General Motors made it official with a formal announcement Thursday that the company will open a technology development center in metro Atlanta, located in Roswell.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that sources have said it could employ up to 1,500 people.

Speaking at Georgia Tech, Gov. Nathan Deal said GM purchase includes an investment of $26 million. The Detroit-based automaker reportedly paid $18.5 million for the building.

The technology center is almost 230,000 square feet and is located at the corners Mansell and Warsaw roads that UPS once used as the centerpiece of a 25-acre campus designed for information technology, marketing and communications workers.

The Atlanta operation would be part of four IT innovation centers GM said it plans to open in the United States. GM seeks to bring 90 percent of its computer technology work in-house and has announced similar centers in Austin (500 jobs) and Warren, Mich. (about 1,500).

The center will employ software developers, project managers, database experts and business analysts.

The move is part of a push by the automaker to hire up to 10,000 technology professionals over a three- to five-year period to produce GM software and other electronic applications in-house, instead of buying the products from outside companies, according to the Associated Press.

GM operates information technology centers in Warren, Mich., and Austin, Texas, and representatives say entry-level software engineers make between $60,000 and $70,000. A company spokesman said the Georgia facility should open in March and hiring will begin immediately.

GM bought the building in Roswell after initially searching for buildings in Fulton County, along the Georgia 400 highway.

GM reportedly chose the former UPS building in Roswell because of its campus setting and its location in a so-called opportunity zone, an area designated by local governments for economic redevelopment incentives because they have a poverty rate of 15 percent or higher. GM is eligible for a tax credit of $3,500 a year for each job it creates by placing a business in an opportunity zone.

Last year, GM said it planned to hire 10,000 computer workers at four new technology innovation centers across the United States, according to the Chronicle.

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