Pandora chose Atlanta over Salt Lake City for expansion – Atlanta Business Chronicle

Online music streaming giant Pandora Media Inc. chose Atlanta over Salt Lake City for a new operations hub that should bring at least 250 primarily software development and engineering jobs to Midtown.

The company will invest $6 million in the Atlanta office, and the eventual number of jobs could exceed the 250 announced earlier this year by Gov. Nathan Deal.

“It could far surpass that,” Seth Martindale, with CBRE Inc. consulting, said in an appearance before the Fulton County Development Authority on May 22.

Pandora is seeking from 50,000 to 100,000 square feet of office space most likely on the “Westside” of Atlanta, an area known for some of the city’s finest restaurants and other amenities, he told the Authority.

It wasn’t clear if Martindale was referring to Atlantic Station, a mixed-use town center development that bridges the gap between Midtown and West Midtown along 17th Street. If so, it would make sense. Pandora already has an office at Atlantic Station’s 271 Seventeenth Street, where it’s been bolstering regional advertising and sales operations.

And, “next door" at 201 Seventeenth Street, Atlanta financial technology company Worldpay is listing almost 87,000 square feet on the seventh through 10th floors for sublease. It’s been seen as a favorite to land Pandora, but not yet a given.

Two of West Midtown’s newest Atlanta office buildings are reporting strong pre-leasing activity, but neither the Star Metals or The Interlock project have broken ground.

Selig Enterprises Inc. is planning a massive mixed-use project in the “Upper Westside” along Chattahoochee Avenue. Known as “The Works at Chattahoochee,” the project will represent a billion-dollar investment over the next decade and could mark the largest development of its kind for the area since Atlantic Station.

Then, real estate company Hines has a fast timetable for its new T3 building at Atlantic Station, which could be completed by next summer.

Al Nash, CEO of the Fulton County Development Authority, suggested Pandora was ready to start moving.

Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in January that Pandora unveiled a restructuring plan would shift operations from its West Coast headquarters to Atlanta. The strategy, which could save about $45 million, creates a “significant opportunity to add instrumental talent in a region with lower costs,” the company said at the time.

Pandora is eligible for tax credits as part of its incentive package. It also received a $500,000 REBA Grant that was awarded by the Development Authority.

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