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19 Comments

  1. 1

    Flubber

    #1 city for millennials???? NOT! And the school system should NEVER be required to subsidize private development. Doraville and its mayor really screwed the pooch on the Assembly redevelopment.

  2. 2

    B\'haven Birdie

    Thankfully the School Superintendent did not fall for the smoke & mirrors presentation by Integral and Doraville.

    They all looked like amateurs trying to sell this speculative project. The only people that did not see through this debacle were the people who live in Doraville. Everyone else just rolled their eyes and laughed.

  3. 3

    Trudy Jones Dean

    Not quite everyone. I was on the Doraville City Council when this concept was presented, and I consistently voted no on it (the zoning, the TAD, etc.). It seemed to be purely speculative, and $297 million seems a bit excessive for the mere “bones” of a project.

    I’m very thankful Dr. Green has the sense that so many seem to lack regarding this issue.

  4. 4

    Tim Snyder

    I just finished reading The City of Doraville’s glowing press release on the mayor’s state of the city address. She mentioned a few things that I would like to comment on. Mayor Pittman stated,

    “…projects ranging from the Assembly project (on the old GM site) to the Nexus project (a 60,000-square-foot, $200m mixed use project planned on Buford Highway) to a state-of-the-art movie studio now under construction added up to $400m in investments in the city’s future.”
    Since there is no “Assembly” being built, and there is no “Nexus” being built, and these properties along with the “movie studio” are all dependent on a TAD, where is the $400 million of investment? What exactly is the mayor talking about and what is she so proud of?
    The mayor then went on to talk about her opinions concerning the TAD to benefit the “Assembly” and “Nexus” projects,

    “This is an opportunity for Doraville and DeKalb County to announce to the world that we are ready for business. If the citizens of Doraville and DeKalb show faith in this vision, together we will make it happen.”
    First I would like to know why our mayor would expect anyone living in our city and county to have faith? The media has exposed corruption and wrong-doing by Doraville and DeKalb’s elected officials for years And whose vision is she referring to? Certainly not the majority of taxpayers in DeKalb Co. who were shocked and very disappointed to learn that the mayor and council majority allowed, by their anything goes zoning, a car dealership in the middle of the of the utopia they’re calling “Assembly”. Is the mayor and staff proud of this? Does anyone other than the mayor think that taxpayers, and the DeKalb County School board, should ignore the needs of our children and give up any future tax increases, for 25 years, for car dealerships?
    And while we’re on the subject, if the Nalley car dealership can build a reported $250 million building without any TAD money why should the taxpayers of DeKalb be expected to help Integral, the current owners of the GM property?
    Brookhaven and Chamblee are building at a prodigious rate quality homes, apartments, and national chain stores. These cities, developers, and builders are building their future everyday with their own funding and no need for TADs. On the other hand, Integral’s Eric Pinckney has no history of ever developing such a large and complex development as the “Assembly” and this is yet another reason not to have any faith in his project.

    When other large developments have no problems raising investment dollars, why has Integral failed to raise their own funding? I do think that developing a new city center is a great idea along with the planned improvements to six of our city parks. The Peachtree Road Streetscape is very exciting and will pave (no pun intended:) the way for future traffic calming and landscaping throughout our city. In the end Doraville has a long way to go and need to get busy with their own projects.

  5. 5

    The Brookhaven Post

    This story was not a City Press release. I wrote it myself.

  6. 6

    Tim Snyder

    Mea Culpa Trey but it’s just semantics. In the end without follow-up research it is nothing more than an over the top and totally unnecessary PR event for the mayor, payed for by the taxpayers,

  7. 7

    The Brookhaven Post

    I reported on the event and what took place there. Agreed, the issues are much much larger that a 50 minute city sponsored event.

  8. 8

    yakety-yak

    Post, could you please clarify for me & others, but I believe there are TAD’s or TIF’s set up in Chamblee, or some similar type of tax abatement/incentives attached to all or most of Chamblees in progress developments, including The Olmstead, Parkside & Whole Foods. Chamblee has redevelopment powers, Brookhaven does not.

