Midtown to benefit from $314 million bond deal Atlanta provided NCR to build, equip campus

By David Pendered

Midtown took a major step Thursday in its evolution into a hub of high tech business when Atlanta’s development arm approved the issuance of up to $314 million in bonds to help fund the construction and equipping of the future global headquarters of NCR Corp.

Midtown, Peachtree Street

Atlanta’s development arm approved $314 million in financing for NCR’s move to Midtown, where some of the company’s employees likely will shop, dine, and pick a home in a condo along Peachtree Street. Credit: David Pendered

Atlanta’s development officials view NCR as a potential transformer of the city’s residential and business communities.

For starters, construction costs of NCR’s campus are estimated at $260 million. That represents a lot of materials and labor. The city provided NCR with $28 million for equipment, which will have to be purchased and transported into NCR’s global headquarters.

Eloisa Klementich, managing director of business development for Invest Atlanta, the city’s development arm, said the agency intends to encourage NCR to hire some workers who pass through Atlanta Workforce Development Agency.

Once the employees move into the new offices, they’ll bring significant salaries that could boost the nearby retail and real estate markets.

The average annual salary is $70,000 for the 3,600 employees that NCR intends to place in the building, according to Invest Atlanta’s projections. City officials hope to convince a number of those well-paid employees to reside in the city.

“We expect construction to be complete in 2017,” Klementich said at Thursday’s meeting of the board that oversees Invest Atlanta. “In the meantime, we’ll be working with AWDA and housing during their transition.”

The funding transaction is more complicated than many that Invest Atlanta handles.

Eloisa Klementich

Eloisa Klementich

The project required the board to approve four resolutions. The project has two phases and two lessees:

Phase 1:

Phase 2:

Invest Atlanta is to make payments on the bonds with money received from rent and other payments, according to terms of the bond.

Terms do not appear to mention any claw-back provisions due to Invest Atlanta in the event that NCR does not create the number of jobs anticipated.

NCR locator map

NCR intends to build a campus of about 500,000 square feet in Midtown, south of 8th Street between Spring and Williams streets. Credit: investatlanta.com

This is the description of the project that’s provided in the bond resolution for $210 million, which represents the largest issuance in the deal. Invest Atlanta is entering a lease agreement:

  • “With Cousins Spring & 8th Streets LLC, a Georgia limited liability company (the “Company”), under the terms of which the Issuer agrees to issue its revenue bonds for the purpose of paying the costs of the costs of the acquisition, construction and equipping of one or more office buildings consisting of approximately 500,000 rentable square feet and related parking deck located on an approximately 2.9 acre site at Technology Square in the City of Atlanta, Georgia (the “Project”), to be constructed by the Company and leased to the Company for subsequent sublease to NCR Corporation (“NCR”) as the first phase of its North American headquarters, in the City, all as is more fully set forth in the Lease Agreement, and the Company agrees to pay to the Issuer specified rents and other payments which will be fully sufficient to pay the principal of, the redemption premium (if any) and the interest on the Bonds hereinafter authorized as the same become due and to pay certain administrative expenses in connection with said bonds;”

In addition to Atlanta’s incentive to lure NCR to the city from Gwinnett County, the state of Georgia is making its Opportunity Zone job tax credits available to the company. The maximum job tax credit is $3,500 per job. The credit is taken against the business’s state income tax liability and payroll withholding tax, according to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Invest Atlanta’s projections indicate the project is well worth the effort to negotiate the complexity.

The development is projected to generate $2.3 million in the first year property tax, with the bond. The current property taxes amount to $93,178, according to Invest Atlanta.

Over a 10-year period, the project is expected to generate total property taxes of $37.9 million with the bond.

 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

3 replies
  1. InfraredGuy says:

    A few points here
    1 Invest Atlanta like most Government groups that have unlimited access to taxpayer debt ( and Bonds ARE taxpayer debt )  always over promise and under deliver.
    2 Invest Atlanta nor any of the City Bureaucrats will ever admit responsibility if in the long haul the results of bond debt for NCR does not pan out. 
    3 Key words in this article are ” No Claw Back ” which means if the numbers don’t add up its ” So what, lets go on to the next big deal ” 
    4 If NCR thinks that this City location is so great, why do they need 314 million loaned to them by the County/City taxpayers? 
    5 If there are all these high paying jobs coming, does anyone in their right mind think the employees will send any kids they have to the APS ? Does anyone think that many highly paid employees will pay the big tax burden, put up with high crime rates and poor services just to live downtown?Report

    Reply
  2. atlman says:

    InfraredGuy
    So I see that you have come over from  your identical handle on AJC.com. A few rebuttals.

    1) Did you care when George W. Bush did the same for eight years, or his brother did the same as eight years as governor of Florida? Do you care as much about the MANY questionable deals that Nathan Deal has made in his time as governor? Or is it right when your side does it but wrong when the other side does it? For example: are you as outraged over some of the deals that Nathan Deal has negotiated, where the amount of tax credits and other incentives actually wound up being more than the salaries of the jobs “created”? Are you happy or sad that Deal’s attempt to bribe (China’s) Volvo to Savannah failed? 

