By Maria Saporta
Genuine Parts, one of Atlanta’s Fortune 500 companies, will be moving to a new headquarters building at Wildwood Office Park next to its existing Operational Support Facility, according to its CEO Thomas Gallagher.
Genuine Parts, best known for its NAPA stores, has been headquartered at Circle 75 since 1979, but it just so happens that its headquarters is right next door to the new Atlanta Braves stadium and development.
Gallagher was careful to say that he did not hold the Braves responsible for the company’s move.
“We are very pleased with the cooperation we’ve gotten from the Braves and from Cobb County,” Gallagher said. “We could have stayed in the existing building.”
But it’s all a matter of the environment that Genuine Parts has enjoyed since it moved to Cobb County 35 years ago.
“We have gotten spoiled with everything around us,” Gallagher said. “We have had a rather tranquil and bucolic environment, and obviously that’s changed. We would be able to continue to offer that kind of tranquil environment to our associates.”
Genuine Parts will be buying 10 acres of land from Cousins Properties that is contiguous to its existing facility. It plans to construct a 150,000 square foot building, which Gallagher said is more than the company needs, but it will provide room for growth.
The current headquarters has about 115,000 square feet for about 400 employees.
Gallagher said that the new building at Wildwood is expected to be six stories. Cousins will serve as the master developer.
“We are very pleased we were able to get all the pieces to come together,” Gallagher said. “It will enable us to be create more of a campus feel for all of our associates. We are now going to be able to bring all of our people together.”
In all, the new campus will have about 1,000 employees of Genuine Parts. The current facility at Wildwood has a sign labeled: GPC Shared Services.
“It’s a terrific situation,” said Gallagher, who was meeting with employees Thursday afternoon to tell them about the company’s move. “We aren’t moving very far so it doesn’t disrupt commute patterns.”
Gallagher also said that traffic studies conducted by Cobb County show that Wildwood will not be greatly affected by the new Braves stadium and surrounding development. Although the two sites are located about two miles apart, they are separated by Interstate 75.
The move also will happen before the Braves are scheduled to start playing in the new stadium for the 2017 baseball season.
“It’s going to take us until mid to late summer in 2016 to move in,” Gallagher said, adding that numerous entities have expressed interest in buying Genuine Parts’ property next to the stadium.
Asked how his associates were reacting to the company’s news, Gallagher said: “They’re extremely positive.”