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Media Giant In Talks For Office Space At Selig Project

The media giant that operates five Metro Atlanta radio stations — including Power 96.1 and 94.9 The Bull — is planning to move to Selig Enterprises' adaptive reuse project in Midtown's Upper Westside.

1255 Makers Way, the adaptive reuse office redeveloped by Selg Enterprises at its The Works project in Atlanta's Upper Westside.

IHeartmedia Inc. is in talks to lease 25K SF at The Works on Chattahoochee Avenue, moving from its current home at 1819 Peachtree Road in Buckhead, a mid-rise office building near the border to Midtown, a source familiar with the transaction told Bisnow

The source said iHeartmedia will operate its Atlanta radio stations from The Works as well, stations that also include 105.3 The Beat, Z105.7, WBIN 640 Atlanta News & Talk and The Lake Atlanta. The CBRE brokers who lease 1819 Peachtree declined to comment.

Dottie Simzyk, who describes herself as a permit expediter on LinkedIn, filed a permit this week with the city of Atlanta on behalf of iHeartmedia for office renovations at 1255 Makers Way, a 50K SF former warehouse that is part of Selig's 80-acre adaptive reuse project. Rand Construction Co. co-office lead Bryan Stolz was listed on the permit as the licensed professional. He didn't respond to emails seeking comment. When reached by phone, Simzyk declined to comment.

Selig Enterprises Executive Vice President Chris Ahrenkiel also declined to comment. Cushman & Wakefield Executive Director April Parrish, who is representing iHeartmedia, could not be reached for comment prior to press time.

San Antonio-based iHeartmedia has been losing money, but executives say the media giant is coming back from the recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The company reported a net loss of $242M in the first three months of the year, compared to a more than $1.6B loss from the first quarter of 2020.

In February, the company announced that it was creating two platforms for its business, its multiplatform group, which encompasses 75% of iHeartmedia's revenue and where it operates more than 860 radio stations in 160 markets as well as Premier Networks and the Black Information Network. The second segment is its digital audio group that includes the company's digital sites, networks and services as well as its podcast publishing arm. In March, the company entered into a three-year deal with Bloomberg to co-produce and distribute podcasts, including Bloomberg's Masters in Business, The Pay Check and Foundering, Deadline reported.

“Audio is hot. Everything in audio is growing. In fact, over the past two years streaming audio users are up 21%. Smart speaker ownership is up 50%, voice assistant users are up 23%, earbud, headphone unit sales are up 90%, and podcasts weekly listeners are up 42%,” iHeartradio Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman said on an earnings call last month. “With that as a backdrop, I want to remind you that we are No. 1 in consumer reach across all key profitable audio platforms. We create more audio content than anyone else. And we have the largest sales force in the audio sector. Therefore we expect to continue to benefit from these trends.”

The company has been striking new office leases in other markets in recent years, including relocating to a new 9,400 SF office in Pittsburgh for its rock station WDVE. In March, the company announced that it was moving its Ohio offices to Downtown Cleveland to a brand-new facility. And in late 2019, the company named Nashville as its second headquarters location for its digital division, expanding the New York-based digital team to the Southern music city.

For Selig, iHeartradio could prove to be the latest leasing success for The Works, its massive adaptive reuse project along Chattahoochee Avenue, about a mile north from Westside Park where Microsoft is laying the groundwork for a new corporate campus. Selig is underway with the first phase of the $200M project that ultimately will encompass 350K SF of retail and entertainment, 500K SF of office, 500 residences, 200 hotel rooms and 13 acres of green space.

In 2019, Selig leased part of 1255 Makers Way to New York-based Uppercut for a commercial post-production facility. IHeartmedia would lease the rest of 1255 Makers Way if the deal closes, a source said. Selig also operates Chattahoochee Food Works, a 22K SF food hall curated in part by famed culinary daredevil Andrew Zimmern. Scofflaw Brewing Co. also opened a 9K SF taproom and brewery at The Works last year.

Selig also recently filed permits to begin construction on a 300-unit apartment complex in the project, What Now Atlanta reported.