AT­LANTA: THE GLOBAL CITY

The vi­brant & con­fi­dent city is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing record lev­els of pop­u­la­tion growth & job cre­ation

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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.”

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