Monday, September 21, 2009

DeKalb Pondering a Purchase of GM Site

Big news about the GM plant site — councilman Bob Roche of Doraville just confirmed this weekend that DeKalb County is considering a purchase of the site in partnership with a developer.

The implications of the development deal are big. According to councilman Roche, the city will no longer have any zoning power over the former GM property, and will lose tax revenue from it (several hundred thousand a year). It will be effectively de-annexed from the city (although Doraville will still set closing times and other similar ordinances). The county has suggested that they can patrol the site using DeKalb Police, therefore not taxing Doraville police forces.

The developer is New Broadstreet, based out of Orlando. The company’s president, David Pace, helped develop Disney’s Celebration USA outside Disney World. The company’s website says it is committed to New Urbanist principles — which include walkable neighborhoods, and mixed-use developments that adhere to the work-live-play philosophy.

The prospect of getting New Broadstreet involved in Doraville is a potentially very good thing
for city, and could help them achieve some quality development that they have been missing for a long time. A main concern is that the county has not yet announced its intentions and as Bob Roche said: Once they own the property, they could put a smelting plant there if they wanted.

In light of the GM plant being considered as a potential site of the Atlanta Falcons, will the City of Dunwoody make a move to annex the GM plant site? Seems to be a gamble with the winner potentially receiving untold amounts of sales tax dollars.

Dunwoody North


Anonymous said...

Then, wouldn't that be an unincorporated island? If so, those are unallowed by Georgia Law. Unincorporated land has to be connected to other unincorpated land not on an island within a municipality. Remember, Fulton issued an order years ago for cities with islands to annex them.

I think the county and Doraville could work together on something for that site. There are several possibilities but the main thing that needs to be consider is infrastructure. PIB clogs daily around 285, Buford Hwy is a logjam, so these things need to be considered.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear DeKalb has money for this kind of purchase! I thought the county was suffering financially! I was worried the county broke when you hear about the loss of sick checks, the loss of paid holidays, the threat of furloughs, the fact that some county employees are forced to work in offices with leaking roofs and mold growing around them! Wow, don't I feel stupid now!