Tag Archives: invest atlanta

Atlanta City Council wants monthly accountability reports on business incentives offered by Invest Atlanta

The Atlanta City Council is trying to get a handle on the incentives offered by Invest Atlanta during negotiations over business relocations.

The measure comes as the council wrestles with the increasing independence exercised by the leaders of the city’s development arm, which is chaired by the mayor. On Wednesday, the council’s Finance Committee approved a resolution that calls on the city’s CFO to submit monthly reports to the council on the incentives Invest Atlanta orders paid to businesses. The full council is to vote on the plan July 15.

Committee Chair Felicia Moore shelved a sterner measure she’d proposed that called for a non-binding council vote before Invest Atlanta could offer such incentives. Moore, who introduced both papers, said the stricter proposal was unlikely to win enough votes to pass. Continue reading

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Atlanta to combat food deserts with portion of $30 million federal grant

Atlanta’s food deserts are one of the problems that Atlanta’s development officials intend to address with a portion of a $30 million federal grant the city has received.

An incredible swath of Atlanta, generally located south of Buckhead, meets the definition a food desert, according to a mapping tool of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The definition boils down to access to food – distance from food stores and access to transportation.

Atlanta’s food desert program is to be one of the first such efforts in the country to be assisted through the New Markets Tax Credit program, which was started in 1994 by the Treasury Department to help fight blight and create jobs. Continue reading

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As feds probe possible fraud in Atlanta’s workforce agency, Invest Atlanta steps into void

Invest Atlanta, the city’s development arm, plans to hire a consultant next month to sharpen Atlanta’s workforce development strategy.

The project is moving forward as the federal Department of Labor weighs evidence of possible fraud in the federally funded Atlanta Workforce Development Agency. The agency’s budget approaches $10 million a year.

Invest Atlanta distributed a request for proposals regarding the workforce strategy on March 4, according to a schedule contained in the RFP. That was a month after the Feb. 4 release of a city audit that revealed the evidence of possible fraud and recommended Atlanta’s workforce agency be discontinued.
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Metro Atlanta’s planned export strategy could sharpen strong existing trade programs

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s decision to have the city lead the creation of a regional export strategy by this summer aims to maintain metro Atlanta’s standing among the world’s competitive alpha trade centers.

The end result is to be a stronger regional economy. Ancillary benefits would include cultural and other aspects of metro life.

Georgia already has achieved measurable gains in its international status, according to an intriguing 2012 report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that hasn’t received much local attention.
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Stadium deal: A briar patch with free tickets, wary partners, hardened blight

The Atlanta City Council really doesn’t want to be thrown into the briar patch when it comes to its role in the deal for a new Falcons stadium.

As council members realized Thursday, they have no choice but to find a way through the thorny thicket of a deal that they inherited this year from the Georgia Legislature. Their meeting was scheduled for two hours and it lasted five and a half.

A lot of fur went flying. Such as – Why is Invest Atlanta slated to receive free tickets to events in the new stadium when other city entities are barred from accepting such items by Atlanta’s ethics rules?
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Atlanta’s role in stadium may become clearer Wednesday; council’s role suggests use of Westside TAD

The Atlanta City Council is to receive its first official briefing on the proposed deal to build a new Falcons stadium Wednesday at a meeting of its Finance Committee.

The presentation may reveal the city’s possible role in providing at least $100 million in financing for the planned stadium. Representatives of the mayor’s office, Falcons, and Georgia World Congress Center Authority, are expected to discuss topics including the authority and the hotel/motel tax.

One reason the council may be asked to vote on the stadium deal is to approve any financing that Mayor Kasim Reed may suggest be provided to develop the stadium or the surrounding area through the city’s Westside Tax Allocation District – which had a reported fund balance of $95 million in 2011. The city’s other, more likely, sources of major stadium funding are not typically overseen by the council.
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Despite lower bonding limits, new Atlanta Falcons stadium would receive same amount of hotel-motel taxes

It’s time to set the record straight.

Reducing the bonding capacity on the proposed $1 billion Atlanta Falcons stadium from $300 million to $200 million will not impact the amount of taxes that will be invested in the project.

The amount of hotel-motel taxes that would be invested in the project was determined nearly three years ago when the General Assembly agreed to extend the hotel-motel tax collected in the City of Atlanta and in unincorporated Fulton County.
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Clark Atlanta’s enrollment spells trouble for finance venture for student housing by Invest Atlanta, CAU

Deteriorating conditions at Clark Atlanta University may force a company that’s comprised of Atlanta’s development arm and CAU to close, according to the latest audit of Invest Atlanta.

According to bondview.com, ADA/CAU Partners, Inc. already is in technical default of bonds it issued for more than $50 million to finance the construction of student housing. The company has depleted its reserve funds and had to borrow from its insurer to make its payment last year, according to the audit of Invest Atlanta.

The Invest Atlanta audit includes this cautionary statement about the partnership between Invest Atlanta and CAU: “Should the company’s operations not improve, the company might not be able to continue as a going concern.”
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Invest Atlanta to use view from 29th floor offices to spur job creation

Atlanta’s development authority, Invest Atlanta, is open for business in new office space that offers a panoramic view of the city and region.

Invest Atlanta now fills the 29th floor of the Georgia-Pacific Center. The modern architecture is a far cry from the exposed brick-and-beam look of the old space, so popular among start-ups at the end of the 20th century.

The new space is all about gleaming fixtures and views that intend to convey a confident message about Atlanta’s future. The look speaks to the agency’s renewed focus on creating jobs, as opposed to incentivizing development.
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