    2) See 1. Do you hold your side to the same standard?

    3) Again, see 1 and 2. When you care as much about the hundreds of billions in no-bid contracts that were given out to Bush cronies to rebuild Iraq for work that was never done or done shoddily, then I will actually believe that it is good government and proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars that you care about. Jeb Bush: more of the same. And I know of what I speak … I was in Florida attending college during much of Bush’s tenure. Bush “privatized” many Florida agencies and services, and then handed out the contracts to do the work formerly being done by the state on a no-bid basis to friends and contributors, claiming that the bidding process would be too time-consuming and inefficient (which was the same excuse that his brother used for the no-bid Iraq contracts). Many of Jeb’s contractors did terrible work, including delivering fewer services than the state did. Many more charged the state MUCH MORE than the state was paying previously when it did the work. What is your position? Good for when your guys like Nathan Deal do it but bad when the Democrats do it? Why is that?

    4) Ask the same question to your governor Deal. If this state is so great, why does the Deal administration have to hand out so many tax incentives and other special favors? Also, by the way, Gwinnett County also paid a package of incentives to get the (long financially struggling) NCR to relocate there from Ohio in the first place. But Gwinnett County is run by Republicans so it was OK when they did it, right?

    5) Are you shocked to find out that about 50% of the country is different from you? 50% of the country does not mind living in urban areas and has no problem with mayors and other leaders being, er, nonwhite. This includes places like Boston, Bridgeport Connecticut, San Francisco (and its nearby Silicon Valley), Seattle, Portland, Denver and a bunch of other places with much higher average salaries, far better schools and higher educational attainment than the (giggle!) Atlanta suburbs. NCR is only one of many companies moving to midtown and downtown Atlanta. Coca-Cola moved their IT operations (and about 1500 high paying jobs) from Cobb County to Midtown over a year ago. Google has offices in Midtown and Decatur, a major reason why they chose Atlanta for their second round of Google Fiber expansion. Worldpay, AthenaHealth and a bunch of other IT and healthcare companies are moving to midtown and downtown. And this is why Atlanta is undergoing a housing boom, nearly $1 billion in new or committed projects for high end condos to accommodate the high income people who are moving or plan to move into that area. News flash: many of them are already graduates of Georgia Tech, Emory and Georgia State so they are already well-acquainted with the area. Many more are moving to Atlanta from other urban areas so they are well acquainted with the alleged crime, poor services, big tax burden etc that you are talking about. 
    Bottom line: blue state people exist, Infrared. Lots of them. Enough to elect Bill Clinton twice, give Al Gore the popular vote and elect Obama twice. And Atlanta is doing a pretty good job attracting them since Kasim Reed has been mayor. Peach Pundit had a blog last week showing that the population of Atlanta has increased by 35,000 people in the last 4 years. (While the population of a lot of the suburban areas is stagnant, and Georgia’s population growth overall is at a standstill … Tennessee had a larger population gain than Georgia did. So, eight years of Perdue and Deal really has this state booming, eh?.) And that will only increase as some of the projects that Invest Atlanta get completed over the next 4-8 years, i.e. turning Turner Field into a second campus for Georgia State, making Underground Atlanta into a shopping/residential area instead of a graffiti magnet, completing more phases on the Beltline and the streetcar, Tyler Perry relocating his studio from the suburbs (he has already put it up for sale) to Fort McPherson, etc. 

    Now  you can go cry in your … Perrier I guess … over Atlanta not cratering in and becoming the next Detroit like you and your Jim Crow nostalgic types hoped. Or … maybe red state Georgians and blue state Georgians should work TOGETHER for the common good of the state and get the entire state moving again like in the good old days. The suburban areas can work to make itself more attractive to companies looking for tax cuts and whatever other benefits that the suburbs offer (and the urban areas can help). The urban areas can continue its recent string of success (and the suburban areas can help). We did this in the past, infraredguy. The suburban and urban areas worked together to build the Georgia Dome, attract the Olympics, get all those defense contracts in Cobb County, and that is what helped spark the economic boom in the 1980s and 1990s. But of course … that all happened back when both the city and the state were run by Democrats. Hmmm … anyway … we can get back to that, with each side working to help the other get what it wants and needs for the suburbs to draw more right wingers and DeKalb/Fulton/Clayton working to draw more high income urbanites away from places like New York and California.

    Nathan Deal, to his credit, understands this. Which is why I supported his re-election despite his ethics issues. But I wish that more people in his party, more people like you, would engage your ability for higher reasoning also. If more people in this state were to support and elect people like Reed to run the urban areas and Deal to run the white areas, the only ones upset would be the A) folks who still want a return to Jim Crow on the right and B) the welfare rights activist crowd who run the Fulton County Commission (and apparently still write for this paper) who want places like Underground Atlanta, Fort McPherson, the Turner Field area etc. to continue to be filled with mostly people on public assistance on the other.Report

    Reply

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