Beginning in the mid-2000’s, Georgia Tech had a vision to expand its Atlanta campus, reconnect with the business community, and reinforce the university’s commitment to advancing technology. A strategic real estate plan was required, which included the acquisition of land in the areas surrounding the campus.
For its own use, Georgia Tech needed approximately 300,000 square feet of office space for its computer-based research programs and a state-of-the-art data center to service and maintain its big data technologies.
Georgia Tech engaged Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) to assist with the real estate strategy and provide a wide range of services from land acquisition to development to office lease negotiation to interior build-out.
C&W formulated its real estate strategy and began representing Georgia Tech in the acquisition of several land parcels which led the university across I-75 and into Midtown Atlanta.
As the hallmark of the larger vision, C&W assisted Georgia Tech with developer selection for a massive mixed-use project in Midtown Tech Square– an eight-block innovation hub that includes venture capital firms, startups, and tech incubators. Formerly referred to as the High Performance Computing Center, the new CODA Tech Square project was billed as a “game-changer” in the area from its initial concept phase.
C&W represented Georgia Tech in a 300,000-square-foot anchor tenant lease at the 770,000-square-foot CODA Tech Square development. Georgia Tech will occupy about one-half of the office space and an 80,000-square-foot data center. This transaction was named the 2016 Atlanta office transaction of the year, with C&W providing tenant build-out services as well.
The remaining space at the property will be occupied by corporations and Georgia Tech research partners.
Designed by John Portman & Associates, the $375 million project is owned by developer Portman Holdings. The project will include a 21-story tower—sheathed in “intelligent” glass that adjusts to light and climate conditions—plus a public plaza with restaurants, and roughly 30,000 square feet of retail contained within the historic Crum & Forster Building.
This world-class facility is the first of its kind in Atlanta. It is a shining example of a very successful public- private partnership as it both invigorated Georgia Tech and reconnected it with Atlanta’s business community. The I-75 crossover into Midtown represents not only a geographic expansion, but a philosophical commitment to advancing the university as a tech innovator.