The Atlanta City Council on March 17 approved extending the closing date on the sale of City Hall East from August 2008 to June 15, 2009.

The delay in the closing date is due to two factors: (1) The time required to install the city’s new digital radio system at the new 911 call center and (2) because a proposed lake to be built on the site of the new North Avenue Park will not be completed until 2009. Officials say the closing on City Hall East cannot occur until those projects are closer to completion.

“Ponce Park is one of a number of catalytic projects transforming Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward,” said District 2 City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who represents the area. “A short delay in this project from a visionary development team only heightens our anticipation for what’s to come.”

The city is selling the massive complex, located at 695 Ponce de Leon Avenue, to Ponce Park, LLC, which will redevelop the complex into a mixed-use development. The building was built in the 1920s as a Sears, Roebuck & Co. department store.

The Ponce Park development was zoned to include 182,610 square feet of retail space, 154,380 square feet of office space and 1,167 residential units. The new Ponce Park will feature at least 40 residential units for people with physical and developmental disabilities. This includes the parcel already purchased by Ponce Park on March 13, 2006 for $6 million.

According to the contract, Ponce Park will purchase the complex from the city for $27 million. The city bought the building for $12 million in the early 1990s and it has been used as a municipal annex ever since, including being the headquarters for the Atlanta Police Department and Fire Rescue Department.