ATLANTA (AP) -- Health care information technology company athenahealth Inc. is planning to create 500 jobs in Atlanta, officials announced Monday.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said athenahealth is making a $10.8 investment as part of its expansion and plans to occupy 75,000 square feet of Ponce City Market in Midtown Atlanta.
The Watertown, Mass.-based company is the first major office tenant to announce development plans at Ponce City Market — a mixed-use space formerly known as City Hall East.
Founded in 1997, athenahealth specializes in managing cloud-based electronic health records, practice management and care coordination. The company works with more than 40,000 clients across the country and was named by Forbes as one of the country's 25 fastest-growing technology companies.
The company currently employs more than 140 people in the greater Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta and plans to move those employees to its Atlanta location. The company plans to hire the new employees within the next five years.
"Ponce City Market offers athenahealth everything we could ask for in an office space as we deepen our roots in Atlanta and presents us with the opportunity to provide a daily environment that lives up to the work-life aspirations of our company," athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush said in a statement. "With hundreds more future athenistas to hire, we believe Ponce City Market will help us attract the best talent metro Atlanta has to offer."
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called the company's decision to expand in Atlanta a huge win for the city. "The company's commitment to our city continues Atlanta's successful string of attracting major operations and headquarters of sought-after companies," he said in a statement.
Hans Grant, senior vice president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, called the company's announcement an example of why Atlanta is considered the health information technology capital of America.
"Our health IT ecosystem continues to thrive as more companies locate and expand here. The state of Georgia, led by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, along with MAC and Invest Atlanta, has a concerted effort to focus on the health IT industry cluster, and we are seeing the results of our efforts."
State officials say Georgia's health information technology sector is the largest in the nation. They attribute that to a strong telecommunications infrastructure and health care system, a skilled workforce and a pro-business environment among other things. Officials say more than 225 companies employ about 30,000 Georgians in the field.