Announcing the Atlanta Tech Village

In late August this year I was heavily involved in the Pardot acquisition process with ExactTarget and an idea hit me: if this deal goes through, I want to buy a large building and turn it into the Atlanta Tech Village. On August 30th I blogged about the idea generically, calling the post Physical Atlanta Startup Village Idea. The idea is a combination community center and office complex geared specifically towards innovative companies doing cool things while promoting serendipitous interactions. After thinking about it for a while, the name Atlanta Startup Village was too narrow as it implied it was only for startups whereas a technology community needs remote offices of larger tech companies, startups, and tech-related companies like marketing, PR, accounting, legal, and venture firms. A community is all types of people, not just fledgling two-person startups.

Post Pardot acquisition, I immediately set out looking at all different types of office buildings and empty land throughout Midtown, West Midtown, and Buckhead. After 30 days of researching options and talking to as many people as would listen to me, one building became obvious as far and away the best option: 3423 Piedmont Rd NE (Google Maps). Super important things like great interstate access, MARTA access, walkability to a dozen restaurants, large windows, tall ceilings, indoor/outdoor areas, tons of parking, massive space (100,000 square feet!), and immediate usability were all present. There were some good land options in Midtown and West Midtown but no good buildings that were for sale at a reasonable per square foot price, and I didn’t want to get in the construction business and have a three year horizon before having something usable. Nothing on the market even compared to 3423 Piedmont Rd.

Midtown, with its startup density at Tech Square, would have been ideal, but land and buildings in that area are significantly more expensive than 3423 Piedmont Rd. Buckhead as a location opens up northern suburbs like Alpharetta, Roswell, Dunwoody, and Sandy Springs to a shorter commute to get to a high density tech community while still being very accessible to the intown crowd that lives in Midtown, Virginia Highlands, and Inman Park. There’s another important piece being in the heart of Buckhead: proximity to the wealthiest Atlantans with an eye towards helping increase investment in local tech companies.

After a quick tour of the building (it was the last one I looked at), we put in an offer on it the week before Thanksgiving, negotiated for a week, and had it under contract by Thanksgiving. Now, 30 days later, the closing is done and the building is called Atlanta Tech Village.

Take a look at the Atlanta Tech Village website, read the Atlanta Business Chronicle article on the Atlanta Tech Village, and check out the post on it on the Startup Communities site. I’m excited to get tech companies in the building and start renovations.

What else? What are your thoughts on the Atlanta Tech Village and what are some ideas to make it great?

20 thoughts on “Announcing the Atlanta Tech Village

  1. Way to go, David – this is much needed. If it will be anything like the Cambridge Innovation Center, you’ll have hit another home run!

  2. Great momentum for the Atlanta startup community. I have noticed things changing in the past 6 months with huge collaboration and new energy at different tech startup events. You are executing on a great vision for Atlanta and specially the Buckhead startup community. I am looking forward to visiting the space. I also like the $100/person pre-construction rate. By the way, the FarmBurger next door is awesome!

  3. David, I hope the same magic you put into Pardot falls on ATV. Your passion might put us on the map for the rest of the nation and the world to see and acknowledge as a potential equal in the value creation ecosystem.

  4. Wow! Kudos to you David for putting “skin in the game” and making such a statement of your commitment to promote the technology community! I think of the jobs and technology created that will improve everyone’s lives. Great stuff.

    it would really be interesting for us all to see your “back of the napkin math” for the purchase of the building, Operating Expenses and business model as you showed us for Pardot in an earlier post.

    By the way – I wrote an introduction for you to a fellow tech CEO in Atlanta who is also a Duke graduate. Perhaps he will want to relocate his company to ATV? Did you receive that?

  5. David believes in Atlanta and is willing to put his money where is mouth is. This is a great community investment. Look forward to checking it out.

  6. David, thank you for your continued leadership in building the startup community in Atlanta. I hope others will follow your example. I know this is really encouraging to small startups like mine and hope more entrepreneurs will call our city home as a result of Atlanta Tech Village.

  7. David, we have not yet met, but as the Founder of TEDxPeachtree, I have heard great things about you from Jacqui, and I am thoroughly impressed with your willingness to “pay it forward” for the good of the community. Good luck with this new venture.

      • David, I read the article about your vision for the office space and am excited to let you know that I rep the demountable glass wall system(s) that fits your vision/description identically for flexible office space. I would love to show you or the right person on your team our products to help build your dream.

  8. Incredible opportunity for Atlanta and the startup community. You’re filling a huge void that will allow startups to grow without having them face all of the challenges that the Atlanta office market has constantly presented to startups over the year.

  9. The more I hear about the plans for Tech Village, the more excited I get about being in Atlanta. Congratulations, Dave, and thank you for taking this leadership step for Atlanta and for being an inspiration to the many who were not sure where Atlanta technology was heading. Please let me know if I can help in any way.

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