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Norfolk Southern aims to open new Midtown headquarters in 2021 with food hall

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With official groundbreaking this week, project is replacing large expanse of surface parking

Looking north, the project’s West Peachtree Street frontage, where early plans have called for a ground-floor café.
Looking north, the project’s West Peachtree Street frontage, where early plans have called for a ground-floor café.
Cousins Properties renderings via Midtown Alliance/Bisnow

Some of Georgia’s top dignitaries are expected to turn out this week for a groundbreaking that makes Atlanta’s biggest economic win in recent memory officially official.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Cousins Properties’s CEO and president Colin Connolly are all expected to speak Tuesday afternoon at the official groundbreaking for railroad giant Norfolk Southern’s new headquarters at 650 West Peachtree Street, where site work has been pulverizing a former parking lot for weeks.

In an announcement, Norfolk Southern reps said the 750,000-square-foot, two-tower building, which will consume more than 3 acres between Ponce de Leon Avenue and Third Street, is projected to open in third quarter 2021.

Reportedly costing $575 million, the HQ will claim the majority of a 1-million-square-foot Cousins development at the site, to include at least one 22-story tower.

The company also shed light on what the project will bring beyond its sheer size.

Looking south from the project’s West Peachtree Street frontage, as seen in early renderings.

Aiming for LEED certification, the design is meant to “reflect intentional design elements to encourage a high-energy and high-interaction space for employee collaboration,” and that means a campus-style hub will connect both towers.

Included in this hub will be a “food-hall style dining facility,” a fitness center that never closes, an onsite children's center, and large green spaces at rooftop and street levels, officials said.

Ultimately, the project would have roughly 13,000 square feet of retail space, too, according to earlier reports.

Interestingly, the announcement from Norfolk Southern reps references the site as being “in Tech Square,” which could speak to Georgia Tech’s influence in the Fortune 500 company’s relocation decision. (GT draws the southern-boundary line at Coda.)

Below is the site seen from various angles—the before version, essentially—as construction began in earnest last month.

Near the Varsity.
Photos: Curbed Atlanta
Looking north, toward Tech Square.
On the eastern flank, this three-story building used to house the chancery of the Atlanta Archdiocese and Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School.