Doraville city planners are prepared to consider a new rezoning request for a major live-work-play development that revamp the city’s image.

Assembly, a major development at the site of the old General Motors Assembly plant, has been on the drawing board for years and received some rezoning from the city a couple of years ago. Now, the developers say it is time to get down to business, and that means new zoning requests.  Developers describe it as “a transit-oriented development with a variety of retail, commercial, residential and mixed-use opportunities, all adjacent to the Doraville MARTA subway station.”

The developers’ law firm, Smith, Gambrell & Russell wrote to city planners asking that the project be allowed to change as needed.  “It was always understood that the SD-1 Plan would need to be flexible, so the development could react and adapt to market demand,” the law firm wrote.  “The Assembly has begun to transition from concept to reality.”  And that means city planners will consider at a May 3 meeting whether to allow changes.

Largely the new requests are for parking changes. Developers, in their letter, say the changes are consistent with the project and surrounding properties and would have no negative impact on surrounding property prices.  Overall, the project is to have 16 acres of parks in its 129-acre total. It also is planned for 3 million square feet of office space and 3,750 residential units.

For years, it was the site of a General Motors Assembly plant which was one of the largest private sector employers in the Atlanta area. That plant, which opened shortly after World War II, was closed during the automotive crisis almost a decade ago. The building was torn down a few years ago.  The area is roughly bounded by the Norfolk-Southern rail line, I-285 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Donna Pittman, Doraville’s mayor, said the development, when complete, would have regional impact.  The Assembly project is a real game-changer for Doraville and the region,” she said.  “The economic impacts are astounding and will benefit not only Doraville but all of DeKalb County.  “This project is a watershed moment for Doraville, and we are very excited that it is under way.”



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