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Officials: Cobb County’s tallest tower, now under construction, will top out in no time

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The tallest elevator test tower in the Western Hemisphere is using an innovative construction method to build fast

A rendering of a shiny tower next to an empty interstate.
The vision, revised from earlier renderings, for thyssenkrupp’s upcoming headquarters next to Interstate 285. 
Renderings: Gensler

Though it’s barely above ground now, one of suburban Atlanta’s tallest buildings could top out in time for the Atlanta Braves’s opening day—or very close to it—at The Battery next door.

That’s the word today from thyssenkrupp Elevator officials, who announced that Brasfield & Gorrie has begun building the marquee, most visible component of the global elevator company’s new North American headquarters next to Interstate 285 in Cobb County.

The three-building complex will include thyssenkrupp’s Innovation and Qualification Center—the tallest elevator test tower in the Western Hemisphere.

Construction is expected to happen around the clock, at a pace of about seven feet per day. That means the project will reach about 100 feet tall—becoming visible to commuters on both I-75 and I-285—within just two weeks, officials said.

A construction site with several cranes.
Construction progress as of today.
thyssenkrupp Elevators

By sometime in April, the tower should top out at a final height of more than 400 feet, an exclamation point on a section Cobb County where urban-style, mixed-use development has proliferated in recent years. (For context, the twin King and Queen towers in Sandy Springs, considered among America’s tallest suburban office buildings, stand about 550 feet.)

The hasty timeline is made possible by a process called slip-form construction.

Popular in Europe but rare in the U.S., the system involves the continuous pouring of concrete into a moving form that rises from the foundation up. The German elevator giant used a similar process in building an 800-foot-tall test facility in Rottweil, Germany, officials said.

The tower is scheduled to be finished by summer 2021, with roughly 900 employees moving in to all three buildings by the end of next year.

The $200 million investment is expected to bring about 650 new jobs to Georgia, according to earlier reports.

Development wonks can keep an eye on the tower’s progress with a new time-lapse construction video feed.

A rendering of a large glassy elevator tower project.
The project’s western face, with Atlanta and I-285 in the distance. It’s expected to stand about as tall as Buckhead’s Tower Place 100, the 39th tallest building in Atlanta.