Development Authority gives nod to tax break for mixed-use project

Lewis Walker

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DUNWOODY, Ga. – The Dunwoody Development Authority took the first step that would allow a 50 percent tax abatement on a proposed 14-story mixed-use development in Perimeter Center.

The approval for an inducement, which will spur a memorandum of understanding spelling out the 10-year abatement, passed 4-2 by the board Feb. 18 after more than an hour of discussion.

The project will sit on nearly 3 acres at 84 Perimeter Center East and will include 40,000 square feet of retail, 225 age-restricted apartments and a parking garage. Previous plans called for a hotel on the site, but the onset of the global pandemic forced developers to switch their focus.

Several members on the Development Authority questioned whether or not there is a demand for over-55 apartments in Dunwoody. John DiGiovanni, president of Inland Atlantic Development Co., said he thinks the facility will draw well.

“These are people who don’t want to own a condo or live in a place like the Manhattan (a high-rise development in the Perimeter Center area), but maybe want to travel and not bother with maintaining something,” DiGiovanni said. “We think there is a large chunk of people who already live in the Dunwoody market. Dunwoody is a very desirable place to live.”

DiGiovanni said estimates place the cost for the multi-family housing at about $61 million, with retail coming in around $26 million, and the parking garage totaling about $3 million.

“The question is, ‘Do we think this is a project that we want to support and is best for the city of Dunwoody?’” Authority Board Chair Jon Sangster asked of the panel after the lengthy discussion.

Board member Bill McCahan said other potential uses for the property “seem to be slim and none,” and he moved to support the abatement.

The final vote was 4-2, with board members Cheryl Strickland, Terri Polk, McCahan and Sangster voting in favor. Susan Mitchell and Greg Killeen were opposed. Board member Jeff Ackemann was absent.

“We want to deliver the best quality product for the city of Dunwoody,” DiGiovanni said after the vote.

The passage of the inducement is one of several steps that must be achieved before the project can break ground. The land requires a rezoning from C-1 Conditional (commercial) to PC-2 (Perimeter Center District).

In addition, there are 20 conditions that must be addressed, including elimination of the established 15-foot setback and reduction of the impervious coverage of the land from 65 percent to 85 percent.

These conditions and changes were to be considered at the Dunwoody City Council’s Feb. 22 meeting.

In other action, the Development Authority re-appointed Sangster as chairman of the board and Ackemann the vice-chair.

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