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Porsche headquarters moving to Southside

Special Photo
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (from left), Detlev von Platen, of Porsche Cars North America, and Gov. Nathan Deal, attended a press conference on Thursday, at the State Capitol, where the official announcement of Porsche's new headquarters' location was made.

Special Photo Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (from left), Detlev von Platen, of Porsche Cars North America, and Gov. Nathan Deal, attended a press conference on Thursday, at the State Capitol, where the official announcement of Porsche's new headquarters' location was made.

By M.J. Subiria Arauz

marauz@news-daily.com

Porsche Cars North America will build its U.S. headquarters on Atlanta's south side, near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to the corporate communications manager of the automobile company.

Angie Reevers said ground-breaking is planned for this fall, and employees are expected to move into the new facility in the second half of 2013, from the current headquarters in Sandy Springs. The complex will be located on the 130-acre "Aerotropolis Atlanta" development site, near Hartsfield-Jackson's Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal.

The 26.4-acre headquarters site can be reached within a two-hour flight window, by 80 percent of the U.S. population, and is conveniently located off of Interstate 75, Reevers said.

The $80-$100 million investment will feature a a technical-service and-training center, and the Porsche Customer Experience Center, she said. The center will include an 1.6-mile road course for demonstrations of the capabilities of Porsche's vehicles.

"Our new American headquarters will allow us to finally bring together all our major sales, after-sales and financial-services capacities, thus making us an ever-stronger organization," said Detlev von Platen, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America.

He said the development sends a message to Porsche dealers and customers that the company believes in the fortitude of the U.S. market and its growth in the future. Porsche is committed to Atlanta, and the State of Georgia, and considers it a vibrant region, he explained.

"The unparalleled nature of the Porsche ownership experience absolutely deserves an equally unique home," said von Platen. "That is what we'll create with our new headquarters -- a concept completely new to the U.S. automotive industry."

Spokeswoman Reevers said the new headquarters will house nearly all U.S. Porsche employees, and create a workforce of 400. The Porsche Cars North America headquarters will also house Porsche Financial Service, Inc., and Porsche Businesses Services, Inc., which are currently stationed in Lisle, Ill.

Other businesses of the company will also be located in the North America headquarters, she said.

Reevers added that the move to the new location will create 100 new jobs over the next five years.

She said the decision to remain in Atlanta, however, didn't happen overnight. The company conducted a search-and-evaluation process throughout metro Atlanta and involving several sites beyond the state of Georgia. This lasted more than a year, she said.

Reevers added that partners for this project include Clayton County, the City of Atlanta, Jacoby Development, Inc., and the State of Georgia/Georgia Economic Development.

Grant Wainscott, director of the Clayton County Economic Development, said this is the first development at "Aerotropolis Atlanta," since Jacoby Development bought the old Ford plant, in 2008. "It is a new level of international corporate investment in that corridor," he said.

He said the headquarters building will be just across the county line in Fulton County, but the fastest part of the test track will be located in Clayton County. He said motorists traveling north on Interstate 75 will have to take exit 239 to access the facility. Those traveling south will take exit 240.

Wainscott said employees at the Porsche Cars North America headquarters are potential customers of the Mountain View redevelopment project, which will include hotels, retail shops and restaurants. "We hope to have some of this infrastructure in place by the time Porsche's headquarters opens," he said.

"We welcome the entire Porsche team to Atlanta's newest corporate center, the innovative Aerotropolis complex," added Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "Porsche's decision to reinforce its roots and grow its next-generation U.S. headquarters here is a testament to the vitality and vibrancy of our city."

Reed said Porsche's North America headquarters will be a welcome sign, greeting the thousands of visitors and guests who land everyday at Atlanta's airport.

Gov. Nathan Deal said Georgia is the best place to live, work and play, and is pleased Porsche Cars North America chose Atlanta for its new headquarters site. "As a 13-year corporate citizen of our great state, Georgia-based Porsche employees already know that, once you have 'Georgia on Your Mind,' it is impossible to let go."