Flatiron Building could be redeveloped into $10M entrepreneurship hub

From: The Atlanta Business Chronicle

The historic Flatiron Building in downtown Atlanta could be redeveloped into an incubator to foster entrepreneurship in the city's core.

The redevelopment, one of several startup-focused hubs popping up across metro Atlanta, has the potential to make Downtown the next startup hub.

Arun Nijhawan managing principal with Lucror Resources, LLC plans to buy and renovate the 40,000 square foot building into a "collaborative place" for Atlanta’s "makers, thinkers, and doers," according to a document filed with Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development arm.

Invest Atlanta offered Lucror a $1.5 million loan to help offset acquisition and renovation costs, which are expected to top $10 million. The loan will be forgiven in seven years if the space is used for startups. The developer is also required to host a women’s entrepreneur center.

Built in 1897 – five years before New York City's better-known Flatiron — Atlanta’s English-American Building (commonly referred to as the Flatiron) is the city's oldest skyscraper. The 11-story tower straddles two of the downtown’s most visible streets — Peachtree and Broad.

Backing the redevelopment made sense for the city, which is focused on growing and strengthening the startup ecosystem, Invest Atlanta CEO Brian McGowansaid.

"Our purpose is to facilitate the creation of jobs in Atlanta," McGowan said. "All net new jobs come from business startups."

Indeed. Mayor Kasim Reed, McGowan and others recently went on a tour of Sand Hill Road, pitching Atlanta and its startups to Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

A startup culture renaissance in Atlanta is birthing several tech hubs — a cross between business incubators that offer real estate, business coaching and mentoring services; and co-working spaces that lease a desk or meeting room.

In late 2012, serial entrepreneur David Cummings acquired the former Atlanta Business Chronicle building at Piedmont and Lenox in Buckhead. Since then, Cummings has invested about $20 million to redevelop it into a tech hub, that houses more than 100 software startups.

In Midtown, a former Sears Roebuck & Co. building being redeveloped into a $200 million mixed-use project, has lured three tech firms — athenaHealth, Cardlytics and MailChimp — that collectively will occupy more than 250,000 square feet of office space at Ponce City Market.

Read full article from Atlanta Business Chronicle.