The Doraville Assembly was founded in 1947 as a General Motors factory in Doraville, Georgia. It was located just to the northeast of Atlanta and ran until September 26th of 2008.
Back in January of 2010, an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated the New Broad Street Doraville, LLC was going to purchase the former plan and build a mixed-use, transit-oriented development. However, the deal fell through because DeKalb Counter decided it didn’t want to use the federal stimulus or property tax dollars to help fund the project.
Finally, Development Starts
About two years ago, very ambitious plans were presented for redevelopment of the GM assembly plant. The new plans were expected to bring office space, residential units and retail stores to the area, along with a large production studio. The Doraville Assembly was demolished in the summer of 2015 and work began on transforming the space to something useful.
However, since the demolition, the project hasn’t moved along very quickly. In January of this year, about $300 million was invested into the project to help accelerate it and get things moving along. This investment will help to create new streets and infrastructure for the new mixed-use development. In addition, it will help to get office space started for those already agreeing to fill the space.
New Tenant Bringing 500 Jobs to Doraville
Along with the boost from the new funds, the Doraville Assembly site has also received a new tenant. Serta Simmons Bedding will take over a spot and relocate about 500 employees to the area. This news came in a press release in early May 2017. The company plans to take over 250,000 square feet of space for their corporate headquarters. The space will also house the research and development labs and it will hold an international showroom for the company.
Serta joins Third Rail Studios, which has already announced they will become an anchor within the development.
While the news of Serta coming to the development is certainly good news, it may seem small after a failed bid to get GE to move in. There’s also an ongoing battle over funding with the DeKalb County’s school system. The plans to redevelop the site are still very much in the infancy phase and it will take many years to fully see the plans fulfilled.
The Doraville Assembly Plans
In January of 2017, the plans for the redevelopment of the Doraville Assembly plant were approved by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. The commissioners agreed to use $180 million to create roads and other infrastructure to help the plans move along. They believe the full development will lead to about 8,000 total jobs with about 500 or more coming in the near future.
The plans call for a large amount of office space, retail space and residential units. Overall, the plan will provides about 10 million square feet of space split between the different categories. There will also be a 16-acre park and more than 3,500 residential units. The plans were designed to be flexible, so they will likely change throughout the development process.
When the development is completed, it’s expected to be similar to Atlantic Station in Midtown. However, it will be larger and more commuter friendly. The space may end up housing multiple corporate headquarters, start-up businesses, restaurants, retail stores and even medical facilities.