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Is (Potential) Jobs Influx Indicative of New Intown Luster?

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Could this be a trend? Insiders are telling various Atlanta media outlets that Coca-Cola is in final negotiations to move up to 1,000 well-compensated employees from a Cobb County office park to the 60-story SunTrust Plaza — a deal that would be a clear boon for anyone with a stake in downtown Atlanta. Coke has been snooping office space downtown for a while, hoping to migrate employees closer to its headquarters near Georgia Tech. The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports the deal at SunTrust Plaza, a landmark skyscraper, would be a commitment of up to 10 years and at least 250,000 square feet. The deal falling apart at this point is reportedly unlikely. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called the potential job shift "the largest single move of private sector employees to the city's core in recent memory" while noting the "pending move is part of a recent surge of in-town migration by large corporations."

As early as last October, Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush was quoted as saying the IT firm was scouting a "neighborhood with mojo" to relocate hundreds from the suburbs. Scuttlebutt earlier this year was that Athenahealth was in final stages of signing a deal that will eventually put hundreds of workers at Ponce City Market. And, as the AJC notes, a digital marketing firm called ExactTarget selected Buckhead as the site of a new regional headquarters — with 225 jobs.

Is this potential white-collar influx a coincidence, or is the city's core suddenly more attractive to large employers?

[SunTrust Plaza Atlanta. Photo: ayay.co.uk]

· Coke could move suburban jobs downtown [AJC]
· Coca-Cola eyes big move downtown [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· Ponce City Market Lands First Corporate Tenant, 100 Jobs [Curbed Atlanta]