Georgia Tech Research Institute Completes $42M Expansion at Cobb South Campus

Massive redevelopment transforms 350,000 square feet of space into specialized tech facilities

May 07, 2019

ATLANTA, Georgia May 7, 2019 - Tech Research Institute (GTRI), a nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), has completed a $42 million redevelopment program which includes two specialized technical facilities and spans 350,000 square feet. The facilities serve as an expansion of GTRI’s Cobb South Campus in Marietta, Georgia.

Requiring additional space to support its research goals, GTRI purchased four buildings on an unused, 52-acre Lockheed Martin site adjacent to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in December 2017. Needing to quickly redevelop two of the buildings into dynamic research facilities, GTRI selected McCarthy Building Companies with Flad Architects as their design-build team and designated JLL’s project and development services division to manage the design and construction phases in the complex, multi-million-dollar redevelopment program.

The design-build team spent considerable effort coordinating design objectives with existing conditions to ensure alignment between GTRI’s program, their goals and the project budget. Renovations included transforming 205,500 square feet of retired office space into a state-of-the-art research facility, featuring computing and electronics laboratories. It also included the 144,500-square-foot renovation of a 403,500-square-foot high-bay industrial warehouse, which GTRI will also use for research. This space incorporates two, 10-ton cranes and a 30-ton crane to handle heavy specialized large equipment.

“GTRI is excited to move into this renovated, high-end technical and modern office space, with research labs and high-bay facilities on the Cobb County South Campus. This expansion will allow GTRI to grow its existing work in Cobb County as well as move work from the overcrowded main campus in Midtown. The new office building can house up to 600 personnel, enough room to grow for at least 5 years,” said Lisa Sills, Assistant to the Director, Capital Projects, Georgia Tech Research Institute.

All utilities on-site were required to be severed from Lockheed Martin’s existing operations, with new connections created to provide power, water, gas and sanitary sewer to the GTRI site. These updated utility connections include a new sanitary sewer force main beneath active CSX railroad tracks. JLL led coordination, management and approvals for this work with CSX, the utility organizations and the Cobb County Department of Transportation. 

“JLL’s project and development services division is highly specialized and experienced in managing comprehensive redevelopments, and we’re proud of our team’s contribution to this dramatic transformation,” said Mary Margaret Murphy, Senior Project Manager for JLL. “These innovative facilities will allow GTRI to expand its cutting-edge research capabilities even further, and we’re thrilled to celebrate the beneficial impact this facility will have on Georgia Tech’s applied research program and the community.”

About GTRI

For more than 80 years, the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has built a reputation as one of the world's premier applied research and development organizations. Each day, GTRI's science and engineering expertise is used to solve some of the toughest challenges facing government and industry across the nation and around the globe. Our more than 2,000 expert scientists, engineers, and support staff are dedicated to turning ideas into workable solutions that can be deployed immediately into action. In fiscal year 2018, GTRI conducted $449 million in research contracts for government and industry sponsors. GTRI's core competencies include test and evaluation, system development, engineering and prototyping, applied electromagnetics and materials research, secure information and communications systems, and threat systems research and development. GTRI also has a long history of solving complex problems in the areas of electronic warfare, modeling and simulation, materials, radar, sensors, optics, digital media, robotics and unmanned systems, cybersecurity, and aerospace technologies. Sponsors for GTRI research include the United States Department of Defense (DoD) agencies, the state of Georgia, non-defense federal agencies, and private industry.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of over 90,000 as of December 31, 2018. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

About Flad Architects

Flad Architects is a national planning and design firm committed to creating environments that enhance human potential. In partnership with leading research organizations, universities, healthcare institutions, and science-based companies, Flad designs innovative facilities, with standout dedication to detail. These advanced spaces enable the firm's clients to make revolutionary discoveries that have a profound impact on society.

About McCarthy

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 14th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2018). With approximately 3,700 salaried employees and craft professionals, McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.