlanta Are Not A New Thing

According to Curbed Atlanta’s Michael Kahn, the term “mixed-use development” is applied liberally by developers. He says the building which now houses Ponce City Market was uniquely suited for multiple purposes.


Parts of metro Atlanta are seeing a development boom, but as cranes fill the skyline and sidewalks close to construction, it can often seem like only one kind of project is being built: mixed-use developments.

According to Curbed Atlanta’s Michael Kahn, the term has become a buzzword for developers over the past decade and can mean anything from “cookie-cutter” condominiums with a floor of retail space to adaptive re-use projects like Ponce City Market.

But he says the basic idea behind these projects predates the popularity of the term.

“We used to call those things cities,” Kahn says. “And so you look at older cities and you say, ‘Well, wait a minute, people lived above the retail spaces and worked down in the retail spaces, and could walk down the street to the grocery store or walk down the street to the tailors.’ It’s not a new concept.”

Kahn spoke about the rise of the term and discussed why mixed-use development projects have garnered a negative reputation among some Atlanta residents.