State Farm’s huge office complex under construction on Hammond Drive is being designed to house up to 10,000 employees, while minimizing its effect on surrounding streets and providing new public spaces, the developer says.
KDC Realty Regional Vice President Alex Chambers said the Texas-based company is building a “multi-functional hub” with three buildings for the new State Farm facility.
Dunwoody Homeowners Association board member Jim Redovian called it a “mega-project.” Chambers joked that wasn’t State Farm’s description.
The project’s design will allow employees to stay in the same place when they are promoted within the company, he said. Similar corporate complexes are being built in Phoenix and Dallas.
Chambers told the Dunwoody Homeowners Association July 12 they spent a lot of time considering traffic, and the 2-million-square-foot complex will make it much easier to use MARTA because one of the three buildings will connect directly to the Dunwoody transit station.
“We’re making it so easy for people to use MARTA,” Chambers said.
The first building will be 600,000 square feet and include a three-level connector with a walkway that will keep employees from having to cross the street at the corner, Chambers said.
Use of multiple entrances and exits from parking decks should make it easier for drivers to avoid left turns that would back up traffic, Chambers said. He also said he believes the overpass above I-285 will get more use now.
The company broke ground for its regional headquarters in Atlanta at Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center West in May 2014. By May 2016, the construction will start to take shape, Chambers said. “It will start to look like a building,” he said.
State Farm no longer plans to build a hotel at the site, Chambers said. The company is working on a zoning change to allow office space in areas now zoned for residential use, he said. Dunwoody City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the change on July 27.
“It’s zoned for 2 million square feet of residential and we’re going to change it to office,” he told members of the DHA board. “That should make most of you happy.”
An open area in the middle of the complex will not only be used by State Farm, but also as a public amenity where programming could include musical performances or flea markets, Chamber said. State Farm is also planning a multi-use path for bikes and pedestrians to get through the site, he said.
The project’s biggest hold-up involves an “east-west connector” road that State Farm plans to build along the Fulton and DeKalb County line.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly reported the number of square feet of space to be included in the project.