Fort Myers businessman part of Atlanta entertainment's new look
Hull-Ryde is part of Slater Hospitality Group, an Atlanta-based hospitality group. It signed a 10-year lease for 31,574 square feet of rooftop space at Ponce Market.
Slater Hospitality Group Leases 31,574 SF at Ponce City Market - CoStar Group
“(My career) really has evolved,” he said. “Now I get to pick and choose.”
Hull-Ryde, 57, has lived in Southwest Florida for more than 25 years. Wife Kate, a Bishop Verot High grad, owns Hyte Cross Fit.
He was involved with Outback restaurants coming to Naples in 1991 and Key West in 1999. He also was involved in the openings of Carrabas and LeRoy Selmon’s restaurants.
Someday, Hull-Ryde said he’d like to bring the Atlanta entertainment experience to downtown Fort Myers. He’s also working on a project in Belgium.
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Hull-Ryde said he and his group are looking at unique venues. Different venues. Venues that visitors and millennials will not only go to but share on social media.
“What we’re discovering is people are chasing a unique experience,” Hull-Ryde said. “They’re willing to spend more money than they have in the past. They’re finding something they can put on Snapchat or Instagram. ‘Look at what I’m doing, it’s really cool.’ Something they want to come back to again and again.”
That’s Ponce City Market. It’s a blend of old and new.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has recognized Ponce Market as “history in the making’ and part of a plan “to move Atlanta forward while maintaining and emphasizing the city’s unique history and culture.”
The market also has been ranked in the top 25 by Travel + Leisure as one of “The World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions.”
While patrons take a freight elevator to the roof, they’re given a historical overview of the area.
There was a natural spring from 1860-90, hence the name Ponce de Leon.
Around the turn of the century, it was known as Ponce Amusements before being converted into a Sears Roebuck distribution center in the early 1925. In the same area, there was a Negro League baseball stadium that stood until the 1950s.
When Sears Roebuck closed in 1989, the City of Atlanta bought the building in 1991 and converted it into city hall before it started falling apart.
Jamestown, established in 1983 as an investment and management company focused on income-producing real estate in the United States, then came onto the scene. Jamestown has expanded into a national, vertically integrated real estate operator with approximately $11.2 billion of assets under management as of September 30, 2017.
“It was a dilapidated, rat-infested building that Jamestown picked up in 2009,” Hull-Ryde said. “They spent over half a billion redeveloping it.”
Skyline Park includes miniature golf, ring toss, basketball, skee ball, a three-story slide and a heege tower.
Future plans include two more bars, a 350-person pavilion tent, 4,500-square-foot meeting space as well as an ice rink.
The nine-story building totals 557,000 square feet.
“It’s more than food and drinks,” Hull-Ryde said. “It’s unique entertainment.”