Georgia Tech Close to Choosing Project Manager for High Performance Computing Center

This story was written by  and originally appeared in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on November 15, 2013. 

Georgia Tech is close to choosing the project manager for its nearly 700,000-square-foot High Performance Computing Center. The decision could come in weeks, said John Majeroni, Georgia Tech’s executive director of real estate development. The proposed project is an expansion of Technology Square, an influential development that has helped anchor the southern end of Midtown at Spring and Fifth streets.

One of the most likely sites for the High Performance Computing Center is the historic Crum & Forster building. All that remains of that building is, basically, the facade. Preservationists wanted to keep the entire building. Georgia Tech said two-thirds of it needed to be demolished to make room for the computing center. Earlier this year, a consent order issued by a Fulton County Superior Court judge paved the way for plans to move ahead.

Other sites could be chosen, instead, Majeroni said. “We always consider other locations before a project is finalized,” he said.

While a project manager may be named in a matter of weeks, it could take at least a year to find out who wins the job as developer. The earliest Tech might issue requests for qualifications is next fall, Majeroni said. The developer would design, finance and own the project.

Tech would help anchor the building. The school would enter a long-term lease for about 50 percent of the space, and that could include Georgia Tech business functions. The space could also house data center operations, among other uses. Less is known about what kinds of tenants a developer might target for the project, though companies that depend on high-performance data and network applications and others that involve genetic modeling for biotech and medical firms are options. Three years ago, Princeton University launched a similar project. 

Technology Square is a more than 1 million-square-foot development Georgia Tech started 10 years ago that expanded the campus across the Downtown Connector. Technology Square spans eight blocks, and it has been a catalyst for new real estate development. The latest example: a 22-story tower to be developed by Gateway Development and South City Partners LLC. The residential tower is meant to add a missing piece to the overall project.

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