Doraville streamlines updates for Assembly

People crowded the Doraville Civic Center to gather information about the former GM plant and the proposed tax allocation district.

Doraville is taking care of business.

Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman and other city officials hosted a town hall meeting on June 22 that brought more than three dozen concerned guests into the city’s Civic Center.

“We have a lot of exciting things going on in our city and the whole region. We’re going to continue to have a lot of exciting things going on, and as we go along, we want to continue to keep the public informed,” Pittman said.

The Bleakly Group, a consulting firm working on Doraville’s redevelopment plan, presented information on the proposed Tax Allocation District (TAD).

Vice President of The Integral Group Eric Pinckney and partner Dave Schmit updated officials and attendees on the Assembly development project located on the former General Motors site.

Audience members were asked to write down questions throughout the presentation to be answered by officials afterwards.

Bleakly Advisory Group consultant Jonathan Gelber said of all the TADs he’s had the opportunity to work on, he has not seen one that has more potential than Doraville’s.

A redevelopment plan serves as a feasibility study for a potential TAD and is required by state law.

According to Gelber, the redevelopment is a business plan for the state and residents to say the city wants to do a TAD and has done modeling and estimates to get an idea of what will be involved.

The TAD plan deals specifically with the finance, economics and the implementation of the tax allocation district.

Gelber said, the Doraville plan is unique because “Nowhere, not just in this region, do you have a situation where you have a large contiguous site vacant or underdeveloped land or both that is adjacent to an existing heavy transit line, that is adjacent to an airport, that is adjacent to a freeway, adjacent to heavy rail, adjacent to interstate highways. You’ve got 10 years of planning and zoning and visioning already in place.”

TADs have been used for major projects such as Atlantic Station, the Atlanta Beltline and Camp Creek Marketplace.

To date, more than 70 cities and counties in Georgia have approved local referendums to use TADs.

In 2014 Doraville received $351,000 in property taxes from the area in the proposed TAD.

According to Gelber’s information on the property tax impact and revenue potential, if the TAD is approved it could bring $2 billion in new development, increase city tax revenue from $351,000 to $6.4 million a year and increase total tax revenue to $30 million year.

Anticipated tax revenue in the TAD could support up to $247 million in bonds or loans to fund infrastructure and other eligible cost.

Doraville officials will vote on the TAD amendment at its first July council meeting.

City Manager Shawn Gillen said there will be a public hearing with an action to follow.

He said, “Once the council approves this, they’re not issuing debt, they’re just creating the boundaries. At that point it then goes to the county and the school board to ask for resolutions in support of the TAD, which would then make the TAD fully functioning.”

About the former General Motors plant, Assembly, Pinckney said, “The most important progress that’s at the site is that the building is down. People are starting to see now and get a picture of what can happen.”

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