Real Estate Notebook: Pandora expands; City population booms

Pandora Media Inc. will put its Southeast headquarters in Midtown’s Campanile building, where it will add at least 250 software development and engineering jobs.

The move follows the online music streaming company’s announcement in January that it would shift operations from its West Coast headquarters to Atlanta, creating about $45 million in savings.

Pandora will occupy the 14th and 15th floors of the 21-story former BellSouth Corp. headquarters building at Peachtree and 14th streets.

Dewberry Group, led by the former Georgia Tech quarterback turned real estate investor John Dewberry, bought the building a little more than eight years ago for just $35 million when it was mostly empty.

The 14th and 15th floors haven’t been occupied since BellSouth used the building more than a decade ago. Pandora should finish moving into the space by March of next year.

The 50,000-square-foot lease with Pandora is the largest office deal at Campanile since Dewberry formed a new venture with longtime Atlanta developer Jim Meyer, one of Atlanta’s most respected developers.

Top priorities for the partnership were leasing-up the tower and adding substantial street-level retail on Peachtree Street.

The project is being designed by Smallwood Reynolds Stewart, Stewart.

The infusion of more tech jobs at 14th and Peachtree should add more street life to an already busy section of Midtown, which is surrounded by many of the neighborhood’s tallest office towers and Piedmont Park. Next door, Colony Square is seeing an overhaul that will include 225,000 square feet of retail space and 59,000 square feet of offices, along with a new food hall and movie theater.

The projects have given an added boost to leasing activity. “It’s been very strong,” Meyer said. “We’ve had up to 900,000 square feet of tenants touring the building in the past 60 days.”

Pandora has been working on a lease with the Campanile owners since early this summer.

In May, representatives of the company said it chose Atlanta over Salt Lake City for the new operations hub.

Pandora will invest $6 million in the Atlanta office, but the eventual number of jobs could exceed the 250 officially announced. “It could far surpass that,” Seth Martindale, with CBRE Inc. consulting, said earlier this year during an appearance before the Fulton County Development Authority.

CBRE’s Sam Holmes, John Shlesinger, and Paul Holmes represented Pandora in lease negotiations. Dewberry Group’s Campanile was represented by the Capital Real Estate Group’s John Thornton and Bennett Gottlieb. Development services were provided by Atlantic Capital’s Meyer and Chad Meyer.

Atlanta population surges

The city of Atlanta added 10,100 residents over the past year, the largest single population increase since the Great Recession ended.

In newly released estimates from Atlanta Regional Commission, the city’s population now stands at 459,600. That’s up from 439,600 residents in 2016 and 420,003 in 2010, when the city’s economy was seeing lingering effects from the steepest national economic slowdown since the Great Depression.

The city was responsible for 57 percent of Fulton County’s overall population growth last year. Fulton added more people than any other county in the region.

It marks a dramatic shift of population trends. Atlanta grew at an average rate of just 240 new residents per year from 1990 to 2010, according to ARC. Since 2010, it’s added 4,950 residents annually, a growth rate that is fueling demand for thousands of new apartments built in neighborhoods such as Buckhead, Midtown and Old Fourth Ward.

Those numbers will also inform the debate about expanding transportation options inside the city and balancing economic growth with preserving historic neighborhoods and housing equity.

The data reflects changes in development patterns over the past several years, with new office towers in walkable urban environments such as Technology Square, along the Beltline, next to MARTA train stations, and in intown neighborhoods such as West Midtown.

In its newly released numbers, ARC took a snapshot of population trends from April 2017 to April 2018.

In that span, the 10-county Atlanta region (which does not include fast-growing Forsyth County) grew to 4.55 million people, gaining 75,800 residents. It was the second largest single year over the past decade. Between 2016 and 2017, the 10-county region grew by 78,300.

Over the past year, Fulton County added 17,570 residents, most in the Atlanta region. Its population stands at just over 1 million. Gwinnett added 16,700 residents, (910,700 total population) DeKalb 10,630 (744,530) and Cobb 8,000 (758,300).

Residential development remains robust, with 24,500 new residential building permits issued in the 10-county region last year.

However, that’s down 2,500 permits from the previous year. Permit activity across the 10-county region is slower than pre-recession levels.

Real Talk, a collection of local real estate briefs

American Landmark Apartments has purchased a large Southeast portfolio that includes multiple properties in Atlanta.

American Landmark paid $274.2 million for apartment properties in Atlanta, Orlando, Fla., Raleigh, N.C., Charlotte, N.C., and Charleston, S.C. Combined, the projects included 1,863 units.

In Atlanta, the portfolio includes Arbor Terrace and Summerset.

Shea Campbell, Kevin Kempf, Ashish Cholia, Colleen Hendrix and Phil Brosseau with CBRE represented the undisclosed seller.

South College has completed a 37,830-square-foot lease for its first Atlanta campus.

South College will occupy nearly 40 percent of a nearly 100,000-square-foot building at 2500 Century Parkway Northeast.

The Atlanta location will be the school’s fourth campus in the Southeast.

Newmark Knight Frank senior managing director Aaron Sommer and managing director Beau Odom represented the tenant.

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