Doraville, GA, once known as “the plant” is quickly becoming Atlanta’s version of Grand Central Station. Dave Schmit, Principal at Schmit and Associates and Strategic Partner with The Integral Group joins us on today’s All About Real Estate episode to discuss the redevelopment of the old General Motors factory site in Doraville and give inside details on what’s next.
Schmit jokes that he is one of the few people who pursues what he studied in college. His early career involved management of complex construction projects including pulp and paper mills, petrochemical plants, retail centers and office buildings. In Atlanta, he is best known for his work in the home building industry. As president of Colony Homes, he grew the company from building 200 homes per year to nearly 1800 homes annually. He later leveraged his expertise to join the executive team at Morrison Homes, aiding the company in becoming the 29th largest builder nationwide in 2003. From 2003-2009, he was president of Marathon Land Company, an organization formed to develop mixed-use projects in the Atlanta area. In the years since, he has served as Principal of Schmit and Associates LLC and a strategic partner of the Integral Group.
It’s been eleven years since General Motors shut down the plant in Doraville, located inside the Perimeter near Spaghetti Junction. Many who pass by simply see a vacant eyesore, but for years action has been happening behind the scene. During the interview, Schmit lays out a timeframe to give a big-picture view of the detailed work that has been put into the 165 acres, “From 2008 to 2011 there were plenty of companies that wanted to purchase the plant. In 2014, we purchased it for $50 million through a private transaction and it took three years from saying yes, we’re interested to actually getting it,” he explains.
“The first year we took down the building, reclaimed and repurposed over 100,000 tons of red iron. We wanted to not fill landfills. The second year was entitlement and planning how we would work with the city. The third year moved into sales force and infrastructure phase and now the beginning part of the grid is in and that’s what supports the next phase.”
Overall the redeveloped site will have three general districts. On the backside of the property is Assembly Yards where loading docks, ruins of walls and rails are left to create a West Midtown industrial feel. Closer to I285 is the Campus district, home to traditional office space, fortune 500 and business. The third district, Commons, is centered around a park featuring residential low-rise apartments and homes. Currently, Assembly Yard is the entertainment district where several movies and Netflix series are filming and will soon be home to Serta Simmons Bedding national headquarters. “Within a short time, the GM site will be transformed into a walkable mix of office buildings, housing, stores and restaurants,” states Schmit. “The site is also a hub of connectivity and easily the most connect hub in the Southeast.”
Tune into the podcast with the link above to hear many more interesting details about the GM plant’s redevelopment or visit www.assemblyyards.com. For more information on Schmit and Associates and The Integral Group visit each of their sites at www.schmitassociates.com and www.integral-online.com.
A special thank you to Jackson EMC for sponsoring Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Jackson EMC offers homebuyers peace of mind and lower bills with its certified Right Choice™ new home program. These homes are built to be energy efficient and sustainable with improved indoor air quality, convenience and comfort. For more information on Right Choice new homes and Jackson EMC, visit https://RightChoice.JacksonEMC.com.
The Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio “All About Real Estate” segment, presented by Denim Marketing, airs on Fridays and highlights the movers and shakers in the Atlanta real estate industry – the home builders, developers, Realtors and suppliers working to provide the American dream for Atlantans. For more information on how you can be featured as a guest, contact Denim Marketing at 770-383-3360 or fill out the Atlanta Real Estate Forum contact form. Subscribe to the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast on iTunes, and if you like this week’s show, be sure to rate it.