The Porsche Experience includes rides on their test track. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Hapeville gives Porsche keys to development’s future

German automaker Porsche got the green light Tuesday to expand its North American headquarters in Hapeville. Full details aren’t known, but Porsche said it plans to open a service center for those who own one of the luxury vehicles.

Council members of the 2.5-square-mile city south of downtown Atlanta unanimously approved rezoning to allow the company to develop its roughly 35 acres more freely.

In paperwork filed to the city, Porsche said it wants to help car owners repair their vehicles.

In an interview before the vote, George Feygin, Porsche Cars North America’s vice president of legal, declined to reveal what else Porsche planned to do with the property, saying “we haven’t necessarily signed every contract.”

READ | Porsche Digital selects Atlanta for its second U.S. office

“There will be more to come, and this zoning once and for all addresses the zoning issues,” he said.

When asked about what an international company in his city of 6,000 residents planned to do with the property, Mayor Alan Hallman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he wasn’t exactly sure.

Hallman said he knows Porsche has been wanting to expand its 1.6-mile track — where people can spend hundreds of dollars for 90 minutes of zipping around in their dream Porsche rides.

WATCH AND READ | AJC editor takes the wheel at Atlanta’s Porsche Experience Center

He said the company would not need City Council approval for every future development plan, adding he felt Porsche would continue to be “good neighbors.”

Porsche opened the complex, located at the northeast corner of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, in 2015 and dubbed it the company’s largest investment outside of Germany.

The complex includes a classic car gallery along with a restoration center, but there’s also a high-end restaurant and luxury hotel overlooking the track.

As for the proposed service center, Feygin said two Porsche dealers will be running the repair operation.

When asked if the repair center would bring jobs to the city, Feygin didn’t have specifics. “I don’t think it’s going to be any huge number, but there will be jobs,” he said.

From November | Porsche boosting classic restoration, parts business

As the AJC previously reported, the Germany car company sold 15,024 vehicles in the U.S. during the year’s first quarter, which is an increase of nearly eight percent from a year ago.

The Porsche headquarters is on the site of an old Ford assembly plant, which closed in 2006. Two years later, General Motors shuttered its Doraville factory.

IN OTHER NEWS | PGA changes parking plan for Tour Championship in Atlanta

The state has said Georgia’s automotive industry, now mostly populated by foreign companies, brings in nearly $3 billion.

Along with Porsche, the state has Mercedes-Benz’ North American headquarters in Sandy Springs, Kia has a production plant in West Point and Jaguar in August 2018 announced its intent to open a new plant in Savannah. British manufacturer Triumph Motorcycles’ North American headquarters is less than two miles from the Porsche property.

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