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Kroger proposed in Cobb approved for $35M bond deal and a tax break

A Kroger set to anchor a proposed $120 million mixed-use development on the former Brumby Elementary site got news last week that’s almost better than BOGO ice cream.

Cobb County’s development authority approved a bond package for the entire price of the grocery store, $35 million, and a 10-year tax abatement on Tuesday. The deal still needs blessings from the county tax assessor’s office and a superior court judge.

Nelson Geter, head of the authority, said Kroger will pay no taxes on the property its first year, then 10 percent the next year, 20 percent the third and so on until it is fully taxable by its 11th year. This is a common tax abatement throughout Georgia.

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The store will bring new money to the tax rolls, Geter said. Public school properties, like Brumby, are exempt from being taxed. The 50-year-old elementary school will now be in a new building on Terrell Mill Road.

The new Kroger is expected to create 140 new jobs with average salaries of $24,000 a year.

The 95,000-square-foot store will be similar to the Smyrna location at South Cobb Drive and Concord Road. It’ll have a drive-thru pharmacy, fuel pumps and grocery pick-up.

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A rendering of the proposed Marketplace Terrell Mill (Courtesy of Garvis Sams)
A rendering of the proposed Marketplace Terrell Mill (Courtesy of Garvis Sams)

The development it will anchor is Marketplace Terrell Mill, a 24-acre development set to include nearly 300 apartments, climate-controlled storage units and room for a few retail stores or restaurants.

Brian Fratesi, vice president of Connolly Investment and Development, said it took his company four years to buy all the parcels needed to make the project possible.

That timing isn’t coincidental.

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"The Braves stadium was a big catalyst for redevelopment," Fratesi said, referring to SunTrust Park and its attached multi-use behemoth The Battery Atlanta announced in late 2013.

He said Kroger had been looking at that area, “the gateway to East Cobb,” for years, but the Braves moving a couple miles away spurred on the development of Marketplace.

The existing Kroger store on Delk Road, about 1,200 feet away from the proposed store, will close. It does not have the amenities the new store is set to offer.

But that’s years away.

Construction on everything except the Kroger will start in August or September, Fratesi said, and that will take 18 to 24 months. After that, he estimates construction of the grocery store will take the same amount of time.

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