- Real estate firm JLL has proposed a dual-tower, mixed-use office development for the Midtown district of Atlanta, a project that could grow from 4 acres up to 8 acres, according to Curbed Atlanta.
- The first phase of the JLL development would include a 255-room hotel, more than 350 residences, 100,000 square feet of retail – featuring a grocery and food hall – 600,000 square feet of office space, a pedestrian promenade and 1,800 parking spaces. The Midtown Alliance, which oversees development in the 1.2-square-mile Midtown Improvement District (MID), will have the final say on whether the project can move forward, although the Midtown Development Review Committee called the glass-tower design "bold."
- The relatively small MID currently has 40 projects either pending or in the planning stages, including "statement sky-rises" like a Selig Enterprises hotel and office mixed-use tower and the 53-story No2 Opus Place residential high-rise.
If JLL's full 8-acre development comes to pass, the project would be squarely in the category of "mega." It would also be considered impressive, because available space in Midtown Atlanta is apparently being snatched up at a furious pace.
One of the major reasons for growth in the MID is a result of the influx of tech companies looking to take advantage of Atlanta's qualified pool of talent fed by nearby Georgia Tech. In addition to cranking out engineers, Georgia Tech's VentureLab converts technologies developed by the university into startups. The initiative is ranked No. 2 of all the university business incubators in the country and has launched 150 tech companies that have drawn more than $700 million of outside funding.
This sort of innovation and access to a qualified workforce is likely one of the reasons that Amazon put Atlanta on its shortlist of 20 potential sites for its $5 billion second North American headquarters. While there are varied opinions about which city or region is best qualified to host the mammoth HQ2, by some accounts Atlanta might be a little ahead of the game since Amazon already has some of its research and development operations located there.
Adding to the city's tech appeal, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced in March that Facebook would be building a $2.5 billion data center just outside Atlanta. The two-building, 970,000-square-foot data center will be built in four phases and run on 100% renewable energy.