This is an artist's rendering of the future road track Porsche will build at the old Ford site in Hapeville
Porsche makes it official: the automaker is moving its North American headquarters to the old Ford site on the south side of Atlanta.
A lot of excitement surrounds the announcement, as the Hapeville site has sat vacant since the Ford plant was demolished two years ago. It closed in 2006.
In the second half of 2013, Porsche will open its new U. S. headquarters near the new International terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Groundbreaking is slated for this fall. While some 200 people are reportedly employed in the Sandy Springs office, 400 employees will work at the new Hapeville offices.
"This ambitious endeavor sends the clearest possible message that Porsche believes in the strength of the United States market, both today and tomorrow," says Porsche CEO Detlev von Platen.
A customer experience center will also feature a road handling course to show off their vehicles' capabilities and allow potential owners to test drive cars. A new exit off I-75 will go straight to the International terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson.
Von Platen says a huge factor in selecting Atlanta for the HQ move, which it has spent a year considering, is the presence of the vacant land to put a driving track.
Porsche says the $100 million complex will include office facilities and a technical service and training center.
Jacoby, the developer, says Porsche will use 27 of the 130 acres on the Hapeville site. Jacoby hopes to bring in more retail, office, conference and hotel clients on the rest of the land.
The new headquarters also will house Porsche Financial Services Inc., and Porsche Business Services Inc., which are both located in Lisle, Ill. The company says other Porsche businesses also will be included.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed touted the level of cooperation which went into landing the deal for Georgia. The Hapeville site was one of 17 which aggressively went after Porsche's business.
With the Porsche Chicago-area offices being moved to the Peach State, Georgia offered $1.75 million in job tax credits. The DOT pitched in $800,000 in infrastructure improvements.
Governor Deal says Georgia is on its way to becoming the automotive capital of the U. S.
"I think Detroit is getting a little bit jealous right now," he said.