Planned BMW facility expected to draw thousands for training in College Park

New facility is part of aerotropolis development


BMW plans to open a training center in College Park next to the Georgia International Convention Center, moving the training out of its Southern region headquarters in Sandy Springs.

Officials in College Park expect the training center will draw as many as 10,000 BMW workers annually for corporate training.

BMW bought 4.1 acres from the city of College Park for the Southern region technical training center. The new facility will replace a training center built in 1987 at the auto company’s regional headquarters at 1280 Hightower Trail in Sandy Springs, a northern suburb of metro Atlanta.

At 53,000 square feet, the new $16.6 million training center will be four times as big as the old one. It will mainly be used for interactive training of dealership employees.

BMW said the facility will add 12 jobs and should be up and running by late 2018.

College Park city manager Terrence Moore said in a written statement that the announcement comes after news of an expansion of the Federal Aviation Administration’s regional headquarters, a new arena at the Georgia International Convention Center that will host the Atlanta Hawks development league team and plans for an expanded Chick-fil-A headquarters.

The city of Atlanta recently purchased the Sheraton Atlanta Airport for $16.8 million and closed the hotel on Sunday July 23, as the Atlanta airport makes way for future expansion. Hartsfield-Jackson is seeking Atlanta City Council approval for a $1.6 million contract for security and maintenance of the former hotel building.

The closure of the Sheraton has decreased the hotel supply in the area, according to Rod Mullice, partner at AirRealty, which developed an upscale apartment community called ThePad on Harvard in College Park.

An Aloft hotel is planned to be built next to ThePad on Harvard and the new BMW training facility will bring in guests who might stay at that new hotel, a nearby Hotel Indigo and other hotels in the area, according to Mullice.

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