Excellence in Environmental Sustainability: 619 Ponce

April 2, 2024 | By: CRE Insight Journal

619 Ponce, managed by Jamestown, L.P., received the 2023 Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Award from CRE Insight Journal. The award recognizes a building or building complex that has undertaken significant environmental sustainability efforts and/or has achieved long-term success in environmental sustainability. 

Located in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia, 619 Ponce is a four-story mass timber loft office building. Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and Cologne, Germany, Jamestown, L.P. is a global, design-focused real estate investment and management firm with a mission to transform spaces into innovation hubs and community centers.  

Taking the Lead 

Jamestown, L.P. has implemented various initiatives within their Environmental Social Governance (ESG) framework. Many of these initiatives are driven by Jamestown Green, the firm’s in-house program that champions sustainability and ESG targets at all company levels. A testament to Jamestown’s commitment to environmental conservation is the integration of sustainable practices across various operations. In 2019, Jamestown achieved their targets of 20 percent energy and greenhouse gas reduction significantly ahead of the projected timeline. Following this achievement, the company has set an ambitious new goal of achieving net zero operational carbon emissions by 2050. 

Additionally, Jamestown has been an active participant in the global sustainability sphere. Jamestown aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and set 79 short-, medium-, and long-term targets. Through the Science Based Targets initiative, Jamestown has pledged to reduce property-generated (Scope 1) and landlord-generated (Scope 2) greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, using 2018 as the base-year. Jamestown also has plans to measure and find ways to reduce Scope 3 (third party-generated) emissions. Furthermore, Jamestown has joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Low Carbon Pilot program. This program allows Jamestown to understand and demonstrate how real carbon dioxide emission reductions can be achieved. Because of these comprehensive efforts towards sustainability and ESG, Jamestown was recognized as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in 2023. (Award received on 1/31/2023 for the period of 1/1/2022 to 12/5/2022 by the U.S. EPA.) Jamestown tracks and applies these strategies depending on progress at the building level. This holds true for the development of 619 Ponce. With an initial focus on the sustainable design and construction of 619 Ponce, Jamestown has progressive plans in place to ensure that the building operates efficiently and actively contributes to achieving Jamestown’s sustainability goals.  

“In the process, we looked at the building as a whole, and designed an environment that allows tenants to be sustainable without even thinking about it,” said Cathy Pfeiffenberger, Managing Director, Head of Development & Construction at Jamestown, L.P. 

The building, which includes 87,000 square feet of office space and 27,000 square feet of retail space, is being constructed with local, Georgia-grown timber and targeting net-zero operational carbon, LEEDv4 Core & Shell certification, and Fitwel certification. 

619 Ponce is Atlanta’s first Georgia-grown mass timber building utilizing a regional supply chain. This transition to sourcing from a regional supply chain not only reduces transportation emissions and the overall environmental impact of construction but also maximizes the sustainability benefits of mass timber and stimulates the regional economy. The columns, beams, and floor slabs of the 619 Ponce are built from local southern yellow pine sawtimber, harvested from Georgia and Alabama forests, including forests that Jamestown owns and sustainably manages. At every step in the development process, Jamestown has kept sustainability at the forefront of its operations. 

Embodied Carbon Reduction 

Jamestown has a clear ESG-focused mission: to transform spaces into innovation hubs and community centers, with operational carbon as a key focus. Since 2009, Jamestown has responsibly owned and managed timberlands, which in 2022 sequestered 306,201 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) in annual growth. These timberlands sequestered over 3.4 times the emissions generated by Jamestown’s buildings in the same year.  

619 Ponce offers a pioneering approach to embodied carbon, offering a potential model for other projects.  

“There is an ecosystem of internal and external stakeholders, and everyone is learning,” explained Becca Timms, Director of ESG for Jamestown. “My main advice: you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” 

The team at 619 Ponce utilized a lifecycle assessment (LCA) to compare carbon footprint data between final structural design and an equivalent conventional mild reinforced concrete building. The LCA identified a near 75-percent reduction in carbon emissions for the timber gravity system of the final design compared to the equivalent concrete system. Including embedded carbon, the final building’s gravity system shows a net negative of 1,266 tons of carbon emissions. This is the carbon dioxide emission equivalent of approximately 300 cars being taken off the road for a year. 

Jamestown’s approach combines strategies to create low-carbon buildings with tracking and measuring methods. Together, these strategies demonstrate the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability in the long term. Jamestown has proven the significance of taking the lead and demonstrating the vast value of innovating in environmental sustainability.  

Through Jamestown’s dedication to embodied carbon reduction, sustainable design, innovative processes, and a comprehensive approach to sustainability, 619 Ponce, managed by Jamestown, L.P., has received the 2023 Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Award from CRE Insight Journal. 


Commercial Real Estate Insight Journal is the leading, on-demand resource for real estate professionals. It features a rapidly growing collection of real estate industry insight recorded in articles, webinars, publications, and videos. The CRE Insight Journal Awards program recognizes excellence in the real estate industry in areas such as tenant care; environmental sustainability; collaborative service; thought leadership; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and more. 

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