ATLANTA: THE GLOBAL CITY
The vibrant & confident city is experiencing record levels of population growth & job creation
As fast-growing multinational corporations and ambitious young millennials choose to make Atlanta their home, the capital of Georgia is experiencing an unprecedented increase in population and economic output. According to Invest Atlanta, the metro Atlanta area added 94,000 new residents in the last year, and jobs at the rate of 3.3%, the fastest one in the nation, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission. “The fundamentals are roaring right now,” says Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta.
In total, there are now 15 companies headquartered in metro Atlanta which are ranked in the Fortune 500 —the third highest number of any city in the country. As well as celebrated hometown companies such as CNN, the Coca-cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Home Depot and UPS, businesses such as GE and Honeywell have moved major digital operations to Atlanta. Next year, Mercedes-benz will open its North American headquarters in the city, with space for 1,000 employees, while payment processing giant NCR is currently investing $300 million in a new campus next to Georgia Tech.
For companies expanding in Atlanta, one of its major competitive advantages is the quality of the talent who already work or study here or those who are keen to move to the city. Downtown universities such as Georgia Tech and Georgia State generate a never-ending stream of the technology graduates, engineers and technicians that businesses rely on to power their growth and innovation.
Meanwhile, Atlanta has an increasing appeal to millennials: rents are affordable and the arts and music scene is buzzing. The regenerated Westside District will soon be packed with art galleries, music venues, bars and restaurants and according to a study from CBRE and Maastricht University, Atlanta also ranks as the country’s third greenest city.
“We have been very successful in attracting people and companies to Atlanta,” says Dr. Eloisa Klementich, CEO of Invest Atlanta, the economic development arm for the city. “Companies come here to be “smart”: to think about how they can create products in the future that will ensure their competitiveness.”
To ensure that Atlanta maintains its position as a magnet for innovative companies and millennials, the city is now investing massively in transport infrastructure and affordable housing for its fast-growing population.
Also, the inspirational Atlanta Beltline project is turning abandoned rail lines into some of the city’s most vibrant and walkable neighborhoods, stimulating billions of dollars of investment in parks, trails, housing and leisure. “It is connecting the city in unprecedented ways —connecting people economically, culturally and socially,” says Rob Brawner, Executive Director of the Atlanta Beltline Partnership (ABLP). “Only a small portion has been built so far, but it is already transforming Atlanta and changing the way we live.”