At a ceremony today, Portman Holdings celebrated the commencement of construction for Coda at Tech Square, located on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus in Midtown Atlanta. The highly-anticipated mixed-use project is the first project of its kind in Atlanta and in the Southeast. DPR Construction will serve as general contractor and is scheduled to complete construction of the John Portman & Associates-designed building in 2019.
“Coda will be unlike any other building in the Atlanta region, and we very much look forward to opening this Class T building in 2019,” said Ambrish Baisiwala, CEO of Portman Holdings. “Many institutions and individuals at the State of Georgia, City of Atlanta, and private organizations came together to support us, and to make this possible. This building is already a testament to the power of collaboration. We are elated and grateful to be the developer behind Coda, and for all the support that we received.”
The milestone occasion was commemorated with remarks from Jack Portman, Vice Chairman of Portman Holdings and John Portman & Associates, Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson, President of Georgia Tech, and City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. All expressed excitement over Atlanta’s first Class T office asset, which is designed for technological innovation through every detail – from advanced research facilities and a high-speed data center, to outstanding food offerings, outdoor gathering spaces and the Collaborative Core, which will be the heart of this building. The approximately 770,000 square-foot mixed-use project represents a $375 million investment into the Technology Square innovation district.
“Since it first opened 13 years ago, Technology Square (Tech Square) in Midtown Atlanta has rapidly become one of the leading regional innovation hubs in the Southeastern U.S. Tech Square promotes and facilitates innovation and collaboration between businesses and industry and the Georgia Tech community” said Peterson. “Coda, which includes a high-performance computing center, will take innovation to a whole new level. This iconic building developed by Portman Holdings will become a magnet for corporations and startups alike, while serving as a state-of-the-art resource for breakthrough research. As such, this new facility will help propel the region and Midtown Atlanta as one of the leading innovation ecosystems in the Southeast and the nation.”
Coda will provide innovative companies the rare opportunity to co-locate with one another, and alongside world-class researchers and faculty from Georgia Tech, which is ranked among the top 10 public universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report. These industry innovators and academics will convene at Coda to pioneer high-tech advancements that will have impact across various sectors in the United States and, in some cases, across the globe. Coda is anticipated to have an economic impact in Atlanta of $813.8 million and will have other significant economic benefits – not only through the creation of 2,100 construction jobs, and 2,400 jobs onsite after completion, but also through its impact on innovation in the region.
“This year, we have seen four Fortune 500 companies locate or expand significant IT centers in Atlanta, bringing nearly 5,000 new jobs to the city,” said Mayor Reed. “Coda’s advanced technology resources will be an invaluable asset for attracting the world’s top tech professionals and keeping more of our talented students in Atlanta after graduation. I am eager to see the world-changing innovations that will come out of this first-class facility.”
Financing for Coda was finalized in November, with China Orient Asset Management International serving as equity joint venture partner. The senior construction loan was provided by JP Morgan Real Estate Banking and Fifth Third Bank. A portion of the construction loan was provided by GCFID. Leasable office space will be represented by Portman Holdings’ Travis Garland, along with Kevin Lott, Jim Bellamy and Adam Viente of JLL. Lily Heimburger and Adrienne Crawford of SRS will lease retail space.
“COS Capital is very pleased that this will be our second substantial equity investment into the city of Atlanta on behalf of China Orient Asset Management International, and our fourth in partnership with Portman Holdings,” said Tom Mills, Head of US Real Estate for COS Capital.
“We continue to favor Atlanta as a vibrant regional center that is well positioned to enjoy growth for many years to come. Additionally, we believe the thoughtful and creative design of the property will foster interaction and collaboration among tenants in a vibrant area adjacent to Georgia Tech.”
“Portman Holdings is thankful for its distinguished equity and debt capital partners for Coda. Each of these is a very important relationship to Portman and we are fortunate that they share the vision of innovation and advancement for the project and for our great city of Atlanta.”
Strategically positioned within the already-growing Technology Square in Midtown, Coda offers walkability and bike access as well as accessibility to transit (MARTA and the Tech Trolley) – the sorts of transit options that increasingly appeal to up-and-coming talent sourced from neighboring Georgia Institute of Technology and from the more than 50 colleges and universities in the surrounding Metro Atlanta area. The facility’s 645,000 square feet of office space will be complimented by 30,000 square feet of retail space, including the adaptive reuse of the historic Crum & Forster building. It will be activated by a plaza surrounded by food outlets, which will become a local gathering place and outdoor living room for Tech Square and Midtown Atlanta. There will also be an approximately 80,000 square-foot data center, which Next Tier HD has been selected to operate, and around 600 parking spaces.
“The best projects are the ones where the Client’s imagination challenges the Architect,” said Pierluca Maffey, Principal, VP Design John Portman & Associates. “Coda started with a compelling programmatic vision set forth by Georgia Tech and unfolded with Portman Holdings’ commitment to contributing to and in executing that vision. John Portman & Associates was able to creatively translate all of that input into a design which meets the economic goals of the client, the academic goals of the Educational Institution and pushes the imagination further by engaging the participation of the general public.”
Attendees of the groundbreaking ceremony experienced two new technology products – one that will be included in the building itself, and one that illustrates the building’s infrastructure through new Microsoft HoloLens technology developed especially for thyssenkrupp Elevator.
View Dynamic Glass, which will be featured on Coda’s Collaborative Core, adjusts intelligently throughout the day to optimize the indoor climate while maintaining connection to the outdoor environment. By letting in natural light and blocking unwanted solar heat, View Dynamic Glass significantly reduces air conditioning and lighting costs. This results in energy savings of up to 25 percent.
Coda also will feature the first U.S. installment of thyssenkrupp’s TWIN elevator technology. The one-of-a-kind elevator technology has two cars arranged on top of each other that operate in one hoist way. thyssenkrupp will showcase the TWIN using its recently announced Microsoft HoloLens technology, a special mixed reality device that enables technology to visualize and identify problems with the elevator ahead of a job. Through HoloLens, technicians also will have remote, hands-free access to technical and expert information when on site – all resulting in significant savings in time and stress.