Doraville, GA, August 18, 2016 – by Trey Benton, Renee Turner Contributing – Funding for the redevelopment of the former Doraville General Motors site, dubbed Assembly, has been a complex topic and has been in a perpetual state of uncertainty for a number of months. But, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report, a complex arrangement for tax incentives that could top $82 million was approved by the City’s Downtown Development Authority, during a Tuesday meeting.
The incentives will reduce tax revenues from the site 35%, affecting the amount of tax revenue payable to the DeKalb School System, for the next 30 years. According to the AJC report, developer Integral, may use those funds to pay for a $60 million tunnel and street connection from the Assembly site to the Doraville MARTA station. Integral says this connection is essential to the project. (more in the AJC Report here)
Doraville recently received $3 million in grants and loans from the State Road & Tollway Authority (SRTA) and the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB) under SRTA for the Phase I design and construction of West Avenue Connector, a new thoroughfare to be built on the former GM Plant site.
The new thoroughfare will be a half-mile stretch running through the site. As part of the redevelopment of the former plant site, the West Avenue Connector will be designed to ease traffic congestion on Peachtree Road, as well as to create local access to the 165-acre site connecting Motors Industrial Blvd. to the other end of the site at Peachtree Road.
Based on the application the City of Doraville submitted to SRTA/GTIB, the development team for the West Avenue Connector project includes the City of Doraville and Doraville Sixty, LLC. The team has provided funding for the conceptual studies, economic studies, environmental investigations and remediation, and demolition of the existing facilities through Kimley-Horn at a cost of approximately $102,000. Preliminary engineering is estimated to cost $450,000 or more, and Kimley-Horn will serve as the design engineer, providing the concepts and early cost estimates.
Over the past few months the City and the DeKalb County School Board and School District (DCSD) Superintendent Dr. Stephen Green, have been at odds over the idea of DCSD backing a large portion of a proposed Tax Allocation District (TAD) and the associated $247 million in infrastructure bonds to redevelop the old GM Plant. That resulted in Doraville constructing a “Plan B”, a plan that would fund some of the necessary infrastructure improvements connected to the Assembly project and the surrounding area through the formation of a Community Improvement District, or CID.
Bond attorney Dan McRae, with the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP., explained the two bonds the Development Authority approved Tuesday, are essentially the same in construct. However, the Doraville Sixty Bond serves as a Master Bond that can be sliced up for a variety of projects on the site.
More in the 45 minute video of the Doraville Downtown Development here.