Where and how will the telephone company of the future office? In Atlanta and elsewhere?
These were the issues facing BellSouth prior to the announcement of their new Atlanta Metro Plan announced this past January. In this plan, BellSouth will reposition 13,000 employees from 75 sites to five more concentrated locations near MARTA transit stations - and construct dedicated BellSouth garages at the end of many transit lines. Three of these locations are to be entirely new development projects, each over 1 M SF.
Final strategic decisions about this plan were the outcome of both a compressed local planning process and a long term portfolio-wide real estate realignment effort assigned to Program Management. Based in Dallas, Program Management has provided corporate real estate planning services throughout the U.S. and Europe for over 20 years. Having assisted BellSouth with strategic planning assignments since 1995, Program Management again helped identify the best metro-wide response to key locational issues. In this case, Program Management's role was to work with senior BellSouth managers and develop a new citywide occupancy strategy.
To achieve a viable pattern, concerns about new business and operational needs, employee traffic patterns and an evolving shifting organizational structure were studied in the context several consolidation concepts. The objective was to select an occupancy strategy which would result in greater productivity, plus lower costs and risks. The new agreed pattern allows the company to shift to more concentrated, yet flexible facilities, and accommodates several alternate business futures for the company.
BellSouth's Atlanta Metro Planning team was led by their Property & Services Management group's manager, Inge Waddle, and directed by Rob Webber. Carter & Associates, a major real estate and development firm in the region, completed all site selection and acquisition assignments. In addition, MARTA and Atlanta's Regional Planning Authority actively participated in this unique program. As a result, the area's traffic patterns will also be much improved due to the new perimeter parking garages.
Although only one of several Metro Plans developed by PM together with BellSouth's P&SM group in a Portfolio Planning program led by Webber over the past 4 years, this Atlanta Plan is the largest, and will have the greatest impact on company-wide operations. After reviewing BellSouth's Portfolio Realignment program, a recent MIT Real Estate Research report sponsored by IDRC described PM's long term association with BellSouth as a highly innovative and successful service model in corporate real estate - one which is a learning partnership and has added value to the larger corporate enterprise.
In contrast to BellSouth's Portfolio Realignment over a 9 state region, PM has also undertaken smaller but more technically complex assignments. Examples include work to relocate and later expand Experians Data Centers (formerly TRW) and plan agile manufacturing facilities for satellite development work at several Hughes Electronics' facilities in California. In these and other assignments, such as PM's work for the Federal Reserve Bank, a rigorous review of operational and business issues together with timely senior management workshops have always led to more productive real estate strategies.
Since its inception in 1976, Program Managements goal has been to clarify real estate and facility actions most appropriate for each clients strategic plan - and their employees - through a comprehensive review and integration of business and facility issues.
PM is committed to the idea clients interests are best served by the independent review of many facility options, each of which represent different degrees of opportunity for all real estate service providers, including brokers, architects, planners and property managers. In response to customer preferences for stand-alone business driven advisory services, Program Management continues to have no vested interest in any follow on work that may result from recommendations.
For more information about these assignments or Program Management contact:
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