Amazon HQ2? Mysterious ‘Project Rocket’ Takes Another Step Forward Outside Atlanta

by stockboardasset

A mysterious economic development project proposed for a commercial site outside Atlanta, which has been rumored to be tied with Amazon, has taken another step forward towards reality Tuesday night.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Gwinnett County planning commissioners unanimously voted to recommend approval of the special-use permit necessary for the code-named “Project Rocket,” a massive (and mysterious) 2.5-million-square-foot distribution facility expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.

Gwinnett County Planning Commissioners listen to a presentation on the “Project Rocket” distribution center proposed to be built outside of Atlanta (Source/ Curt Yeomans)

Eberly and Associates, a land planning, civil engineering and landscape architecture firm, had requested a special use permit that would allow a proposed 80-foot structure in an area on West Park Place Boulevard where the highest permissible building height is 45-feet. The proposal was approved 7-1.

Gwinnett County Planning Commissioners listen to a presentation on the “Project Rocket” distribution center proposed to be built outside of Atlanta (Source/ Curt Yeomans)

Planning commission chairman Chuck Warbington said Tuesday none of the planning commissioners have an idea who the future tenant for the project is, but he called it “an absolute game-changer for new investment in that area.”

The documents filed by the engineering firm suggests the distribution facility would cost roughly $200 million, and generate around $1.5 million in annual tax revenue for the state government, if completed.

“The economic impact from this project will be felt regionally,” Warbington added.

While examining the blueprints of the proposed facility, the project would include 65 loading docks, 200 truck parking spaces, and more than 1,800 employee parking spaces.

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The proposed “Project Rocket” site on West Park Place Boulevard in Gwinnett County. (Source/ Gwinnett County planning commission documents/ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Atlanta is among 20 cities chosen this year to make the “short list” for Amazon’s second headquarters. Some have speculated this project could be the new home to the second headquarters; however, there is a stronger possibility it could be a new fulfillment center.

“Project Rocket,” if approved by county officials, would be constructed on 78.11 acres on the Gwinnett-DeKalb county line, across West Park Place Boulevard from the Mountain East Business Center (as shown below).

Because of the sheer size of the project, engineers had to seek approval from the state through the Development of Regional Impact process.

Warbington said the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Road and Tollway Authority approved the project, as long as the developers would spend $15 million on “transportation improvements” to better the city’s infrastructure.

Laurel David, the attorney representing the engineering firm, told city officials during Tuesday night’s meeting that the improvements would “significantly improve the traffic” in the region. She said “five or six” trucks would be leaving the facility every hour.

“This is a very efficiently run building,” David added.

About fifteen or so residents who live in a nearby community — attended the meeting and spoke against the newly proposed facility. Their main concern was traffic issues of a facility operating on a 24/7 basis.

“We shouldn’t have to deal with roaring all night,” resident Amelia Jackson said.

It seems as much of today’s speculation of who the tenant could be has been focused on Amazon. If so, the next question we ask: Is the facility Amazon HQ2 or a fulfillment center?


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