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Project Yogurt Equals Starbucks And 500 Jobs

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson speaking at a recent annual shareholders meeting

Starbucks is getting its yogurt on with 500 new jobs in Atlanta.

It was revealed during Wednesday morning's Invest Atlanta meeting that Project Yogurt is Starbucks, which is scouting the Midtown submarket for Class-A office space. Starbucks is expected to invest $16M in an 85K SF facility at an undisclosed location, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

In turn, Invest Atlanta approved granting Starbucks $250K from its Economic Opportunity Fund, a city incentive program awarded based on either job creation or retention within the city.

Invest Atlanta revealed earlier this week that it was planning to vote on incentives for a Project Yogurt, the name given to the economic development project. Scouting for real estate space under anonymous project names is a fairly common practice among major companies. No specific building or development was identified during the meeting, the AJC reports, but the Starbucks' operations are expected to have a $190M economic impact.

Starbucks is the latest win for the metro area in terms of in-migration of companies. In recent years, Atlanta has secured big economic development coups, including headquarters for Mercedes-Benz and homebuilding giant PulteGroup from out of state.

These come during a time when Atlanta is among 20 regions in North America chasing the Stanley Cup of economic development trophies — Amazon's second headquarters project, a deal that promises to create 50,000 new high-paying jobs and invest $5B in a major corporate campus over a decade.

Whether or not Atlanta ultimately wins the assignment, Amazon has created a halo effect around the region that appears to be drawing in other companies, Transwestern Managing Director Bradley Fulkerson previously told Bisnow.

“Atlanta's always been on the list when people consider multiple locations. But I think now Atlanta is getting the business. I think we bumped up from a choice to a top competitor,” Fulkerson said.