  9. 9

    The Brookhaven Post

    Chamblee DDA utilizes TADs. Which they are within their powers to do. Whether they are good or bad for the community or the economy is debatable. Some say it is corporate welfare. Some say it is an effective tool to stimulate revitalization. Suppose it depends on who you ask.

  10. 10

    yakety-yak

    Thanks Trey!
    Just wanted to clarify for Tim Snyder. His comment “Brookhaven & Chamblee are building apartments, retail, etc.,… these cities, developers, builders are building their future everyday w/ their own funds, no need for TAD’s.”
    Developers are willing to foot expenses for a Brookhaven name, not Chamblee.
    Chamblee (the DDA), has given all kinds of tax breaks & incentives to get these projects started.

  11. 11

    City-Weary

    Chamblee gave a huge tax break to the Whole Foods project.
    And tax abatements are the reason Chamblee Plaza sits decrepit. The owner is not paying any property tax thus has no incentive to do anything with it at this time since he’s not paying that bill.

  12. 12

    Chad

    Just so everyone is clear on a small, but very important component of the tax abatement strategy. The Chamblee, nor Brookhaven Development Authority’s didn’t give over $100M in tax abatements to Whole Foods, The Hawks, Emory or a large, nationally recognized apartment complex in the last month. They gave away over $100m in tax abatements to small concentrated equity ownerships made up of a few individuals. They are the development LLC’s (limited liability company) aka Hawks Practice Facility Development. The large nationally known names need to limit liability in such deals so they become the tenant to the developer. Their role is nothing more than renter. Their annual payment happens to equal the bond payment. As the bond gets closer to maturity (just like your mortgage), there is no incentive to continue renting as they would now have to pay full fare taxes in a diminished, completely depreciated building. When the municipality says, “Well, you can’t leave. You have to pay for the building.”

    The developer replies, “Well, we’ll give you a prorated amount close to the $10 we owe you…or you can have the building. Or we’ll just bankrupt this little tiny LLC. The municipal bond market can have it. No skin off our nose. You’re the one paying the bond payment. Not us. Plus Sandy Springs and Cobb Co. have already offered us a better deal with a new building.”

    The municipality leaders think to themselves, “What are we going to do with a grocery store? Or an apartment complex? Or a 90,000 sf basketball facility? Guess we need to give them another tax abatement. You know, for economic development and all.”

  13. 13

    Toff

    Millenials are moving to Doraville in big numbers as its one of the most affordable rental markets and convenient to the Perimeter and Buckhead business districts. I am seeing this in my own workforce, we hire kids out of college that live in Canton, Suwanee etc and after a year of commuting they hoist the white flag and move to Doraville and Chamblee.

  14. 14

    Enuff Govt Already

    Very well said!!!!

  15. 15

    Tim Snyder

    Good point! If developers don’t t have the experience or reputation to fund their own projects, tax incentives would be a great was for Doraville to help out any developer or builder that is ready to build. Doraville official want the county to give a $300 million TAD to a developer with no large scale experience and no clients lined up to build on their site. It would make sense to the vast majority of county taxpayers to give tax incentives or TADs , that are in proportion to the builder’s needs, when they are ready to build.

  16. 16

    Tim Snyder

    Good information. Thank you. I’m guessing though that Chamblee didn’t ask county taxpayers to give them $300 million in TAD monies to fund an inexperienced developer’s Utopian project that has no corporate interest or clients wanting to build. And how long will any of Chamblee’s TAD monies be frozen at current rates? I’ll bet that Chamblee didn’t offer 25 years for payback of the TAD bonds. Only in Doraville would a developer , with no client interest, be able to finagle a $300 million dollar deal like that.

  17. 17

    Flubber

    Chamblee and Brookhaven, yes. Doraville, no.

  18. 18

    Tim Snyder

    Also good information. Let’s hope that the well meaning but inexperienced council, mayor, and staff in Doraville consider Chamblee’s mistake. Having a developer/builder and client ready to build, and conditions in place stating completion dates, would make tax incentives a safe and viable means for attracting future development and growth.

  19. 19

    Flubber

    This might be true IF the locations that the new Chamblee developments are going into were not prime locations with a large supply of higher income families within a 3-mile radius of those locations. Development is moving in-town, not OTP.

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