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Atlanta urges Microsoft to provide 15,000 jobs or return the 90-acre Grove Park land

Microsoft logo on a colorful background

In 2021, Microsoft planned to establish a complex in Atlanta's Grove Park neighborhood, which it hoped would generate 15,000 jobs. However, with no new developments in the area, there hasn't been much clarity for Atlanta's mayor, who has now urged the company to either fulfill its promise or return the land.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Atlanta's mayor, Andre Dickens, stated that he plans to meet with the tech giant to discuss the viability of the Atlanta project. There has been no progress in the project for a year because Microsoft was reevaluating its global real estate portfolio after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, Microsoft hoped to continue working on the 90-acre (36-hectare) corporate campus at a suitable time but refused to put the land up for sale.

However, Dickens is now pushing for answers, arguing that if the company can not generate 15,000 jobs as promised, then Atlanta will acquire back the land or partner with another company that will utilize the resource. Dickens said:

“We really want them to develop their property or offer it back to us so we can develop it. Even if you don’t know what you want to do, just let us know what you know you won’t be able to do.”

The tech giant declined to comment on the issue. However, we will most likely see updates after the meeting with Microsoft next week.

A major reason why the mayor is pressing Microsoft for an update is because the city is facing high levels of office vacancy rates. Towards the end of 2023, according to brokerage company Cushman & Wakefield Plc, the rates were among the highest in the country at about 24%.

Additionally, a major chunk of Atlanta's budget comes from property taxes levied on office buildings. However, the Bloomberg report mentions that about 20% of offices financed using corporate mortgage-backed securities are lagging behind payments by at least 90 days.

Source: Bloomberg

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