Thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas, a German elevator and escalator company announced Thursday it will build a new North American headquarters at SunTrust Park in Cobb County.
The company laid out a big vision for the development next to the Braves stadium, northwest of Atlanta. It’ll feature three buildings for about 1,000 employees. One of the structures? The highest elevator test tower in the United States and the tallest building in Cobb County, at 420 feet.
Mike Plant is president of the Atlanta Braves development arm, which will lease the land to the company: “This new complex, across from Circle 75 [Parkway], is going to, we believe, be the crown jewel of Cobb County.”
Andreas Schierenbeck, chief executive at Thyssenkrupp, spoke about the new innovations happening in his industry. Elevators haven’t changed much since they were invented, he said: “It’s a box, with a weight on the other side and a rope and it moves up and down. That’s how it works. It’s not very complicated,” he said. “But, after 160 years it’s up for a lot of changes.”
Many of those changes will be showcased at the test tower, which will have 18 shafts, including the United State’s first rope-less elevator. Schierenbeck said the company was pressed to find a new location since the lease on its current American test tower in Mississippi was running out.
Thyssenkrupp already knows metro Atlanta well. It will consolidate about 250 people at its Alpharetta and Kennesaw locations to the new headquarters, move some departments from other American locations and hire new people to get to 1,000 employees.
It also already has a longstanding partnership with Georgia Tech and has plans to build the first American elevator with two cabins sharing one elevator shaft at Technology Square.
Gov. Nathan Deal said he first met with the company on an economic development trip to Germany about two years ago.
The state’s economic incentive package hasn’t been finalized yet, and Thyssenkrupp has asked Cobb County for some property tax breaks.
Atlantans will be able to go inside the test tower too, Schierenbeck said. There will be event space at the top available to rent, and different technology demonstrations will be open to the public.
Officials said construction will start by the end of this year, and the project is scheduled to open in 2021.