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Exclusive: Doraville’s Assembly moving forward with next phase, major infrastructure improvements

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Large park, pond, and industrial relics will lend character to Assembly Yards, developers say

A view of the planned waterside park at Assembly Yards.
Integral Group

For more than five years, the redevelopment of Doraville’s former GM Assembly Plant has putzed along, encountering financial and bureaucratic roadblocks on the drive toward reinvention.

While Integral Group revealed mega mixed-use aspirations more than two-and-1/2 years ago, and soon after demolition of many of the buildings on the site cleared the way for Third Rail Studios, much of the project has seemed stuck in neutral.

Now, with funding lined up and new tenants announced, developers say work is ready to really start rolling—like a finely tuned automotive metaphor.

Updated plans are emerging for the first major phase, to be known as Assembly Yards. The area encompasses much of the southern and western portions of the site and will feature residences, retail, offices, and public outdoor space.

Rather than removing much of the site’s industrial character, remnants of its former life as the GM plant will be on full display.

Features such as a large concrete reservoir formerly used as a catchall for car paint, foundation walls marking the old plant extents, and original railroad tracks will feature prominently in the district’s new life, officials tell Curbed Atlanta.

Even the paving that covered the site will be reused, providing shared pedestrian and vehicular plazas to encourage low speeds and walkable connections. A large park at the core of the development, with an amenitized retention area not unlike Historic Fourth Ward Park, will provide recreation space.

What’s more, officials say construction will soon be in full swing on the Serta Simmons Bedding headquarters and residential buildings.

Here’s a look at what’s to come:

A rendering of Assembly Yards.
Assembly Yards
An idea image showing a similiar reuse of old paving.
ASLA
Long concrete walls on site will be punctured to create outdoor rooms.
Inhabitat
A rendering of the new Serta Simmons headquarters.
Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio
Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio