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Big U.S. music streamer picks Midtown Atlanta site

New music and tech jobs are heading to Midtown Atlanta, this time to the former BellSouth headquarters along Peachtree Street.

Pandora Media, the music streaming company, signed a lease for what will become a base for hundreds of employees in the 21-story Campanile tower, according to building owner Dewberry Group.

That’s at the corner of Peachtree and 14th Street.

Pandora confirmed the deal for 50,000 square feet and said it will be vacating its current Atlantic Station offices used by fewer employees.

The company said its pace of hiring in Atlanta is exceeding its expectations.

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The Campanile space would give Pandora room for plans announced earlier this year to add 250 jobs locally over the next three years.  

Pandora already had about 40 employees at Atlantic Station at the time of that announcement. The company’s online site recently listed about 40 Atlanta job openings.

“Pandora is a nationally and internationally recognized name and we are both delighted and honored by their choice of Campanile,” John Dewberry, the chief executive of Dewberry Group, said in a press release.

Pandora’s head of recruiting, Mike McDonald, said the company has hired about 100 people in Atlanta so far this year.

“We found phenomenal tech talent in Atlanta, and our pace of hiring exceeded our expectations,” he said Friday. “Based on that, we are going to continue to hire aggressively” for product and engineering positions.

Among the posts Pandora intends to fill: software engineers, product managers, product analysts, product designers and accounting positions.

Pandora has more than 70 million active users. But it has struggled lately.

While the company’s revenues are rising and its losses narrowing, it faces stiff competition from Spotify and Apple Music. Pandora’s number of active users continues to decline, according to Variety. 

Earlier this year, the Oakland, Calif.-based company said it would boost its presence in Atlanta, where it expected to find a talented workers and lower costs compared to Pandora’s hometown. 

Midtown Atlanta has been a particularly hot draw for tech and other companies in recent years.

In an email, John Dewberry wrote that Pandora is expected to move into the Campanile building in the first quarter of 2019, with space for 200 to 250 employees and “with high likelihood it will grow beyond.”

Dewberry has for years owned lots of property along and near Peachtree Street in Midtown, though much of it remains undeveloped.

He previously floated plans to add six stories of office space on the top of the Campanile building.

But Dewberry, in an email, wrote that Campanile’s “corporate residents were not as excited as I was about building on top of their space.”

Now, he’s pursuing plans to add tens of thousands of square feet of retail space on two lower floors of the building, which he predicted could be finished late in the third quarter of next year. 

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