$5 Billion Redevelopment Proposal Tabled in Atlanta

The redevelopment plan for the "Gulch" site could have created a potential Amazon headquarters location, but it's been tabled over concern about the return on the city's investment.
September 18, 2018, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The development potential of the Gulch are obvious. The challenges are harder to identify, but the challenges are winning the debate over the future of the site so far.

"Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Monday said she would not push the City Council to vote on her proposal to provide up to $1.75 billion in public financing to help redevelop downtown’s Gulch," reports Stephen Deere.

California-based CIM group has proposed a $5 billion development plan for the site, adjacent to the Five Points MARTA station and Mercedes Benz Stadium.

"The development has been pitched as a possible home for Amazon’s second headquarters, but city council members questioned whether the public would benefit enough for taxpayers to give up nearly $2 billion in incentives," according to Deere.

The development deal appeared headed for a vote by the Atlanta City Council on Monday, September 17, until Mayor Bottoms tabled the vote for lack of votes. According to a separate article by Sonam Vashi, discontent with the plan centered on the affordable housing components. In exchange for the $1.75 billion in tax incentives proposed as part of the deal, CIM was proposing $28 million for a citywide affordable housing trust fund, 200 units of housing affordable to residents making 80 percent of the area media income, and a commitment to "rent 10 percent of its units for people making very low incomes (30 percent of the area median income, or $520 for a two-bedroom) — if it’s paid for with housing vouchers from the city or federal government," according to Vashi.

Still, critics of the plan say that return wasn't enough to warrant the size of the tax break.

For more on the details of the redevelopment proposal, see previous coverage by Scott Trubey, Josh Green, and Sean Keenan.

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Published on Monday, September 17, 2018 in The Atlanta-Journal Constitution
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