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43 Comments

  1. 1

    Better you than us.

    How much in tax abatements has Chamblee given away in the past 14 months? Enjoy your property tax bill when you have to cover all that additional infrastructure.

  2. 2

    fyi

    “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 developer 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.”

    Translation into plain English, if you are a homeowner in Chamblee your property taxes will continue to increase to subsidize the apartment buildings and “class a?” office space subsidized by the city and the development authority with tax abatements. Will your property taxes ever decline? Laugh out loud. The real estate developers love this environment. City government is on board for some reason. City residents / taxpayers are the chumps in this scenario.

  3. 3

    Hey, Can I borrow a dollar for lunch?

    $103m. Chamblee will be N DeKalb’s Underground Atlanta in 20 years. I thought tax incentives were to be used as a last resort for blighted properties.

    Oh well. Governments should probably invest in speculative real estate. It always goes up. Wait. What?

  4. 4

    Flubber

    Enjoy your huge parking lot. We are transforming ours into revenue-producing properties.

  5. 5

    Eddie E.

    Enjoy the choking traffic and permanent gridlock.
    I’m glad my customers have a way around the mess.

  6. 6

    Eddie E.

    There must be some ‘service’ they can add a pointless fee to.

  7. 7

    Jon

    Congratulations, you are! Just not for you personally, or the rest of Chamblee’s citizens.

  8. 8

    flubber

    I don’t live near the station or this parcel of land. I don’t have to drive by it that much. I am glad, however, to see abandoned/blighted land get converted to something that grows the economy.

  9. 9

    Toff

    This takes a derelict, unused space and turns it into much needed Class A space. If you know the RE market, lots of companies want to be in this area but don’t want to be in the mess at Perimeter Mall.

    As for taxes, let me ask why shouldn’t taxes go up if my home value is going up and the facilities/environment where I live is improving?
    I am happy to pay more to get more. What is the alternative, run down the area, increase crime, get lower property values all so we can have lower taxes?

    I hate taxes like the next guy but out of all the abatement projects flying around this one smells the sweetest.

  10. 10

    Jordan Fox

    I think many are for the development just against the big tax abatement without any clear methodology for abating taxes from the DDA.

  11. 11

    Easy Rider

    This seems like a possible win-win for the Chamblee and MARTA. This is an appropriate location for a TOD that may actually increase the value of the surrounding area. TOD didn’t work for Brookhaven due to reasons I won’t repeat, but I’m thankful MARTA has a alternate location to direct their energy.

  12. 12

    Toff

    Fair point, they don’t have a methodology. Prior deals have been backroom over a bourbon. Lot of people feel Chamblee got burned by the deal done at Chamblee Plaza. $3M on this deal sounds about right though.

  13. 13

    Difference is ....

    Developer for MARTA was asking $28 million + in Brookhaven of which a large chunk was for a parking garage. MARTA was looking for grants and other public funds for infrastructure which would then give the developer a reduction in their land lease cost. See the cycle? Cost always falls on the backs of the taxpayers no matter where you live.

  14. 14

    Easy Rider

    I think we agree. The fact that MARTA wanted Brookhaven to provide tax abatements for a development that would create multiple infrastructure problems, and add dubious value was a joke.

  15. 15

    Paul

    Not MARTA. Their developer Integral and Transwestern. And it wasn’t $28 million. It was $40 to $50 million.

  16. 16

    Polly want a cracker

    Hey, there’s Jordon once again just repeating talking points from others. You really should get out more.

  17. 17

    Saul

    Polly, If you were in Brookhaven we’d make you undergo sensitivity training.

  18. 18

    Easy Rider

    The developers represented MARTA’s interest so it is not a material difference. We all agree that the abatement request was a joke. Right?

  19. 19

    Eric Robert

    Class A office space will be good for Chamblee. Brookhaven would do well to try to get some Class A office space for the Brookhaven MARTA station.

  20. 20

    Blinded Authority

    The Chamblee DDA owns the Development. Tax base does not grow because of new development. Only new taxes generated are in 20 years. DeKalb County, nor School District, will get anything promised in the abatement. The developer, MARTA, rents the property from the DDA.

