DeKalb “economic renaissance” of new developments expected to bring thousands of jobs

If you’re hunting for a job, you might want to look in DeKalb County, which is seeing an explosion in development.

“Four of the largest economic development projects, construction projects in the state of Georgia are ongoing or soon to begin right here in DeKalb County,” said DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond.

One of the projects will begin this summer at the old GM site in Doraville. The site has sat mostly empty since the plant closed in 2008. Crews demolished the buildings in 2015.

“This site became a symbol for this community and really to the greater Atlanta area of despondency and broken promises,” said Doraville councilmember Andy Yeoman.

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Now, it’s getting new life with a 127 acre mixed use development in the works.

Gray Television closed on the property Wednesday. The deal includes a $130 million tax abatement from DeKalb County.

The company plans to install 10 movie and tv studios, a hotel, apartments and townhomes, offices, retail space and even an e-gaming facility on the site.

“This is finally going to be a jobs center again,” Doraville Mayor Joseph Geierman said.

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He expects thousands of construction jobs to start, with thousands of other good paying jobs for residents when the project is finished.

The first studios are slated to open next year.

“This is really the single biggest event in Doraville history” said Geierman. “With this investment, Doraville is going to be the biggest production center in the state.”

The other big projects happening in DeKalb include State Farm’s new headquarters with three office towers near Perimeter Mall, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s expansion on North Druid Hills Road in Brookhaven and a $200 million expansion at Black Hall Studios.

Thurmond believes the county hasn’t seen this kind of job opportunity in decades.

“DeKalb is experiencing an economic renaissance. And our best days are yet to come,” he said.

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