Perkins Eastman's Multi-District Master Plan for Former GM Doraville Assembly Plants Gets Zoning Approval

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Newly Dubbed "Assembly, Doraville, USA" Wins City Council Green Lights Under New and Flexible Livable Community Code

Assembly, Doraville, USA, Site Plan. Courtesy Perkins Eastman

The community will always be open ... and public transit is always within a few hundred feet from where you stand. This focus on walking helps ensure a human scale to all the streets and places." - Stan Eckstut FAIA

International design and architecture firm Perkins Eastman is pleased to announce that its multi-district master plan for the former GM Assembly Plant in Doraville, GA, has been formally adopted and will move ahead as planned, following City Council’s unanimous approval last month. The newly named “Assembly, Doraville, USA,” situated northeast of Atlanta, comprises 165 acres that will eventually accommodate up to 10 million sf of mixed-use development over the next decade. Envisioned as a transit-oriented development spread across multiple distinct districts, Perkins Eastman’s plan brings together housing, office, entertainment, retail, and public green space, all while emphasizing walkability, sustainability, and placemaking. Master plan approval follows the creation of the Livable Community Code, a new zoning distribution that allows for mixed-use development within a flexible marketplace.

From a design and planning perspective, Assembly offers a unique set of challenges. Bookended by Peachtree Industrial Blvd and Buford Highway along the I-285 Perimeter, and bisected by a dense collection of above-ground MARTA and Norfolk Southern rail tracks, Perkins Eastman’s approach was to create six intersecting districts with public space at each respective core, connected by continuous pedestrian walkways (including Park Avenue that will connect the site and the Doraville Civic Center via an underground vehicular and pedestrian passage), bike paths, landscaping and stormwater collection. The site, which is anything but a typical downtown grid, leverages existing streets and open spaces to define the development blocks, each one unique in size and shape to allow for a variety of building types.

“While this community is completely new and unlike anything that’s been done before in the region, there are many familiar parts at play,” says Stan Eckstut FAIA, Principal and Lead Designer for the Assembly master plan. “The plan reaches out to adjacent areas and connects them to the site, including historic Downtown Doraville. Sustainability is sought everywhere. Green streets are everywhere. The community will always be open, and no matter where you are in Assembly, public transit is always within a few hundred feet from where you stand. This focus on walking helps ensure a human scale to all the streets and places.”

Assembly, Doraville, USA is envisioned as a sustainable “city within a city” that will set a new standard for efficient infrastructure in the Atlanta metro area. During all phases of development, the site will adhere to the following principles:

Walkable streets, all within a comfortable walk to transit
Integrated with nature
Mixed-use throughout, with highest density closest to transit
Auto convenience throughout
Bicycle friendly
Park Avenue is the glue that connects all paths

Assembly, Doraville, USA is being developed by The Integral Group and their joint venture partners Stephen Macauley and Dave Schmit, who acquired the former GM site in 2014.

About Perkins Eastman
Perkins Eastman is among the top design and architecture firms in the world. With almost 900 employees in 14 locations around the globe, Perkins Eastman practices at every scale of the built environment. From niche buildings to complex projects that enrich whole communities, the firm’s portfolio reflects a dedication to progressive and inventive design that enhances the quality of the human experience. With work in 46 states and more than 40 countries, the firm’s portfolio includes high-end residential, commercial, hotels, retail, office buildings, corporate interiors, schools, hospitals, museums, senior living, and public sector facilities. Perkins Eastman provides award-winning design through its offices in North America (New York, NY; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; San Francisco, CA; Stamford, CT; Toronto, Canada; and Washington, DC); South America (Guayaquil, Ecuador); North Africa and Middle East (Dubai, UAE); and Asia (Mumbai, India, and Shanghai, China).

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Steven Yates
Perkins Eastman
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