Producer’s Ambitious Vision for Pullman Yard
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Producer’s Ambitious Vision for Pullman Yard

Atomic Entertainment won the bid to turn Kirkwood’s historic site into movie production stages and an entertainment arena — with much more on the horizon.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

Adam Rosenfelt and Maureen Meulen are both producers at work and at their Candler Park home with their two children.
Adam Rosenfelt and Maureen Meulen are both producers at work and at their Candler Park home with their two children.

The immersive Van Gogh experience put Pullman Yard on the radar. Or maybe vice versa, Pullman Yard put Van Gogh on the map. Either way, it was all part of the master plan initiated by producer-visionary Adam Rosenfelt, head of Atomic Entertainment.

Now a Candler Park resident, Rosenfelt is turning the 27-acre site in Kirkwood into a city within a city. “I want Pullman Yard to be the Red Rocks [Park and Amphitheater near Denver] here in an urban industrial platform with world class art and entertainment,” he said. Recall that Kirkwood was once an 1870s streetcar neighborhood known now for its diverse population and historical architecture, and sprinkled with colorful graffiti.

Pullman Yard has been hosting world-renowned pop symphony events outdoors.

Rosenfelt grew up in New York City, graduated Cornell University, and headed for Los Angeles at 22. As a producer, he has made movies with the likes of Matt Damon, Kevin Costner, and Ryan Reynolds. He and his wife Maureen Meulen, also a film producer, researched several states from Texas to Florida to land just the right “prized” location.

He noted, “We were inspired by Atlanta as the best possible place because of its history with civil rights and as a train yard. The tax advantages were also terrific, as Governor Deal granted us the right to purchase. When we first opened the site, COVID-19 hit. Pre-COVID, we examined the Pullman site as historical and ideal for movie and TV production, perhaps the best in the world.” Note that Atomic paid $8 million in 2017, beating out four other bidders, the latter all local.

The site was originally farmland when the Pratt Engineering Company purchased it in 1904 to manufacture sulfuric acid and gasses used in soda drinks. During World War I, it produced munitions. When the Pullman Passenger Rail Company took over in 1926, it used the space to repair railroad sleeper cars, eventually leaving behind construction shipping containers, welder prototypes, and agricultural tools that today provide multiple options for rotating dining pop-ups, chef’s market, food trucks, restaurants (The Abby Singer, known for its “Juicy Lucy” burger), and a moving alcohol bar on a retrofitted dolly.

Rosenfelt anticipates that residential and office space is on the way, in addition to film production stages. Alliance Residential, for example, is planning 355 apartment units to enhance the “live work play.” Note that Georgia purchased the property in the 1990s and allowed it to sit vacant for decades.

Pullman Yard takes advantage of the oddly shaped buildings, bricks, and tools left behind by previous occupants.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, which draws about 3,000 unique visitors in a single day, will expire at year’s end. A monthly Pullman Pops outdoor symphony event has also been a wild success. Rosenfelt enthused, “I was blown away by our sellout concert — with a 45-piece orchestra and world-class conductor. Because of our unique flexibility, we were able to execute a ‘rain plan’ in an adjacent building as a second venue in 24 hours. It turned out we had clear weather and it wasn’t needed; but we showed we could do it!” Tickets started at $49 and went up to $890 for a group of 10.

Rosenfelt described his own strengths as “identifying talent, vision in selecting property, and execution.” Now, he relates, “I’m an older ‘hands on’ parent at 51, with roots planted here in Atlanta and juggling all the fun parts. Whether you are in intellectual property or just property, both disciplines have applicable skills. You could say, ‘I can find talent and just plain execute!’”

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