A redevelopment for the former Gold Kist headquarters in Dunwoody’s Perimeter Center is projected to bring in $4.2 million in taxes and fees to the city, according to a May 20 Dunwoody Development Authority meeting.
Buckhead-based RocaPoint Partners and the New York company The Georgetown Company purchased the 13-acre property at 244 Perimeter Center Parkway last year. Before the purchase, the property had sat vacant for quite some time, but the developers have plans to turn it into a complex with a hotel, office space, and multiple restaurants.
The Development Authority, which is a government body that issues tax abatements for real estate projects, is prepared to offer a 68% tax abatement for the project over 15 years.
At the May 20 meeting, the developer presented a fiscal analysis performed by Georgia Tech. According to that analysis, the project is expected to bring in about $4.2 million to the city post-abatement, and about $2.8 million to the DeKalb County Board of Education. That money is expected to come from such revenue sources as sales taxes, property taxes, franchise fees, liquor license fees, alcoholic beverage taxes, fines, permit fees, and other miscellaneous fees.
The project is expected to create 1,800 jobs with an average salary of $85,000. The fiscal analysis estimates that the new employees will create about 333 new households within the county, bringing about 216 new students to the school district.
According to the fiscal impact study, real property improvements would total $256 million, with $195 million in Phase One of construction and $70 million in Phase Two.
Patrick Leonard of RocaPoint Partners said the developers plan to use the former Gold Kist headquarters building already on the lot, expanding and building around it to create a 12-acre walkable campus. The development would include a 145-room hotel, a parking deck, outdoor amenity space and four food and beverage offerings. The complex would also feature a rooftop “entertainment and conference space,” onsite bike storage, a fitness center, and would sit adjacent to a Dunwoody MARTA Station.
Leonard said the developer is targeting the office space at Fortune 500 and tech companies and has already started gaining some traction.
“We’ve had tours with large Fortune 500 companies. As we all know, they are looking for different things and unique things,” he said. “We also think it appeals to tech. We’re trying to compete with stuff that’s going into Midtown and other parts of Atlanta.”
Authority member Greg Killeen asked how much money would be spent on renovating the existing building versus new square footage. Jon Schmerin of The Georgetown Company said most of the cost would go towards creating “density” for the site.
“This is not apples to apples with that comparison [of] ‘I have an existing building that I’m trying to just enhance and I need a tax abatement,’” Schmerin said. “We’re trying to create a place, and a front door – that postcard we’ve talked about with you previously. That, unfortunately, is really expensive, but we think adds a tremendous amount to the community.”
Overall, the authority seemed excited about the project.
“I’m trying to find something wrong with this project,” said Chair Jonathan Sangster. “And I’m not.”
Sangster asked if the developers had yet talked to the Dunwoody City Council about the project. They said their plan was to speak with the Development Authority first to gauge their support level before moving onto the city. However, Leonard did say there are no zoning issues that he’s aware of.
The Development Authority did not make any decision regarding the tax abatement, but the project is expected to be before it at the next meeting.