The owners of Atlanta’s oldest skyscraper showed off on Tuesday the project’s new infusion of tech power, including a Microsoft Innovation Center that city leaders hope will boost Atlanta’s technology credentials and cultivate new startup companies.
The more than century-old Flatiron Building – rechristened as FlatironCity – will house not only the Microsoft center, but it will offer startups rentable office space by the desk, room or floor.
FlatironCity also will serve as the home to the new city-backed incubator for woman-owned companies – the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. The incubator’s first round will include 15 women entrepreneurs.
Reed said the opening of FlatironCity, the Microsoft center and the women’s business incubator follow a string of technology company expansion announcements such as the new headquarters of NCR and Worldpay US in Midtown, and helps send a signal that Atlanta “is the center of technology in the Southeast.”
The Microsoft facility isn’t a lab where Microsoft engineers will develop new technologies, but one where the Washington-based giant will help small companies create apps, software and other technologies. The center is geared toward aiding entrepreneurs, students, universities and government agencies.
The Microsoft facility is only the software giant’s second such innovation center in the U.S.
A fund managed by Lucror Resources LLC acquired the property and spent millions this year renovating the prominent three-sided building at Peachtree and Broad streets downtown.
The property is part of a growing roster of developments, like Atlanta Tech Village, targeting young companies with flexible lease arrangements and amenities like a food halls, lounges, coffee shops and hubs for wireless devices.
FlatironCity will offer tenants other amenities such as ultra-fast internet speeds and the on-site assistance of Microsoft experts, part of what Lucror Resources Managing Principal Arun Nijhawan calls “next-gen” office space.
Bradley Jensen, a Microsoft principal partner business “evangelist,” said the company chose Atlanta in large part for its universities and deep pool of recent graduates.
“Those business we help create in Atlanta will stay (in Atlanta),” he said.