Norfolk Southern announces plan to relocate corporate HQ to Atlanta

Specifics on when NS will officially set up shop in Atlanta were not disclosed, but company officials said that the company is currently in what it called “advanced discussions” to purchase a site from Cousins Properties in Midtown Atlanta at 650 West Peachtree St. NW.

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Class I freight railroad Norfolk Southern (NS) said today it is be relocating its corporate headquarters from Norfolk, Virginia to Atlanta, Georgia.

Specifics on when NS will officially set up shop in Atlanta were not disclosed, but company officials said that the company is currently in what it called “advanced discussions” to purchase a site from Cousins Properties in Midtown Atlanta at 650 West Peachtree St. NW. And they added that NS plans to engage Cousins to manage the development of the new headquarters, with details related to that expected to be released in the first quarter of next year.

NS also said that progress on this pending move to Atlanta is already underway and will take place over the next several years, while the new headquarters is being built. 

“Alignment, collaboration, and accountability are the hallmarks of Norfolk Southern’s plan to transform this company and its culture. Our new headquarters in Atlanta advances these key elements of success,” said Jim Squires, chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Our potential has always been great and now is greater still, as we bring together all of our headquarters functions into a single, integrated team. Norfolk Southern is grateful to the city of Norfolk and the commonwealth of Virginia for their support of our company over the last three plus decades. We look forward to the continued growth of our business in the commonwealth as the many operating employees who remain serve the customers and promote economic development in this integral part of our network.”

While NS did not disclose how many jobs would move to the new corporate headquarters in Atlanta, a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the new site would bring 850 jobs from Norfolk, Virginia.

In regards to a timeline for when these jobs would actually move to Atlanta, a report in The Virginian-Pilot quoted Norfolk Southern’s Squires as saying that the first 100 executives would leave by next summer and the remaining 400 or so leaving Virginia by the summer of 2021, with operators at the railroad’s Lambert Point terminal to remain.

A retired NS employee said in the report that the decision by the company to relocate to Atlanta made sense on multiple levels, explaining that NS has an enormous operation and that various rail lines merge around Atlanta, coupled with Atlanta likely having a better labor pool, as well as it being a major hub.  


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