Midtown Now Nexus of Fintech Industry
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Midtown is fast going out with the attorneys and in with the fintech.
Thanks to NCR and Worldpay and the Georgia Tech High Performance Computing Center, Midtown is becoming the nexus of Atlanta's payment processing industry (known colloquially as fintech), our panelists said during our 3rd Annual Future of Midtown event this week. “This was law firm central. But it's not the growth industry it used to be. Technology is where it's at,” says Savills Studley's Chris White (right, with Cushman & Wakefield's Telly Fathaly). “I think every landlord is trying to figure out…how to adapt [their buildings] to technology companies.”
Chris was part of a panel of experts, which included AGH president Randy Gold (moderator, not pictured), North American Properties' Mark Toro and Portman Holdings' Hunter Richardson. Mark noted that the shuttle from the MARTA Arts Station to Atlantic Station has 900,000 riders/year, the second-largest volume of transit in the State of Georgia. Taking into account Morningside, the Beltline and West Midtown (all part of what's viewed as Greater Midtown), you have the ingredients for why Millennials want to be here. “That is the 'why' of the location of these fintech companies,” Mark says. “If you want to attract a Millennial...you got to provide them street energy.”
Hunter says the High Performance Computing Center will be a major game changer for Midtown going forward. His firm's developing the 600k-plus SF tower in Tech Square. “It's hard to wrap your head around the full dimensionality of what Georgia Tech means to Midtown,” he says. “There are probably three universities in the country that are at this caliber with the engagement” of private tech companies working under a single roof.
During his keynote address, Midtown Alliance CEO Kevin Green echoed Hunter's sentiments on Georgia Tech's impact on Midtown. “There's a clustering and multiplier effect around Tech Square,” Kevin says. “What we're seeing is the largest influx of jobs into Atlanta in four decades, and Tech Center is the center of gravity.”