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Developer’s Midtown acquisition could hint at possible Norfolk Southern HQ

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The railroad giant still owns property at the Gulch, which complicates things

The top of a tall building, the AT&T tower in Atlanta.
The site in question sits just spitting distance from Midtown’s AT&T tower.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta

The ongoing saga of speculation regarding which massive companies’ headquarters is going where has some people raising eyebrows over a freshly inked real estate deal in Midtown’s Technology Square.

Atlanta-based developer Cousins Properties recently signed a contract to purchase a 4.1-acre site just west of the Fox Theatre from the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, according to a report by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Snuggled between Ponce de Leon Avenue and 3rd Street, the site, which used to house the Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, is also just spitting distance from a slew of Midtown development activity, such as the trifecta of Portman tower projects, as well as the iconic AT&T Midtown Center.

Cousins’s impending purchase, the paper suggests, could be a sign the company is trying to prep for the possibility that railroad behemoth Norfolk Southern opts to bring its relocated headquarters to Midtown.

Bisnow reports the Tech Square site fits the bill for what Norfolk Southern is looking for in an HQ location.

However, Norfolk Southern also owns land at the Gulch—a desolate downtown pit that could be welcoming, or staring down the barrel of, billions of dollars of new construction in coming years. So a Midtown HQ could reportedly be contingent upon the downtown development project moving forward and the railroad company selling the rest of its land there.

Norfolk Southern already owns one office tower in Midtown, although, if it relocates its headquarters from Virginia to Midtown, the company will likely unload that building, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.