Chamblee, GA, February 7, 2017 – by Trey Benton – Members of the Chamblee Downtown Development Authority Board voted 4-1 to approve $3 million in tax incentives for the proposed $24 million Trackside Chamblee MARTA Transit Oriented Development (TOD) during a special called meeting Tuesday evening. While the details of the deal and how it will be structured are still a work in progress, Board members discussed a step-down construct, whereas the amount of the incentive would decline over the life of the abatement term, most likely to be 20 years.
The Board explained the abatement will not be a 100% abatement and will be valued on the anticipated improvements of the completed project. Board members seemed to be warming up to a 75% abatement at inception, then declining from there over the term. Because the abatement is not 100%, the Board says that even though the development would pay less in taxes, the City, DeKalb County School System and the DeKalb County Government would be getting more revenue than they do today. Presently the site generates nothing. It is also expected to bring 320 jobs to the City upon the completion of both phases and would generate occupational and business licensing tax revenues as well.
The Trackside TOD, which is a planned 4-story mixed use development on a 2.16-acre closed parking lot across the street from the Chamblee MARTA Station, will contain 70,000 sq. ft. of office space and 10,000 sq. ft. of retail. The developer for the project is Trackside Partners LLC, a joint-venture partnership of Pattillo Industrial Real Estate and Parkside Partners Inc.
Citing the need to create the best-in-class Class-A office space development, Gary Matthews of Parkside explained to Board members the need for the abatement stems from the desire to provide the necessary upgrades in the project to allow it to compete with others in the works along the MARTA line, and also to provide a win-win for the City.
Matthews said once Trackside is completed, businesses that decide to lease office space there will benefit from the proximity of available housing for their employees that will be available once other projects in the area come on-line. In order to make Trackside most attractive to prospective tenants, Matthews noted the outside “skin” of the building must be of materials people who lease Class-A office space expect, as well as amenities better than “the competition.”
Trackside will include new sidewalks, active uses at street-level, public greenspace and will facilitate improved pedestrian access to the Chamblee MARTA station. According to MARTA, the project will be constructed in two phases, the first will be new headquarters for one of the TOD developers, Pattillo Industrial Real Estate, which will occupy 20,000 square feet of the 4-story, 50,000-square-foot Trackside One building.
Prior to the Board approving the $3 million abatement, Board member and City Councilperson Leslie Robson motioned to approve a $4 million abatement. That motion died due to the lack of a second. Board member Van Pappas made a subsequent motion to approve a $3 million abatement, which Robson then seconded. That motion passed by a 4-1 vote.
Board Chair David Carter was the lone “Nay” vote after expressing he was not completely comfortable supporting an abatement of this level to essentially upgrade the “skinning” of the buildings.
Details of the abatement and a Memorandum of Understanding will now be constructed as part of the process, which will include the abatement schedule and term sheet. Chamblee Economic Development Manager Adam Causey indicated that should all be squared away in the next 30 or so days.
More in the video below.
The project as proposed is below.