This is what the Cobb Galleria Centre sign looked like in 2003, soon after it was built.
Photo: Andy Sharp/AJC
Photo: Andy Sharp/AJC

$2M electronic Cobb Galleria sign on I-285 will be bigger, brighter

The view while driving through Smyrna on I-285 certainly has changed a lot in the last couple of years, and it’s set to change again.

Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, which owns and runs the Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, voted Wednesday to spend $2 million on a new electronic roadside sign, said board member Bob Voyles.

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Sketches show the sign is set to be 100 feet tall, with an electronic screen jutting out from it that’s 48 feet across and 25 feet high.

The current structure, said Galleria spokeswoman Karen Caro, is 40 feet wide and stands 78 feet on its tallest side, as it’s on a hill. The digital sign is 31 feet wide and just over 12½ feet tall.

She said the sign will be installed in summer.

Voyles said it’ll be comparable to the sign for The Battery, the nearby mixed-use complex attached to the new Atlanta Braves stadium SunTrust Park.

Here’s what the bridge connecting SunTrust Park and Cobb Galleria Centre over I-285 looked like March 1, 2017. (Ben Brasch)

He said the team’s move to Cobb County influenced their decision for a new sign.

“Once the Braves deal was announced (we) wanted to employ the most current technology, we want to create the most iconic sign,” Voyles said.

He added that this has long been in the works, and that the money for the new sign will come from the Authority’s reserves.

But all the Braves-related development has also created another reason to get a new sign: the old one is being blocked.

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Voyles said the multi-million-dollar pedestrian bridge that links the Galleria to The Battery/SunTrust Park obscures the view. But the new digital sign will start at a higher elevation, so there will be no blockage problem.

“The new sign establishes better line of sight and tech that’s 10 to 15 times better than what we had previously,” he said.

This is was what the bridge looked like in March 2017.

The current sign was built in 2002. The new sign, he said, will be brighter and have the ability for moving images.

As for the alumnium structure holding the digital sign, that’ll have cables holding together glass panels in front of LED lights illuminating the white acrylic panels behind the glass, according to sketches.

He described this sign as a kickoff for a larger overhaul for Cobb Galleria.

“Part of that will include a facade facelift, improving traffic circulation and such,” Voyles said.

Get a full look at the sketches for the sign below.

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Tom Glavine started his second season for the Braves (still playing in the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium), the Democratic National Convention came to town and Robert Shaw led the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for the last time. Take a look back at our city and state in the final years of the 1980s.