Montgomery Plaza

2600 West 7th Street, Fort Worth, TX


Montgomery Ward was established as a dry goods mail-order enterprise in 1872 by Aaron Montgomery Ward. Opening its first retail store in Indiana in 1926, the chain had grown to 244 stores nationwide by 1928. To facilitate its rapid expansion, Montgomery Ward developed a network of nine distribution centers across the country between 1926 and 1929.

Constructed by Thomas S. Byrne and completed in 1928, the Fort Worth hub operated as an eight-story U-shaped regional retail and mail order warehouse. As the largest building in Texas, the Mission Revival structure was quickly considered to be an architectural icon. The Fort Worth warehouse and retail store remained in operation until the chain’s 2001 bankruptcy.

In 2004, the property was redeveloped into a mixed-use development by Kimco. A 1960s warehouse in the rear of the industrial site was razed to pave way for a retail center anchored by Super Target. The original warehouse was retrofitted into a space with 240 luxury condominiums and ground floor retail and restaurant space. Completed in 2006, Montgomery Plaza now features the largest outdoor resort-style rooftop amenity deck in Texas.

(Montgomery Plaza Residences Facebook Page)

(Montgomery Plaza Residences Facebook Page)

(Montgomery Plaza Residences Facebook Page)

(Montgomery Plaza Residences Facebook Page)

Otto Milk Loft Condominiums

2434 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA

Originally built in 1865, the six-story Otto Milk Factory was home to a number of breweries prior to Prohibition. The most notable, the Phoenix Brewing Company, operated from 1899 to 1920. In 1927, the Otto Milk Company started production at the site. Used as a milk processing and storage facility, Otto Milk operated this plant until a 1973 merger with Keystone Dairy.

In 2006, the vacant industrial property was acquired by Solara Ventures and redeveloped into a $14.7 million mixed-use project now known as the Otto Milk Loft Condominiums. Bringing an important Strip District anchor back to life, the property is now occupied by 56 residential condominiums and two commercial condominiums. The conversion also includes the adaptive reuse of the milk plant’s former bottling house into a Wigle Whiskey distillery.

(The Lacek Group Facebook Page)

Pearl District

San Antonio, TX

The Pearl Brewing Company was established in 1883 in San Antonio by a group of local investors. Operations began in 1886 as the San Antonio Brewing Company. Led by Emma Koehler, the brewery grew to become the largest in Texas prior to Prohibition.

In 1952, the brewery changed its name to the Pearl Brewing Company, after its number one product, Pearl lager beer. Rebranded under the name of Pabst in the 1980s, the company began transferring its production to Miller Brewing on a contract basis in 1999, before ceasing operations in 2001.

In 2002, the 23-acre abandoned brewery complex was purchased by Silver Ventures, Inc. with a vision for incremental transformation into a mixed-use urban village combining the adaptive reuse of select structures with adjacent new infill construction.

Today, the former brewery is home to nearly 20 restaurants, 15 unique shops, a two-acre park, a local campus for the Culinary Institute of America, a food hall and a hotel, housed in the brewery’s former brewhouse dating back to 1894.

Ponce City Market

675 Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA

Designed by Chicago-based Nimmons, Carr and Wright, Architects, the building was constructed as a Sears, Roebuck and Company warehouse, regional office and retail store in 1926. Prior to its construction, the 16-acre site was the location of Ponce De Leon Springs. During the 19th century, area residents believed the spring’s water cured illness. By the early 20th century, an amusement park dubbed “the Coney Island of Atlanta” was constructed on the site.

The Ponce City Market building when it was operated as a Sears store, regional office and warehouse. Courtesy of Access Atlanta.

During the late 1960s, the complex was expanded to 2.1 million square feet, making it the largest brick structure in the South. Changing retail demographics led to the retail store’s closure in 1978 and Sears eventually abandoning the entire industrial complex in 1989. Between 1991 and 2010, the building was occupied by the City of Atlanta, who utilized the structure as “City Hall East”.

In 2011, with plans to create a nationally relevant food hall, the building was acquired by private-equity group Jamestown for $27 million. Similar projects Jamestown had been affiliated with included New York City’s Chelsea Market and Chattanooga’s Warehouse Row. The project’s redevelopment reduced the building’s square footage in half and included the construction of a 2,000-space parking garage inside its walls.

On August 25, 2014, Ponce City Market officially opened, joining an increasing list of former Sears stores and distribution centers being converted into new uses. New uses include the conversion to apartments in Dallas, a headquarters for Starbucks in Seattle and an REI, Best Buy and movie theater in Boston. In addition to being a food market, the Ponce City Market mixed-use development contains restaurants, office space, loft apartments, exhibition spaces and roof gardens.