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Ponce City Market pushes for penny sales tax | News

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Ponce City Market pushes for penny sales tax

ATLANTA -- The largest redevelopment project in the city of Atlanta has a big stake in this July's ballot.

Light rail lies at the heart of the $180 million transformation of the old Sears, Roebuck and Co. that most recently housed City Hall East. Ponce City Market is scheduled to open in 2014. A train hasn't run by the property since the 1960's.

RELATED | Ponce City Market to reshape City Hall East

Two Atlanta BeltLine projects totaling just over $600 million would bring light rail to the area and connect the BeltLine to MARTA if voters approve a new penny sales tax for transportation. If it passes, light rail would be in place within 10 years. Without the tax, the BeltLine portions would take 25 years. The connections to the city streets have no other funding sources planned at this time, so they might not happen at all.

Critics say it's another tax that just helps developers, but Jim Irwin, vice president of development for Jamestown, says it helps the Ponce project and the rest of the city.

The transportation vote will hit the polls July 31st.

Ponce City Market is holding two informational sessions on June 5 and 20, when the first part of the project opens. It will be a coffee shop, marketing center, and community meeting space. The rest of the project is scheduled to open in 2014.