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5 Economic Development Stories For Today


From Health IT and a payments processing giant to plastic injection molding and mattress makers, we've got your kitty of economic development news hitting today. Here's your top five stories about jobs and real estate.

1) Greenway Makes Way in Cobb County

Carrollton-based healthcare IT and software provider Greenway has secured 23k SF at 300 Galleria Office Park for a new software innovation center. Greenway's Robin Hackney said during a Georgia Economic Development Authority press announcement this morning at Centergy that the firm intends to create 150 new jobs there. Colliers International's Jeff Kelley and Josh Gregory repped Greenway, while Childress Klein's Connie Engel brokered for the tenant.

The announcement brought out the Cobb elite this morning including Cobb Chamber of Commerce President David Connell and Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee. Like many of its brethren, Greenway picked the Cumberland/Galleria area for recruitment reasons – more central to where it could pick up prospective employees, Robin tells us. It's also close to Georgia Tech – a well of potential employees. For its part, Greenway will get a tax credit worth $1,250 per employee per year for five years. If it bulks up by year one, it could conceivably reap more than $9M in tax incentives a year. 

2) A Million for a Million-in-One

DTZ's Chris White's client Worldpay is getting courted by the City of Atlanta. Worldpay has been scouting the Georgia 400 spine for a new HQ space to potential replace its Falls Point in Sandy Springs location. Called “Project ORR,” InvestAtlanta this Thursday is voting to approve a $1.5M incentive for Worldpay to move within the City of Atlanta confines. Sources indicate that, among the contenders for the space include Bank of America Plaza, which could easily accommodate the projected 125k SF RFP (and even the additional 25k SF R&D center). Chris was not available for comment. For the city, Worldpay could bring 1,266 total new jobs there with an average of $73k/year salaries and a total $9.6M investment, according to InvestAtlanta docs. Total economic impact is predicted to be nearly $425M.

3) Highwoods Gets Bedhead

Atlanta-based mattress maker Simmons Bedding Co is nabbing $50k from InvestAtlanta for its HQ move from Central Perimeter to Two Alliance Center in Buckhead. The move will bring 110 new jobs to the City of Atlanta. It was unclear how much space it was planning to lease there. The City expects Simmons employees at the HQ to have an average salary of $140k/year, with a total economic impact of $36.9M, according to docs.

4) Atlanta Contains a Plastic Maker

The City of Atlanta beat out Charlotte, Macon and Birmingham for MaschinoPack North American, a subsidiary of Colonial Group that uses blow molding technology to make plastic bulk containers. The company is leasing 165k SF at 3710 Atlanta Industrial Parkway – a nearly 500k SF facility that HD Supply also uses. According to InvestAtlanta docs, the company will be making an $11.8M investment in equipment and will create 30 new jobs with a $63.6M total economic impact on the city. InvestAtlanta is voting this week to give it a half million dollar property tax break over 10 years.

5) The Big One We Lost

We did lose out on gaining a big HQ deal. GDED Deputy Commissioner Tom Croteau confirmed to us during a post-press event interview that Atlanta did lose out in attempting to get Bridgestone Corp's US HQ from Nashville. While total SF was not known, in local Nashville news reports, it was reported the HQ was seeking around 400k SF. 

Tom says at first he was skeptical on the company's seriousness to move to Atlanta from its HQ building in Nashville (seen here). “I think even the company wasn't 100% sure,” he says. But the state's proposal was compelling enough to have serious discussions with the tire company over the summer. In the end, Bridgestone elected to stay put. “I think what ultimately won out was the ability not to have to move their employees,” Tom says.