Atlanta agency greenlights $5 million tax break for Tech Square build

By Maggie Lee

The board of Invest Atlanta has approved a deal worth $5 million in property tax breaks over 10 years to a Portman Holdings building that’s planned on West Peachtree Street.

A sketch of the plan for 172 West Peachtree. Rendering from Invest Atlanta

A sketch of the plan for 712 West Peachtree. Rendering from Invest Atlanta

The 345,000 square foot building should attract tenants that will employ about 2,333 people at 712 West Peachtree Street, according to Invest Atlanta, the city’s development agency.

Property tax discounts are something that the city, trying to attract more jobs, regularly gives to developers.

It’s a net gain for the city, said Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta.

“Even with the incentive, we still are getting an increase in taxes,” she told the board on Thursday morning, ahead of the vote.

Right now, there’s a bank there, and the property tax bill for the site came to about $100,000 in 2018.  Once the big building is built, its first 10 years of tax bills together will come to something like $13.2 million.

But such deals often bring some discomfort too.

“The concern I have is the abatement of $5 million of property tax on property that’s in a very prosperous part of the city,” said board member Bill Bozarth. He said it’s time to look at the philosophy of providing these kinds of abatements, as they do take away from the city, the county and schools.

“The other concern is: if we’re going to reward jobs, I’m certainly more comfortable rewarding the provider of the jobs instead of the provider of the real estate where the jobs might be housed,” Bozarth said.

The board voted to approve the deal with several members absent and Bozarth dissenting.

712 West Peachtree Inducement Fact Sheet

Invest Atlanta Portman (712 West Peachtree) – Inducement Resolution_70814732_4

In other board actions:

  • Approval of a $2 million loan from the BeltLine Affordable Housing Trust Find to Parkside at Quarry Yards. The development over at Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway near Banhkead MARTA will include 177 units. Of that, 71 units will be priced so that they’re affordable to families making less than the area median income. (The definition is 60 percent of AMI, meaning a family of four earning about $40,000 or so. In rent terms, that means, say, a three-bedroom apartment renting at $881 per month. More rent details here.)
  • Approval of a property tax abatement worth $5.28 million over 10 years for a property by Banyan Street Capital, LLC. It’ll be an apartment building at 161 Peachtree Center, over a parking deck. This vote was a bit of a formality, as board had approved the concept in June.
The facade of the old Crum & Forster Building in Midtown. 712 West Peachtree is adjacent to it. Credit: Kelly Jordan

The facade of the old Crum & Forster Building in Midtown. 712 West Peachtree is adjacent to it. Credit: Kelly Jordan

A sign for Quarry Yards, a development going up on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. Credit: Kelly Jordan

A sign for Quarry Yards, a development going up on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. Credit: Kelly Jordan

Maggie Lee is a freelance reporter who's been covering Georgia and metro Atlanta government and politics since 2008.

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