Gov. Nathan Deal announced last week that the state’s largest insurance company, State Farm, is bringing 500 new jobs to Dunwoody. The new jobs will be located at the recently leased Atlanta Perimeter Operations Center in two buildings located near City Hall and the Ravinia Center.
One building formerly housed Philips, the electronics giant. The buildings, 64 and 66 Perimeter Center East, are owned by Rubinstein Partners.
“State Farm’s decision to locate their new facility here makes a compelling statement about our state’s competitive business environment,” said Deal. “In Georgia, State Farm will find a progressive business infrastructure, along with a highly skilled workforce, that will allow for continued success when it comes to providing the highest levels of customer service to their policyholders.”
The office is expected to open for business later this year. While some existing State Farm employees will work at the new facility, it will be staffed predominantly by new hires. The new facility will help the company provide sales, service and claims capabilities to better serve their customers.
“It was truly a regional competition for this deal,” said Mayor Mike Davis, adding that city didn’t know the prospective tenant until just before the lease was signed.
State Farm has leased 425,000 square feet, which commercial real estate experts say is far more than needed for 500 jobs.
“I would agree,” said Michael Starling, Dunwoody’s economic development director, “We are expecting many more employees there.”
Starling credited Dunwoody’s Development Authority with sealing the deal. That body used bonds to create tax incentives to refurbish the two buildings to make them more attractive to large tenants.
“I believe we’d have the lost the deal if the incentives weren’t in place,” Starling said.
Starling and the city have been on a roll in the last year as the Perimeter Center market appears to be easing away from the Great Recession.
The city has attracted more than 1,000 jobs. CHEP moved into Hammond Exchange, Internap, a server company, took 75,000 square feet at Ravinia.
At the Terraces on Ashford Dunwoody Road, three companies signed leases. AFC , the fast food company, moved its headquarters there as did Ventyx and Elekta, which took 78,000 square feet, lured by the renovation of the former W Hotel as a destination for gamma knife customers coming to Dunwoody for training.
“We have the amenities,” Starling said. “We are a regional center with MARTA, an internal shuttle bus system and lots of new restaurants going in.”