Tax breaks granted for apartments near Whole Foods, Northlake Mall

Property tax breaks are being awarded to build mixed-use apartment complexes near the planned 365 by Whole Foods Market outside Decatur and along I-285 in the city of Tucker.

The Decide DeKalb Development Authority voted unanimously to authorize the tax incentives earlier this month.

They're the latest in a series of tax benefits meant to lure businesses and create jobs in DeKalb.

Near the Whole Foods project, developer Terwilliger Pappas will receive an estimated $3.8 million discount on property taxes that would otherwise go to DeKalb's school system and government over the next 15 years. The developer plans to build 285 apartment units at a cost of $60 million.

The tax savings will help the developer pay for public improvements associated with the project, including street lights, wider sidewalks and public parks near the intersection of North Decatur Road and Church Street, said John Bell, a city partner for Terwilliger Pappas at the Aug. 11 Decide DeKalb Development Authority meeting.

A separate $1.8 million in tax incentives were previously approved in May for the Whole Foods grocery, restaurants and other retail portions of the development.

At the Tucker development, real estate company Fairfield Residential will receive about $2.4 million in property tax savings over the next 10 years. Fairfield Residential plans to build 210 multifamily units at a cost of $38.5 million near Northlake Mall on the site of the Old Hickory House, which will continue operating.

“The concept is to redevelop this entire quadrant of the Northlake area in hopes that will spur redevelopment throughout the Northlake corridor and Tucker in general,” said Tommy Brunson, a vice president for Fairfield Residential. “The goal is to have that serve as a catalyst.”

A separate development across the street will include Sprouts Farmers Market, Dick’s Sporting Goods, DSW and Ross stores, he said.

Both residential projects will be required to reserve 10 percent of their units for residents earning less than 80 percent of DeKalb’s median income.