Georgia Tech eyes bigger Midtown footprint

Georgia Tech is seeking $100,000 from the city of Atlanta’s development arm for a feasibility study to expand its Technology Enterprise Park.

The university already received a nearly $500,000 federal grant to study expansion of the enterprise campus into a health sciences and bioscience complex. The board of Invest Atlanta will consider the funding at its regular meeting Thursday.

The current park is about 14 acres, but the study area will include about 60 acres of property controlled by Tech, the city and other interests. According to an Invest Atlanta document, Tech “now needs the $100,000 match from Invest Atlanta to move forward with the project.”

“This study will assess the feasibility of expanding the footprint of the current Technology Enterprise Park (owned by Georgia Tech) into an innovation district with multiple property owners,” the documents said. “The project will study the best practices that Georgia Tech implemented in the development of Technology Square in Midtown and critical elements of that project will be built into the feasibility study.”

A Georgia Tech spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking information.

The study will examine workforce development, cooperation with other universities, “live/work/play elements” and creating links between the site and the burgeoning neighborhoods in the western end of Midtown.

“The vision for the Enterprise Park District would be the interconnection of parcels by various land owners (including Georgia Tech, the Atlanta Housing Authority, and the City of Atlanta, among others) to create a health and bioscience research hub on the Westside,” the document said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported on Tech’s plans to expand its Midtown footprint, with the Technology Enterprise Park being just one element.

Georgia Tech and Atlanta developer Portman Holdings plan to start construction this year on the High Performance Computing Center, the 700,000 square-foot second phase of Technology Square that will be both an expansion of Tech’s campus and potentially a center for health care information technology and other big data companies.

The neighborhoods around Georgia Tech and Technology Square have becomes hubs for innovation labs and, of late, a place where high-tech firms want to have headquarters or regional hubs.

NCR plans a 20-story headquarters a block to the north, and the company’s CEO, Bill Nuti, has plans to recruit other major corporations to join the Fortune 500 financial technology giant.

Tech is in talks with at least a half-dozen firms about locating innovation labs near campus, said current Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson said in a recent interview with the AJC.