NCR Corporate plots a course from Gwinnett to Midtown Atlanta for next Headquarters

Happy New Year!   This week it became official that NCR Corporate, the global leader in ATM machines and Point Of Sale Software, is moving from Duluth to Midtown Atlanta.      NCR, along with AGCO are two of the larger (fortune 500) Corporate Headquarters currently based in Gwinnett.   For NCR, it sited a need to be closer to the thriving technological boom when is currently descending on Atlanta.     Their new campus on Spring Street will be strategically located on next to Georgia Tech.     As a software company, NCR needs to stay on the pulse and have access to high lucrative market of young professionals that dwell both at Georgia Tech and in Midtown.     Here is an article from The AJC announcing the move.   Here is another great article by Biz Jounals which describes the cultural and strategic shifts needed by companies in an increasingly tech/software driven battle for talent.

Over the past three years I have seen a steady rise in Technology professionals moving to Atlanta.  Many highly paid, in some cases even by NYC standards.    There seems to be more and more Consultants intown.   Additionally, along the perimeter, there are countless Analytics firms now.    What is interesting, is I do believe this trend of highly skilled tech workers from say New York, India, or where ever else in the world, are one of the main reasons prices are rising rapidly both in terms of rents and sale prices.

I had dinner at Yebo last Saturday with a friend in town for the week for a Trade Show at The America’s Mart.     He noted, after his  previous night’s dinner at Seven Lamps that Atlanta is becoming quite expensive.  In fact, when looking at both Midtown and its highly skilled global workforce who likely come from much more expensive cities, I suppose that makes sense.   In Buckead, when you look at the Buckhead Atlanta development you see many of the Global Luxury Brands, and all of the restaurants are now quick to pawn $7-$8 beers and $12-13 New York style cocktails.   No wonder it was just announced that Phase two has started.  Why wouldn’t it at the City’s current pace!

Yes, even though up from years past, the Real Estate in the area remains cheap.   As the city aspires, and perhaps develops into more of a global player, look for the Real Estate to set up nicely and correlate more and more with this trend.      In Midtown, the addition of the NCR Headquarters and it’s 3500-4000 jobs means many more inhabitants.    I expect the Midtown population to increase 20-25% over the next 5 years with the augmentation.   The West Side and Atlantic Station will also benefit.

In the next year I suspect a new 300-400 unit highrise, glass condominium will be announced in Midtown to begin construction shortly after.  Starting prices you ask?    Well to go with those $8 beers and $13 cocktails, you will be looking at low floor 1 bedrooms around $300k starting.       Indeed, it is with this benchmark when the next big leg up in Midtown highrise condo prices will calibrate.

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