Jamestown – Unusual Lease Concerns Addressed in Innovative Rooftop Project


Established in 1983 by German investors, Jamestown is an investment and management company focused on income-producing real estate in the United States. In 2011, Jamestown bought from the City of Atlanta a former Sears, Roebuck & Co. distribution and retail center that is the largest brick building in the Southeastern U.S., and developed it into Ponce City Market, which has several floors of office, retail and residential tenants. Jamestown wanted to do something special with 1.7 acres of the roof and settled on a low-tech, old style amusement park with miniature golf, a slide, a dunking game and other attractions, plus a restaurant. When Jamestown found the right operator for the adult-oriented amenity, it tapped Arnall Golden Gregory to negotiate a 10-year lease on its behalf. 


The nature of the project, outdoor entertainment, drinks and food high above the street, created unusual lease negotiation issues. Therefore, before lease talks even began, AGG partners conferred to identify some 30 potential concerns that the client needed to be aware of. Examples of those concerns: Moving people, food and trash up and down 10 stories, tracking the number of people on the roof, prohibiting glassware from the amusement area, minimum and maximum hours of operation, not disturbing office tenants directly below, collecting and disposing of grease at a restaurant high above the ground, limits on modifying the appearance of a historic building (no tall protective fencing), security, and insurance coverage (including liquor liability insurance). In addition, AGG negotiated lease terms for the 9,000-square-foot restaurant. AGG attorneys helped the client respond to those issues and others without delay and kept the rooftop amusement park and restaurant on track for a speedy opening.


In July 2016, Ponce City Market’s Skyline Park, as it is called, opened to the public. The roof’s special use aligns with the client’s goal of creating experiential real estate that attracts users. The amenity is easily accessible to walkers and bicyclists on Atlanta’s lauded Beltline trail and adds to Ponce City Market’s power to attract additional development to the surrounding area.