The town’s TAD downtown was established in 2006 to inspire new developments in downtown Gainesville.
The TAD program allows developers and landowners to use the property tax payments they pay each year for property improvements that meet eligibility criteria and may have public use such as infrastructure, the streetscape or public amenities.
Once approved, developers can use the increases in the fund for site improvements. Essentially, the developer pays their entire property tax bill each year and receives an annual reimbursement for expenses eligible for the TAD.
Until a project receives its approved TAD funding, which can last for up to 15 years, the school district does not receive the additional tax revenue that the project generates. This means that if a residential project adds students to the district, the district must accommodate that child without additional tax revenue.
McNeal Development’s project, which will be built at the intersection of Queen City Parkway and Banks Street, was approved by Gainesville City Council in August, paving the way for a TAD application. The project will include a series of walking and biking trails that connect to the Highlands to Islands trail system and rooftop development of its three apartment buildings.
Stewart agreed with Williams, saying the school district would look after any additional children, but he couldn’t support the project.
“The construction we’re doing now is really catching up with the last 10 to 20 years,” said Stewart. “If the next 10 to 20 years look like they are now, we have other conversations that we need to start having with the board and with the community. “
Committee member Rob Fowler argued that the project is unlikely to attract many families.
“If they decide to start having kids, they’re going to be like a lot of professionals here, and they’re going to move into the community,” Fowler said.
About 65% of the 214 units will be studios or one-bedroom apartments, McNeal’s William Norris said, and that will not include apartments with more than two bedrooms. Studios will have a starting price range of $ 1,275 to $ 1,335 with high-end two-bedroom units costing up to $ 2,000 per month. Their target population is largely young professionals, Norris said, such as health system workers in northeast Georgia.
“We haven’t had any projects like this in the city,” said Williams, referring to both Midland Apartments and the National Downtown, which was recently approved for TAD $ 11 million in funding. dollars. “Part of our fear that we’ve seen in the city is how something was built or intended to be built 10 years later turns into a different goal. … While for the next 10 years there might not be students at a certain institution, all of a sudden we get 200-300 because they’re going to want rent.
Mayor Danny Dunagan, who is also on the committee, said the city will likely decide to set an expiration date for the downtown TAD soon. “He did his job,” Dunagan said.
The approval came with conditions requiring McNeal to build a dog park in the Midland Greenway area and his TAD would be completed in up to 12 years, although it is expected to generate the necessary property taxes in about eight years.
The project is expected to complete construction in 2023, and it will be estimated to be worth around $ 62 million, Hall County tax assessor Steve Watson said. According to its assessment, the project would be eligible for $ 11.3 million in TAD funds, and city officials said it was rare for an applicant to ask for less money than they were eligible for.