Atlanta-based investment giant Invesco will expand its global headquarters in a new Midtown office tower and add 500 jobs over the next few years. Gov. Brian Kemp called the move an endorsement of Georgia’s pro-business climate at a time when he’s facing economic backlash over his conservative stances.
Invesco, which oversees more than $1 trillion in client assets, plans to move into a new tower near the intersection of 17th, Spring and West Peachtree streets in Midtown. The mixed-use development project is slated to open in 2022.
“We’re excited by the opportunity to build on our 40-year presence in the city and meaningfully expand our local team to nearly 1,200 professionals, which will enhance our ability to meet client needs here in Atlanta and across the globe,” Martin L. Flanagan, President and CEO of Invesco, said in a Thursday news release.
Invesco is likely eligible for tax credits for the creation of new high-paying jobs and will likely be offered other tax incentives for its headquarters. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Economic Development said the recruitment of the company remains open. Information regarding a state incentive package was not immediately available.
The Invesco announcement provided Kemp with a counterargument to critics who have assailed his approval of the “heartbeat” abortion bill. In a statement, Kemp called Invesco’s growth a “great example of the Georgia success story.”
“Georgia’s unmatched pro-business environment has repeatedly served as a magnet for many global headquarters,” he added, “but there is no greater endorsement than when one of our own chooses to grow and invest in the Peach State.”
Film studios and Hollywood stars have started speaking out against the legislation banning abortion after physicians are able to detect fetal heartbeats. That happens around the sixth week of pregnancy.
“We are going to do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women,” actress Alyssa Milano said during a protest at the Georgia State Capitol while the bill was still pending.
Her Netflix series “Insatiable” is currently filming in Georgia. Jason Bateman, whose movies “Identity Thief,” “The Change-Up,” “Game Night” and “Office Christmas Party” all filmed in Atlanta, says he’ll quit Georgia if the law survives court challenges. His series “Ozark” also is a Netflix production.
Netflix, also behind the hit series “Stranger Things,” and Disney, whose locally filmed projects include Marvel blockbusters “Avengers: Endgame,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Black Panther,” “Spiderman: Homecoming” and “Captain America: Civil War,” have threatened to halt production in Georgia if the law takes effect. WarnerMedia, the parent of CNN, HBO and TNT, on Thursday said “if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions.”
Democrats applauded Invesco’s expansion, but say the positive news shouldn’t paper over the threats from Hollywood. State Rep. Sam Park, D-Lawrenceville, said the state was “shooting itself in the foot” over a measure that will inevitably be blocked in the courts.
“Why are we harming ourselves just for a political statement?” he said. “Georgia deserves leadership that can do better.”
Invesco traces its roots to the investment management division of storied Atlanta bank Citizens & Southern. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, the company’s base has shifted from Atlanta to London and back. It reported $5.3 billion in revenue and net income of $882.8 million last year.
Earlier this month, Invesco finalized its acquisition of OppenheimerFunds. As part of that deal, OppenheimerFunds’ parent company, MassMutual, took a significant stake in Invesco.
Invesco is currently the anchor tenant at Two Peachtree Pointe, a tower with the company’s name splashed across the top near The Temple on the northern border of Midtown. The building is visible to hundreds of thousands of motorists who pass along the Downtown Connector every day.
The company’s new location is at Midtown Union, a development by MetLife Investment Management and Granite Properties. It will include offices, a hotel, residences and retail. Invesco is expected to anchor a future 26-story office tower, another sign of Midtown’s surging appeal as the city’s hottest office market.
Many notable companies have made major real estate moves in Midtown in recent years to locate near Georgia Tech’s Technology Square, including health insurer Anthem, financial technology company NCR and railroad giant Norfolk Southern.
Anthem will be the anchor tenant of two Portman Holdings towers just south of Tech Square and Norfolk Southern and developer Cousins Properties are developing a new headquarters campus nearby along West Peachtree Street.
But some of that development momentum has moved north, including along West Peachtree and Spring streets.
Selig Enterprises, for instance, recently announced the start its new office tower at 1105 West Peachtree Street. Houston-based developer Hines has three office buildings under development in Atlantic Station and Cousins has a speculative Midtown tower in the works.
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