The governor and two mayors joined in the groundbreaking for Mercedes-Benz USA’s new corporate headquarters in Sandy Springs on Sept. 26.

The luxury auto-maker is relocating from New Jersey and is temporarily headquartered in Dunwoody’s Sterling Pointe office center. Its new, 200,000-square-foot headquarters at 6480 Barfield Road is expected to open in early 2018.

Tossing dirt for the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters on Barfield Road are (from left) Dietmar Exler, MBUSA’s president and CEO; Gov. Nathan Deal; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; and Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul. (Photo Phil Mosier)

Site preparation already began in recent weeks. The ceremonial groundbreaking Sept. 26 was attended by Gov. Nathan Deal; Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; and Dietmar Exler, MBUSA’s president and CEO, who lives in Brookhaven. The quartet tossed dirt from silver shovels while wearing black hardhats with the Mercedes-Benz logo.

“On behalf of all our employees, we could not be more pleased to take this important step in making Sandy Springs and the city of Atlanta our permanent home in the United States,” said Exler in a press release, adding, “It is our commitment that we will be an active member, contributing to the development of your—and now our—community.”

“As you’ve already seen and heard, Mercedes-Benz is spreading their roots out into the broader community, and that’s what we really like to see,” said Mayor Paul in the press release. “I’m gratified that MBUSA sees a broader horizon and broader community in which to be engaged, and I applaud that.”

“When businesses choose to locate their headquarters—certainly a business like Mercedes-Benz USA—they really can choose any community along the eastern seaboard or in the United States of America,” said Mayor Reed in the press release. “The decision by Mercedes was a deliberate one. After looking all around they decided to choose the metropolitan Atlanta region. Welcome, Mercedes-Benz.”

An illustration of the new MBUSA headquarters building.

“We’re very pleased to have a premiere company such as Mercedes-Benz decide to call Georgia and the Atlanta area home,” said Gov. Deal in the press release. “We’ve already seen so much out of their corporate citizenship, and I have every reason to believe that is going to continue.”

MBUSA says it currently has 552 employees at its temporary headquarters. The new, $93 million building has room for up to 1,000, the company said. The company sought about $1 million in incentives, plus road improvements, to relocate to Sandy Springs.

The headquarters is designed with an open layout, matching recent trends in corporate campus design. The company released a “fly-through” video showing the exterior and interior of the future building.

The company’s new 12-acre campus in Sandy Springs is on land that was formerly part of the historic Glenridge Hall estate. It is part of a larger housing and retail development by Ashton Woods that sparked intense controversy last year about density and the loss of woodland and Glenridge Hall. MBUSA says it has partnered with Trees Atlanta on construction and has removed and donated some viable trees rather than cutting them down.

The program for the groundbreaking event was printed on recycled paper embedded with wildflower seeds, which will bloom if the program is planted under soil, according to a note on its back.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

6 replies on “Mercedes-Benz USA breaks ground on new Sandy Springs headquarters”

  1. Shame on the whole group. They tear down the real Sandy Springs to replace with a car plant. Look how that worked for Doraville. Future generations will mourn the loss of Glenridge Hall. A disgrace

      1. Saving local landmarks is in the interest of the community. Keeping what makes our community special creates a sense of place and continuation. It makes our town more liveable. Generic sprawl and growth killing traffic destroys community. Our shortsighted local government is letting us all down

  2. Has anyone shown the CEO what our Private Company is offering our police for housing? Slum Landlord at best for our finest? How much of there tax break (reason for being here) are they willing to give back to our Private Company to ensure a “Living Wage”. It would only be the bonus for one of there over paid public company executives after all.

    So long as what they build is flexible enough for the next tenant when the tax break they get elsewhere trumps the one they got here runs out then this should all work out in the end. Even better would have been a clause in that tax break deal that when they move on the entire site be returned to woodlands.

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