Workers were busy Thursday, April 18, 2019 at the construction site of Atlantic Yards, located along 17th Street at Atlantic Station in Atlanta. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM

Microsoft to open Atlantic Station office, create 1,500 jobs

Microsoft will open an office at Atlantic Station next year focused on cloud computing and artificial intelligence, the tech company’s latest project in Atlanta.

The $75 million development will create 1,500 jobs in several different categories, with most requiring a “high degree of technical ability to support operations,” a company spokeswoman said Friday. She declined to elaborate on the nature of the jobs.

Microsoft will occupy about 500,000 square feet at Atlantic Yards, a building under construction at Atlantic Station where it will be the only office tenant. It expects to open the “client-facing” office in summer 2021, according to a news release.

“Microsoft’s continued expansion and growth in metro Atlanta are testaments to our region’s reputation as a hub for innovation-based companies,” Hala Moddelmog, CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.

Microsoft has been active player in Atlanta’s affairs of late. Last month it partnered with Morehouse College to provide Surface tablets to all newly enrolled students. It also recently provided seed money for a new pandemic-response center to assist private-sector efforts.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in February that Microsoft had been approached in an effort to create a healthcare technology innovation center in Midtown, which would combine forces from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local universities and other healthcare companies. Microsoft has not been confirmed as a participant.

The tech company known for Windows software and Xbox video games already has a presence in Atlanta, including a training center and sales office at the Avalon district in Alpharetta, a training center in the Flatiron building downtown and Microsoft stores at Lenox Square and Perimeter Mall.

Cloud computing is one of Microsoft’s core businesses and drove the company’s first-quarter profit growth. An increase in teleworking is likely to give cloud computing a further boost, according to investment analysts cited by Bloomberg. Microsoft and state officials did not specify which area of its cloud computing business will locate in Atlanta.

Artificial intelligence has become a center of attention in the tech industry, with many industries adopting its uses, including warehouses and distribution, financial services and consumer products. Companies use AI to analyze huge collections of data and predict outcomes.

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