DeKalb County’s Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved the Market Square Tax Allocation District (TAD) for North DeKalb Mall and the nearby area, including North Druid Hills Road and Lawrenceville Highway.
According to a press release, DeKalb County and Decide DeKalb worked with public and private partners to create a vision for the redevelopment of the North DeKalb Mall area to spur economic development in this vital location that is similar to what other areas of DeKalb has experienced in recent years.
A TAD, also known as tax increment financing, is a tool that governments use to help generate new economic development in underdeveloped or distressed areas. Redevelopment costs are financed through the pledge of future incremental increases in property taxes generated by the resulting new development. TADs are created to promote economic development and TAD monies can be used to finance development that otherwise wouldn’t occur as well as to finance public infrastructure improvements to stimulate more activity in the district.
“Our vision is to encourage redevelopment of outdated commercial areas into modern uses for this district,” said Decide DeKalb Development Authority President Dorian DeBarr. “We’re thrilled that the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved the TAD, which fits into the goals set out by the 2050 DeKalb Unified Plan. We’re excited to work with EDENS, the new owner of North DeKalb Mall, to spur economic development in this district.”
EDENS’ redevelopment of North DeKalb Mall is the centerpiece of Market Square TAD, which has a potential appraised redevelopment value of $625 million on the site that’s currently appraised at $16.2 million. This project, along with redevelopment projects in the TAD could be worth $806 million in new property value, on what currently is valued at $40.5 million.
“We are excited to partner with DeKalb County and Decide DeKalb in this effort to revitalize and reinvigorate the spirit of what North DeKalb Mall has meant to the community,” said Herbert Ames, EDENS Senior VP Regional Lead, Southeast Region, said in the press release.
DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader was a champion of the project that impacts District 2 constituents. “Working with Decide DeKalb and their consultants to identify a necessary and applicable finance mechanism that would exceed public expectations was the goal. I am confident Market Place TAD will help revitalize central DeKalb in a meaningful way,” he said in the press release.
“The passage of Market Square TAD creates opportunity for the North DeKalb community to thrive and flourish like it once did and I’m happy to support Decide DeKalb in the revitalization of this area,” DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry said in the release.
The Market Square TAD will help fund infrastructure improvements ranging from transportation and mobility enhancements to affordable housing, parks and landscaping, and lighting.
DeKalb County is also looking at other major enhancements in the area, which include developing a county-wide greenway and multi‐use trail; improving bicycle and pedestrian connectivity; redeveloping vacant structures and parcels along North Druid Hills Road and Lawrenceville Highway; providing capital improvements for schools within the TAD area, and more investment in affordable and workforce housing.