An investigation that year by the AJC also found a culture of loose financial controls at the authority, leading to an overhaul of DAFC’s board and board policies and directors who passed fewer tax breaks.
But in recent months, the DAFC board has again considered awards that have proven controversial, particularly within the city limits.
No request created more controversy than Quality Technology Services asking the DAFC in April for $45 million in tax savings for a data center expansion that was already under construction. QTS withdrew the request after stark public backlash, including more than 100 written comments in opposition.
New data center
The largest of the three projects to be considered Tuesday is a data center campus at the Tilford Yard property, a former railyard owned by CSX.
Three affiliates of the data center developer Edged Energy are seeking more than $32 million in property tax savings for three-building data center valued at $1.5 billion.
When CSX owned the property, it was exempt from property taxes. The new development will generate more than $68 million in property taxes to the city, Fulton County and city schools over the next decade after taking the tax abatement into account.
The affiliates of Edged Energy, which did not respond to the AJC’s request for comment, acquired the 55-acre site in March for $94.1 million from Atlanta-based TPA Group, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
The data center is proposed to have a low carbon-footprint due to “energy-efficient equipment.” DAFC Chairman Marty Turpeau said Edged Energy’s development “would be designed to use zero water for cooling and advanced electrical systems to minimize the environmental footprint.”
The developer plans to spend $37 million on infrastructure improvements and tax savings would be passed along to tenants within the data center, according to a DAFC document.
Eastside housing project
Maple Multifamily Land SE, a subsidiary of Trammell Crow Residential, is returning to DAFC seeking a $4.3 million tax abatement for a housing project along the Beltline’s Eastside trail. The project was deferred from consideration last month.
The developer plans 230 apartments and a 337-space parking deck on a 1.8-acre plot along Edgewood Avenue and Ezzard Street. The project also includes preserving two historic buildings.
In exchange for the tax abatement, the developer said it will reserve 23 apartments for residents who make 60% of the area median income, a minimum requirement for new construction near the Beltline. DAFC Executive Director Sarah-Elizabeth Langford previously told the AJC that her office was in discussions with the developer to increase the number of affordable units by 25%, but that was not reflected in Tuesday’s agenda.
However, Turpeau said the developer agreed to provide the affordable units “in perpetuity” rather than having them revert to market-rate units when the 10-year abatement expires. Trammell Crow did not respond to requests for comment.
Westside mixed-use project
Woodfield Acquisition, an arm of Atlanta-based Woodfield Development, is requesting about $3.5 million in tax savings for a mixed-use project along the Beltline’s Westside trail near Murphy Crossing.
Woodfield has proposed 326 apartments, 20,000 square feet of commercial space and 1,500 square feet of co-working and community space.
A fifth of the apartments will be reserved for affordable housing, a third more than Beltline requirements. At least 5% of affordable units will be held for residents making between 30% and 50% of the area median income, while the other 15% will go to those making 80% or less of that figure.
Woodfield did not respond to a request for comment, but Turpeau said the company needs the tax savings in order to make the affordable units possible and is “committed with DAFC’s assistance to go above and beyond what is required under applicable law.”
Development Authority of Fulton County meeting
The board’s meeting is at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the DAFC’s conference room at 141 Pryor Street SW, suite 2052. It will be available to stream on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/s/86783512933?pwd=anFnb1ZWSVllWDUxQS9wQVQ3eWFjQT09.