The special tax district proposed to aid a mega-development near the Mall of Georgia has cleared its final hurdle.
The Gwinnett County Board of Education approved Thursday night the creation of the so-called Exchange at Gwinnett Tax Allocation District, or TAD. The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners had already offered its support last week.
The TAD will cover a 103-acre site where developer Jeff Fuqua wants to build a $350-million project that would include 1,000 apartments and scores of dining, retail and entertainment options. The project is pitched for the southeast corner of Ga. 20 and I-85, just across the interstate from the Mall of Georgia.
The often controversial TAD process involves freezing a property’s tax value for a number of years and allowing a developer to use would-be property tax funds to help with their project. The idea is that an initial sacrifice in tax collections paves the way for long-term gains from projects that might not happen without the help.
Fuqua requested the TAD be created to offset costs associated with “inadequate infrastructure” on the site. The developer argued that the property is filled with rock, water and a ravine, and will require sewer connections to be run under the interstate.
Those conditions have made previous development on the site untenable, making it an ideal place for a TAD, supporters argued.
The Exchange at Gwinnett development is proposed to include 1.6 million square feet of offerings, including a hotel, food hall, brewery, CineBistro dine-in movie theater, and a Top Golf location. The addition of Andretti Indoor Karting and Games was announced last month.
Fuqua said last week that around $25 million in anticipated TAD funding would help the entire project go up within about two years.