Sembler may seek abatements to help leasing of Town Brookhaven

The Sembler Co. is considering asking the Development Authority of DeKalb County to increase the 10-year property tax abatement on Town Brookhaven to 20 years to help entice new retailers and provide an incentive for committed retailers to follow through on their letters of intent.

Sembler thinks the additional tax breaks, valued at $51 million for the developer, are necessary in a tough retail market in which consumers have cut back on spending.

The tax abatements would make it easier for Sembler to offer rent reductions and other concessions retail tenants are seeking.

According to the Town Brookhaven site plan and recent announcements, Sembler hopes to lure Publix, LA Fitness, Books-A-Million, PetSmart, Marshall’s, Cobb Theater cinema and Costco to the $400 million, 54-acre multiuse development near Oglethorpe University on Peachtree Road.

Kai Med Spa plans to open its largest store in the center, according to owner Grace Choung.

Town Brookhaven’s plans call for 50 specialty shops and 24 restaurants.

Sembler would seek the abatement on the retail portion of the project and on one of the apartment complexes. That would amount to tax breaks on about half the project acreage.

Tax abatements or exemptions eliminate tax increases or otherwise reduce property taxes for specific properties for a designated period to stimulate public benefit.

Even with the additional tax abatements, DeKalb apparently could receive $59 million in taxes and other revenue generated by Town Brookhaven. DeKalb would still collect sales taxes, some property taxes and business license fees.

The abatement would not affect tax revenue for the public school system.

Church to host bimonthly job networking

St. James United Methodist Church at 4400 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, in Buckhead close to the DeKalb and Sandy Springs borders, is hosting networking meetings for job seekers the second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 309.

The networking sessions are open to the public. Job seekers and those who simply want to network are invited the meetings, coordinated by Mark Clegg and Richard Wildman.

“It seems that there are a great number of churches who offer job-seeking services outside the Perimeter,” Clegg said. “But St. James will be one of the few in the greater Buckhead community to provide job networking opportunities.”

Parking is behind the church off Loridans Drive. For more information, go to www.stjamesatlanta.org.

Fido Fido wins Perimeter business award

Fido Fido Dog Daycare was the winner of the B2B CFO Small Business of the Year Award when the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce handed out its inaugural Small Business Council Awards during on April 20 at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North hotel.

The runner-up for the top award was Bean Head Toys. Also nominated were Flavor Cafe & Bakery, Lefco Renovations and Nancy G’s Cafe & Bistro. The criteria for the award included revenue growth, number of customers, quality of service or product, success within the marketplace and the role the business plays in the community.

Chamber board member Ron Comacho, who serves on the Small Business Council, said in presenting the awards: “For dog owners in the crowd familiar with Fido Fido, it is common knowledge that they stand above much of the local competition.”

The winner of the Keller Williams Community Service Award was SR Walker Designs, topping fellow nominees Kai Med Spa and the Sandy Springs Reporter.

Trio Media Group won the Comcast Fast Business Award for the use of technology. Firefly Creative also was nominated.