Assembly Atlanta to allow public to assemble for concerts, movies, dining

The sprawling 135 acres of mixed-use property is designed to look and feel like a city center.
The sprawling 135 acres of mixed-use property is designed to look and feel like a city center.
Published: Oct. 18, 2023 at 6:15 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2023 at 7:52 PM EDT
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DORAVILLE, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Imagine sitting at a cafe down the street from your apartment, all while a movie is being filmed across the street. One of the key aspects that makes Assembly Atlanta different from all the other film studios in Georgia and the country is that it is truly a “live, work and play” environment.

The sprawling 135 acres of mixed-use property is designed to look and feel like a city center complete with businesses, homes, public parks and open space.

“The public park on the outside will have a pavilion. The pavilion can be designed for movie nights, concerts, or events that the city might have in there,” said developer Jay Gipson of The Gipson Company.

The long-term development plans for Gray Television’s multi-million-dollar Assembly Atlanta include a boutique hotel, townhouses and apartments, entertainment venues that include e-gaming facilities, a conference center and office buildings.

“It’s very conceivable that as you come through here at any time, they may be shooting a scene for a movie. That’s why we did it,” Gipson said.

Another unique part is the property — including the landscaped streets parks, and green space — are all designed to be filmable. Movies and TV shows will be shot in and around the public space, just steps away from massive sound stages that are hidden behind front-facing city facades. Access and convenience were also taken into consideration. All the streets, including Assembly Boulevard, are being set up in a city grid system.

Assembly Atlanta will allow the public to assemble for concerts, movies, and dining.

“So, if you’re shooting on the New York street or the Tribeca street, you can close that street and go right around to where you live, work or play,” said Gipson.

Another part of the design of Assembly Atlanta, which is in the DeKalb County city of Doraville, is to connect the property to Doraville and neighboring Chamblee and Dunwoody.

“We’ve got the rail trail. The rail trail has a covered bridge on it. So, you’ll basically be able to go from the other side of Peachtree Boulevard all the way up here and walk,” Gipson said.

Executive chef Bethany Coldin of the popular Chamblee restaurant Southbound sees the potential for more growth as Assembly Atlanta continues to take shape.

“Back in 2014 when we first opened, this strip was completely different. We saw great potential in the area,” Coldin said.

Eventually, the hope is the trail system inside Assembly Atlanta will also tie into the 22-mile loop of the popular Beltline, which is also still under construction.

“I just watched that area grow. All the restaurants, apartments popping up. Walkability, people out and about,” said Coldin.

Gray Television hopes to offer similar amenities with Assembly by leasing parcels of land and retail space.

“We’re doing a series of small restaurant buildings. Those buildings are exclusively for those restaurants that are sitting in this amazing food world of Buford Highway,” Gipson said

Phase 2 of the Assembly Atlanta project — the apartments, retail and hotels — is slated to be completed within the next five to seven years. But the public park, along Assembly Boulevard, will be fully functional within the year.