Doraville, GA. July 28, 2015 – by Trey Benton – Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman says the General Motors redevelopment, named “Assembly”, will make Doraville a showcase for Transit Oriented Development and demonstrate how a community can transform itself.
In 2011, 62% of the citizens of Doraville voted in favor of the City’s Redevelopment Powers Act. That affirmative vote gave Doraville Officials the ability to utilize Tax Allocation District (TAD) powers granted under state rules to create a TAD to fund projects of their choosing.
Last week, the Doraville City Council voted to approve and adopt the Redevelopment Plan and TAD that covers 289 acres to “create a regional mixed-use employment and activity center centered on the Doraville MARTA transit station.”
Once the redevelopment of the entire 289 acres identified in the TAD is completed – Assembly being the most significant area undergoing planning presently – projected estimates indicate the total assessed value of the TAD at build-out could reach approximately $803 million, with an estimated market value of $1.98 billion.
According to the City, the redevelopment of the TAD Area over a 25 year period could include:
- 5,358 housing units (apartments, condominiums, and townhomes)
- 5.0 million SF of commercial space, of which approximately 62% would be office space.
- 307,000 SF of civic space, including a City Hall, Library, and/or school facilities.
Not everyone on the Doraville City Council is enthusiastic about the GM Site Redevelopment, however. City Councilwoman Trudy Dean has been critical of the project stating there are many unanswered questions that still need to be answered. Dean also raises concerns that the first parcel sold at the former GM site, is a 20 acre parcel purchased by Asbury Automotive to install an auto dealership.
Mayor Pittman explained to The Post that in April 2015, Doraville 60 (Doraville’s ownership entity is called Doraville 60 or D60) sold Asbury the 20 acre parcel, known in the Special Area Plan (SAP) as T-6A. According to the City, this site is the only site permitted to have an auto use under the requirements of the SAP.
The City also says there is no intention to have any auto uses on the remaining 145 acres of the former GM site portion of the TAD. “The auto dealership(s) were always part of the discussions, this is nothing new,” Pittman told The Post. “The reason this specific parcel was chosen is because of its proximity to the other auto dealerships nearby and it would not negatively impact the walkability of the rest of the site.”
With the City committing to fund a $293 million bond by creating a TAD, it’s understandable eyebrows and questions are being raised. But the City says each project as it comes before them will require a Council vote and the creation and approval of a TAD does not commit the City to the debt or place a tax burden on its citizens.
“The GM project presents Doraville with the opportunity to be a part of one of the largest redevelopment projects in the Atlanta metro area,” Mayor Pittman said during a recent Town Hall. “Nowhere inside the perimeter is there a development opportunity of this magnitude and we are excited to be a part of it.”
To learn more about the details of the TAD and the General Motors site Redevelopment, read the agenda packet found here.