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Georgia Tech, Portman unveil plans for ‘Coda’ technology complex

Jack Portman, Eloisa Klementich, Bud Peterson Jack Portman, Eloisa Klementich and Bud Peterson at the unveiling of the design for the Coda development in 2016 (Photo by Maria Saporta)

By Maria Saporta

Georgia Tech invited business and civic leaders Wednesday afternoon to visit the site where the future High Performance Computing Center was given its code name – Coda.

The high rise center will include a 21-story tower will anchor the newest expansion of Technology Square marking the moment when Georgia Tech jumped over the Downtown Connector divide and became part of Midtown.

Coda interior shot

Rendering of the interior space of the future Coda development (Special)

“In these 12 short years, Georgia Tech has become an innovation center,” said Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson. “More than a dozen companies have established technology innovation centers.”

The new tower complex, which is slated to open Jan. 1, 2019, will have about 1 million square feet of space including 620,000 square feet of office space – of which half will be taken by Georgia Tech and half available to be leased for new innovation partners.

“The potential is nearly limitless,” Peterson said of the project that will be developed by Portman Holdings and designed by John Portman & Associates. “The ideas presented by Portman Holdings visualized collaborative space.”

The development will be built on the block bordered by Spring Street, Fourth Street, West Peachtree Street and Armstead Place. On one corner of the block, there stands the truncated historic Crum & Forster building, which could become a chef-dominated restaurant.

Coda Georgia Tech

Another rendering of Georgia Tech’s proposed Coda complex (Special)

Construction on the total project is expected to begin in November by which time Portman, Georgia Tech and partners are expected to have secured financing for the project.

Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta, said the development would have a total economic impact of $830 million over the next 20 years.

“In my mind, there’s no doubt that this project is going to fundamentally change how we innovate, how we create and how we compete,” she said calling the area Atlanta’s innovation neighborhood.

“The competition for the smartest and most creative is real,” she added. “It will make Atlanta more diverse and competitive.”

Jack Portman, vice chairman of JPA, first thanked Georgia Tech for educating his father – John Portman. The younger Portman also got his architectural degree from Georgia Tech.

Jack Portman, Eloisa Klementich, Bud Peterson

Jack Portman, Eloisa Klementich and Bud Peterson at the unveiling of the design for the Coda development (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Portman went on to say the development reflects how they believe people will want to work in the future – with a great amount of collaborative space where faculty, students, staff and private sector partners could work together.

The design includes a circular structure in the center of the project to bridge the “L” shaped building. It is called the collaborative core. The complex also will include retail and restaurant spaces to make it a place where people will congregate.

To find out more about the project, go to www.codatechsquare.com.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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  1. keltz_ April 21, 2016 10:13 am

    mariasaporta GeorgiaTech PortmanRE Thousand, not million. It’s 620 thousand sq ft of office space, 1 million total.Report

  2. StephenFleming April 21, 2016 10:16 am

    mariasaporta I think 620 *million* sq ft is a bit of an overstatement. 🙂Report

  3. mariasaporta April 21, 2016 10:23 am

    StephenFleming It’s a really, really big data center. Thanks for catching my mistake. It’s been fixed. Let’s catch up soon.Report

  4. mariasaporta April 21, 2016 10:25 am

    keltz_ GeorgiaTech PortmanRE Thanks for pointing that out. It was a stupid, unintentional mistake. Been fixed. Thanks for reading us.Report

  5. keltz_ April 21, 2016 10:29 am

    mariasaporta GeorgiaTech PortmanRE No worries, thanks for the great local content!Report

  6. mariasaporta April 21, 2016 10:51 am

    StephenFleming you are correct! Edit has been made. Thanks for catching it!Report

  7. StephenFleming April 21, 2016 10:55 am

    mariasaporta It’s all about “BIG Data.” 🙂 Coffee when I’m back in the Western Hemisphere!Report

  8. Burroughston Broch April 22, 2016 2:27 pm

    mariasaporta StephenFleming  Maria, this is not a really big data center by today’s standards. 9 megawatts is the ultimate IT equipment capacity after future expansions; the initial capacity will be less. A big data center today has 40-60 megawatts of IT equipment capacity; for example, Microsoft builds out capacity in blocks of 38 megawatts. And 80,000 square feet area (including all of the electrical and mechanical equipment spaces plus associated office areas) is not large either.Report


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