Gainesville City Council on Tuesday approved about $4.5 million in public financing for several new developments and renovations planned for the downtown square and West Academy Street perimeter, including funds to expand the downtown parking deck by two levels.
Carroll Daniel Construction, which is receiving about $500,000 in tax allocation district financing to construct its new headquarters along Main Street, was the low bidder for the parking deck expansion project.
City Council will use $1.5 million in TAD financing to support this expansion, which will connect to a mixed-use retail and condominium development planned for the “fourth side of the square.”
That $20 million project, known as Parkside on the Square, is considered a centerpiece and when completed would pay a combined $239,728 in city, county and school taxes annually.
However, that money will first be used to finance the project to the tune of about $2.5 million, meaning property taxes are effectively deferred for about 10 years. TAD funding accounts for 12 percent of the total project cost.
Gainesville has two tax allocation districts — the midtown area and Lakeshore Mall — wherein increments in property taxes resulting from new growth are reinvested in properties.
According to the city’s website, “In simple terms, the increased property taxes that would be generated by a development’s improvements are temporarily used to fund those improvements. Once the improvements are paid for, a development’s taxes are then distributed traditionally.”
According to city staff reports, the TAD increment generated from Carroll Daniel’s building “will be utilized to pay the debt service (on the parking deck expansion) until a total of $1,500,472 has been accumulated.”
Other projects given the OK for TAD financing include about $42,000 for renovations to the Troy Millikan law office off West Academy Street to turn it into a restaurant, and $74,000 for JOMCO Contractors to renovate a building off Main Street.
About $7,500 from the TAD fund will also be spent to pay the Bleakly Advisory Group, an Atlanta-based firm that both provided analysis of applications for TAD financing for the city and also prepared and submitted the application for the private developer of the Parkside on the Square project.
The TAD financing approved Tuesday, according to officials, totals more than has been allocated since the financing mechanism was born about 12 years ago.