October 26, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2011
Contact: Sonya Moste, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Contact: Darlene Hawksley, Director of Real Estate & Business Engagement
State Awards Atlanta its Third Opportunity Zone
A Boost for Jobs at McPherson Research Park
This week, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) approved Atlanta’s Opportunity Zone application for the Fort McPherson sub-area, a 488-acre military base closed last month by the U.S. Army and now in the jurisdiction of the City of Atlanta. Earlier this year, DCA approved the first two zones; Southside Industrial Park and Ponce City Market (formerly City Hall East). Thirty other zones in the city were a part of the original application to DCA and are awaiting approval. The application process was extensive and involved collaboration among various groups including the Atlanta Development Authority, the City’s Planning Department and Georgia Power.
Opportunity Zones are an important state redevelopment tool that provide local companies with increased incentives and benefits for job creation. An Opportunity Zone allows companies located within its boundaries to receive $3,500 per job per year for five years: a total of $17,500, for every net new job created. Any legal business entity creating two or more jobs within one year could qualify for these credits.
The McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority, Inc. (MILRA) is actively marketing the site and hopes to announce the first tenant sometime next year. They are also seeking opportunities for private or joint development on the site in accordance with the approved master plan. Fort McPherson is located within the city’s Campbellton Road Tax Allocation District, a district that offers tax increment financing to private developers and can be used to defray public infrastructure costs.
According to MILRA’s executive director, Jack Sprott, “Obviously, these tools are valuable and lay the foundation for us to attract businesses to Fort McPherson and the City of Atlanta. Of more immediate importance, the federal law that supports the conveyance of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) properties to local authorities focuses on job creation and job creation is at the heart of the Opportunity Zone legislation.”
The site will include 21 acres for a Veterans Affairs clinic and 153 acres for green space. Three commercial buildings, previously used by the Army, offer more than 750,000 square feet of space available for occupancy as early as Spring 2012. The remaining 314 acres will be available for sale to private developers or to be joint-ventured.
The site plan also includes the development of a science and technology center, a 113-acre district dedicated to research and innovation in the life sciences that leverages Atlanta’s strengths in the areas of vaccines, infectious disease and neuroscience. The concept, developed in collaboration with the University System of Georgia, the Governor’s Office, the Georgia Research Alliance and others, is expected to create 3.5 million square feet of lab, office, medical and conference space.
“There is no better urban redevelopment opportunity anywhere in the country,” says Brian McGowan, president and CEO for the Atlanta Development Authority. “The McPherson site is location halfway between the world’s busiest passenger airport and downtown Atlanta and combined with aggressive job creation incentives makes this a sure win for investors, residents and the local economy. The McPherson Research Park has the potential to differentiate Atlanta from the rest of the nation and catapult our region into position as a global leader of 21st century medical innovation.”
ABOUT MCPHERSON IMPLEMENTING LOCAL REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
The McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority, Inc., is responsible for implementing the reuse of a 488-acre former military base site in southwest Atlanta. MILRA will control and manage the site and sell parcels for private development or joint venture in accordance with the approved master plan. Board members of the Authority include representatives from the City of Atlanta, City of East Point, Fulton County and the State of Georgia. The U.S. Army’s Base Closure and Realignment Commission voted to close Fort McPherson in 2005. Visit www.mcphersonredevelopment.com to download a copy of the master plan.
ABOUT ATLANTA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
The Atlanta Development Authority is the official economic development agency for the city of Atlanta. ADA represents intown Atlanta, which has a population of 420,000 and growing. ADA is a research-based economic development organization, focused on residential, business and investment growth in the city. Visit www.atlantada.com.