Young entrepreneur David Cummings purchased Ivy Place, the building at the corner of Piedmont and Lenox roads with "The Private Bank" in big white letters on two sides, and plans to transform it into Atlanta's own tech village.
He paid $12.5 million for the building in mid-December in a deal that took about two weeks, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle and the Atlanta Startup Community blog, to which Cummings contributes.
Cummings, who sold Pardot, a marketing automation company he started with a fellow Duke University alumnus in 2007, for $100 million in October, stresses that the tech village will be a community hub for ambitious tech companies and tech startups.
His goal is to establish the Atlanta Tech Village and help catapult Atlanta as one of the country's top 10 cities for technology. Choosing Buckhead, which is already becoming a haven for young techpreneurs, was a good start.
Some are posing questions about whether the former Ivy Place is the right location for a new community center for "techies," but the building is nestled between Investors, a north Fulton tech company and Tech Square, Georgia Tech's technology center.
Jon Birdsong, who is the CEO of Rivalry–a sales process management company– and an Atlanta Startup Community blogger, points out the dichotomy that exists between what the Ivy Place used to be and what Atlanta Tech Village will be:
Buckhead is known to most as Atlanta’s most affluent neighborhood. The Ritz, the St. Regis, our city’s best steakhouses are all within a mile or two of the Atlanta Tech Village. Wait, what? It would make more sense to put a Racquet Club in old Ivy Place than it would to put a Tech Village.
Or would it?
Plus, the ATV already has two high-profile members, Insight Pool– a social media marketing company founded by entrepreneurs all under 30– and Rimidi– a health information technology company, according to the Saporta Report.
Renovation of the building–home to the Atlanta Business Chronicle– will cost about $4.5 million, most of which Cummings has crowdsourced from his own blog, according to the Saporta Report .
Cummings' focus for ATV's second year will mostly be community outreach, attracting and maintaining tech companies to the Atlanta area.
Birdsong said that although Buckhead doesn't foster a "creative vibe," it does have capital.
"Im not sure if it’s because years and years of old money have dominated Atlanta business or if it’s just that our finest era of innovation was soon after Sherman burned our city down, maybe they’re two in the same. However, Atlanta is about to see the biggest cultural and economic disruption right in the heart of the city’s oldest and wealthiest guard: Buckhead. It’s exciting because everyone will thrive and that guard will embrace all of the business we bring them," Birdsong wrote.