Jim Irwin, New City’s president, said after discussions with the board that it was best pause to provide Invest Atlanta officials with more information about the project.
“Basically, it became clear to us in the discussions leading up to the board meeting, because of the complexity of the project, there were still a lot of unanswered questions,” Irwin said. “It’s appropriate to allow for more time to sit and answer these questions and help everyone understand what we’re proposing today.”
The requested tax break, known as an abatement, is a rare move for a project along the Beltline. Critics said it flies in the face of how the Beltline was envisioned. That’s because the Beltline is supposed to pay for itself using future tax revenue generated by new development and appreciating property values.
When the city started the Beltline, it created a special taxing district that’s designed to take long-term gains in property values triggered by new development and investing those dollars into the trail, parks, future transit and affordable housing.
Critics said the project’s public benefits, including a plaza connecting the project to the Beltline, pedestrian improvements and a new street grid, were not enough to justify the incentive.
“We seem to have a consensus that these kinds of handouts aren’t appropriate anymore,” said Bill Bozarth, an Invest Atlanta board member.
More as this story develops…