    Google Non Recourse Loan. All these Phantom bonds being issued are the government version of a non-recourse loan. If multi family RE market takes a big hit anytime within the maturity of the bond, the developer simply hands the keys to the DDA. Over the course of the crisis the citizens of Chamblee will backstop all maintenance, care and selling loss of the property including but not limited to demolition, or it will be the watershed moment creating the Chamblee Housing Authority.

  21. 21

    City-Weary

    The issue I have with it is handing out so many tax abatements in an area that really needs no incentive to be developed. Did the lady who opened Get Coffee get a tax abatement? She took a pretty big gamble at that time. What about Chef Liza who owned Liza’s Cafe? What about all the little antique businesses…did they get tax abatements? These entrepreneurs got the ball rolling to make Chamblee an attractive destination and here we are giving tax abatements to companies with deep pockets.

  22. 22

    Eddie E.

    Odd, I don’t remember receiving any abatements either!

  23. 23

    Eddie E.

    If there was a demand, wouldn’t the ‘market’ bear it?

  24. 24

    Eddie E.

    If it were ‘much needed’ or ‘valuable’ wouldn’t the magical ‘free market’ make it happen?

  25. 25

    ChambleeRE

    A large portion of the abatement is to offset the cost associated with the septic system that the property would need (sunk cost w/ zero added value), due to the aging Dekalb County Infrastructure.

    Also – they will be charging NNN rents and billing back, among other things, Real Estate Taxes, which allow them to use the abatement as a pseudo economic development tool to lure more office tenants to Chamblee vs traditional office markets like Buckhead and CP.

  26. 26

    Toff

    Severely doubt it. Chamblee will be the Buckhead of the North in about a year or two.

  27. 27

    Toff

    Loved Get Coffee. Great idea, well executed, just too early in the cycle.

  28. 28

    Toff

    ah the old offset argument .. remember the day when developers actually had to ‘develop’ and do nasty ole things like fix septic and sewer. Nice try, they will use any argument but who can blame them , it works!

  29. 29

    Jordan Fox

    Polly, I am personally for this TOD and so are most others I have spoken with. As I said it is just the abatement that is the issue. Perhaps my comment sounds like that of others because we are in agreement 🙂

  30. 30

    YCMU

    Oh Jordan, that is why chamblee politicians like you so much. You blindly follow their lead to help promote them for elections. Stick to whining about airplanes. It suits you better.

  31. 31

    Blinded Authority

    Easy, it is the difference that makes ALL the difference. Whole Foods doesn’t own Peachtree Crossing. The Olmstead doesn’t own The Olmstead. Chamblee DDA does. The Hawks don’t own The Hawks Players Facility. The City of Brookhaven DDA does. State Farm doesn’t own the new Perimeter development. The Dunwoody DA does. A private placement gives each Development Authority a legally enforceable ownership stake in each project. The developer uses a very common strategy to limit their liability in the project called an LLC, or limited liability company. The Hawks Players Facility, Peachtree Crossing, State Farm Development,etc are shells of a company that have no assets (I.e. They don’t own the project) Should any of them decide to simply bankrupt the LLC, or default on their bank loan, the sponsoring developer has limited liability. The bank cant sue the LLC because that would ‘pierce the corporate veil’. So who would the bank sue? Whole Foods? The Hawks? The Olmstead Developer? Nope. The bank would sue the owner…the development authority. Heaven forbid Dunwoody DA get sued for $780m.

    Your governments are collectively investing in speculative real estate that will generate no net benefit to the taxpayer.

  32. 32

    NTH

    Texas gets it. Too bad BA keeps crying wolf as our county struggles to move forward……

    The deal was $115 million in city and school district tax revenue and the chance to anchor a 91-acre mixed-use development that would include a 16-story Omni Hotel, a Baylor Scott & White Health sports medicine center and 2.7 million square feet of commercial and office space.

    Officials estimate the value of the project — named The Star in Frisco — at $1 billion.

    Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/arlington/article62895672.html#storylink=cpy

  33. 33

    ChambleeRE

    If you have questions or concerns, show up to a meeting. I doubt you were one of the three people that attended or asked questions of the developers, DDA members or council members that were all in attendance.

    Why be a part of the process if you can just log into this forum and make the same stale arguments against change and progress?

  34. 34

    Heather

    The timing of the meetings makes it very difficult for many to attend.

    Why is physical attendance given more weight over writing letters and emails as well as telephone calls?

    This is a rather unfortunate bias that would likely sadden our founding fathers.

  35. 35

    ChambleeRE

    Come on Heather, the meeting was at 8pm. I think if the issues were that important to folks, they could find the time, once a month, to show up to a meeting.

    What did the developers and DDA say when you called and emailed? Did they have good responses to your concerns?

  36. 36

    Jack Smith

    Just to be fair, this was a last minute scheduled DDA meeting after MARTA pulled out of the MARTA Brookhaven station project. Being a resident at the DDA meeting has about a zero influence on the DDA voting because the DDA is an authority whose members are appointed and not elected. Developers listening to residents? Really? Tax abatements are out of control and this is not just a Chamblee problem. What’s unique to Chamblee is tax abatements for high impact apartments whereby the vast majority of the abated taxes come from Dekalb County Schools and not the municipality granting the abatement. Fortunately this abatement is at least for commercial and is smaller than many of the others but still not right. And you will need to backup with numbers any argument that the Dekalb Schools benefit in some way from apartment abatements because that idea is a fantasy used to sell the public a bill of goods.

  37. 37

    The Brookhaven Post

    There was an urgency for the developer to get to a point with their negotiations with the City that shows some certainty the project would move forward. The developer in Brookhaven had the same requirement on them. Once it became acutely clear they would not be able to secure a commitment from Brookhaven officials within the contracted timeframe, MARTA decided to move on.

    Brookhaven still maintains they are willing to work with MARTA to create something at the Brookhaven MARTA station. Something that is a direct joint effort, a “city center”, a “project of distinction”.

    But that could be years down the road now.

  38. 38

    Toff

    I dont have a question or a concern and as stated I am for the development. I am merely pointing out that developers have successfully got site remediation costs offset in many of these types of development. Some are warranted and some or not.
    Peace.

  39. 39

    Blinded Authority

    If you are a Progressive and wonder if Sports complexes are worth the tax abatements read this:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.brookings.edu/articles/sports-jobs-taxes-are-new-stadiums-worth-the-cost/amp/?client=safari

    Or this:

    http://m.dailykos.com/story/2015/2/20/1365048/-Sports-Stadiums-Have-No-Impact-on-Municipal-Economies-So-Why-is-it-We-Still-Subsidize-the-NFL

    If you are a Comservative, read this:

    https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/governmentfunded-stadiums-not-worth-price-admission

    Then send the mayor of Arlington and Atlanta an email asking them how much the Cowboys, Braves and Falcons are costing them. The Braves left Atlanta owing $117m. Wonder how the Hawks will leave Brookhaven? Holding the bag, just like CHOA is.

    NTH, Now do YOU get it?

  40. 40

    YCMU

    One article from 1997 and another from 2004. Hahahahahahah……….., oh, oh, wait for it………….Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  41. 41

    Eddie E.

    “too early in the cycle”

    Like needs and drives have to get permission from ‘the market’.

  42. 42

    Eddie E.

    Having been in business in Chamblee since 1985, I have come to realize (especially since we have ‘enough real estate people on the council’) what a monumental wast of time it is to show up with legitimate concerns.
    I don’t know what was worse, the ‘Malone quick payoff era’ or the ‘big box developer expert’ era.

  43. 43

    Blinded Authority

    I concede, NTH/YMCU. Your articulation of financial concepts was too much. The hahaha technical thrust put me over the edge.

    For everyone else with an opinion above a third grade level, Google Economic Development Sports Stadiums. There are at least 20 more articles claiming neither sports stadiums nor multi family apartment complexe tax abatements provide absolutely no net benefit to the tax payer. It would seem the economic development debate, like climate change, is over?

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