The AJC had a couple of articles about Alpharetta this weekend. One article, Alpharetta a hotbed for high-tech companies, was about the success Alpharetta has had in attracting high tech companies to our community. You may recall that I pointed this out in my earlier post, GA 400: Atlanta’s Information Highway.
The interesting thing about the AJC article and my blogpost is that the extraordinary concentration of technology jobs in Alpharetta would seem to be counterintuitive if you believe that Alpharetta needs high density housing and MARTA trains to attract high paid technology jobs. If Alpharetta needs high density housing and mass transit to attract high paying jobs then why are we already kicking Sandy Springs’, Buckhead’s and the City of Atlanta’s butt when it comes to those jobs?
The explanation for Alpharetta’s success comes from Bob Trotter, the North American president of ThyssenKrupp Corp:
But what distinguishes Alpharetta from other tech-wired cities, Trotter said, is its proximity to all the elements that contribute to an inviting lifestyle — good schools, good roads, access to university systems, quality housing, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.
“If it was just technology, we’d have located to Chicago or Dallas”
Are there companies that want to locate near MARTA stations and high density housing in Atlanta? Yes, but those companies already have plenty of options around Atlanta. Right now Alpharetta is unique and that is why we are successful in attracting high paying tech jobs. Our setting and quality of life give us a competitive advantage over those other locations.
It is too bad that local business leaders and city council members are destroying that competitive advantage.