Chamblee approves tax break to relocate healthcare HQ with more than 500 jobs

This is a rendering of the proposed PruittHealth headquarters in Chamblee.

Credit: City of Chamblee

Credit: City of Chamblee

This is a rendering of the proposed PruittHealth headquarters in Chamblee.

A healthcare company received a $6 million tax break to help relocate its headquarters from Norcross to Chamblee, bringing nearly 530 employees with it.

The Chamblee Downtown Development Authority approved a tax abatement last Tuesday for PruittHealth Inc.’s new headquarters, which will be located on a 2.8-acre property across the street from the Chamblee MARTA station. Developed by Greenstone Properties, the project is expected to increase the property’s current value of about $3 million to nearly $66 million.

PruittHealth, which specializes in long-term healthcare, is currently located in Norcross, but it’s been aiming to move to 5238 Peachtree Road in Chamblee since 2019. Laura Linman, the city’s economic development director, said the tax break was an incentive to bring the hundreds of new jobs to Chamblee.

“One of our strategies for the city is to increase the daytime population with office users” Linman said. “The fact that they’re still able and willing to bring that many jobs to the downtown area will help the economy as a whole. That was part of the reasoning behind the incentive.”

She said PruittHealth initially showed interest in Chamblee because of its proximity to MARTA and fairly close to its old headquarters location, meaning its employees likely wouldn’t have to move.

Chris Scott, a Greenstone Properties representative, previously told the DDA that PruittHealth decided to “hit the pause button” in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said they did that to take care of their nursing home patients, who were at high risk of coronavirus. Scott added that the company wanted to revisit how their office space should be reconfigured with social distancing and safety in mind.

PruittHealth plans a five-story building with a a modern architectural design that spans nearly 125,000 square feet. The development will be built in two phases over 10 years. A fitness center and a cafe, which will be open to the public, are included in the first phase. The second phase will include another 150,000 square feet of office space and a nearly 73,000-square-foot parking deck.

With the redesign, Scott said the company plans to take more advantage of the nearby MARTA station, shrinking the site’s planned parking lot. The initial plans included a parking lot with more than 500 parking spots, but that has now shrunk to fewer than 200.

When the DDA approved the tax abatement, they asked city staff to work with the developer to try to make at least 50 of those parking spots available to the public after normal work hours.

PruittHealth will not have to pay 65% of its property taxes until the $6 million abatement is fulfilled, which should take roughly nine years. Pruitt Health asked for a 55% savings rate, but the DDA opted for a higher rate to end the abatement more quickly.

“I think it’s a better project today than it was two years ago just based on its scope and its size,” DDA Chair Robert Smith said during last Tuesday’s meeting.

PruittHealth, which was founded in 1969, currently employs more than 13,000 employees across 180 locations in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas. It serves about 24,000 patients daily.