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Gainesville City Council approves downtown, midtown developments
Gainesville Renaissance
The Gainesville Renaissance project is designed to have 15,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, 15,000 square feet of office space on the second floor and eight condominiums on the third floor. Brenau's psychology department is being elevated to a named school and will move into offices in the building.
Update: Jan. 7
Square development will get some tax incentives

A development with condominiums, retail and restaurants on the Gainesville square will be getting a boost from a city tax incentive program.

Gainesville Renaissance, which will be breaking ground on Spring Street this spring, will be receiving $2.95 million in funding from Gainesville’s Midtown Tax Allocation District. The city will also help pay for a pocket park between the development and the Hall County Courthouse, with the city and the developers each paying at least $150,000 and the city picking up the extra costs if it is more than $300,000 to build.

The Gainesville City Council approved the TAD funding for the development on Tuesday. Councilwoman Juli Clay, whose first meeting was Tuesday, abstained from voting on the item because she had not been present for previous discussions on it. All other council members were in favor.

The $2.95 million in TAD funding would be paid over 13 years, beginning when the certificate of occupancy for the building is issued.

The TAD program allows developers and property owners to use a property tax payments towards improvements at the property. Participating properties are taxed at the rate established in the TAD’s base year, which is 2006 for the midtown TAD. 

When the property is developed, its value increases, and so would its property tax payments. For properties in the TAD, the extra dollars paid in property taxes go into the TAD fund for an agreed upon period of time. Developers apply for funding and if approved can use increments from the fund for the improvements, usually over a period of three to 15 years, depending on the size of the investment.

Gainesville Renaissance will have 15,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space on the first floor, 15,000 square feet of office space on the second floor and eight condominiums on the third floor. It will be developed by Roddy Properties. Doug Ivester, a New Holland native and former Coca-Cola chairman, is an investor in Gainesville Renaissance LLP, the property owner since June 2019.

Rezoning approved for midtown development

Two midtown properties currently owned by the city were rezoned Tuesday, allowing for the construction of 400 apartments and retail or restaurant space.

The 6.8-acre property on the southern end of the Jesse Jewell Parkway pedestrian bridge and the 4-acre property at the intersection of Main Street and Parker Street were both rezoned to planned unit development. The city has selected Atlanta developer Terwilliger Pappas to develop the two properties.

The Jesse Jewell Parkway property will be the first phase of the project and will have 220 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space. The second phase will be at the Main Street property, formerly home to the Hall County Jail. That section of the development will have 180 apartments and 5,000  square feet of retail or restaurants.

The Jesse Jewell property will be sold for $5 million, half what the city paid for it in 2018. Terwilliger Pappas will then have the option to buy the former jail site for $3.6 million within 60 days of when the last certificate of occupancy for the first phase of the project is issued. 

The due diligence process for the sale is still ongoing.

Gainesville paid Hall County $7.2 million for the former jail site in 2012. The jail was demolished in 2017, and the property has been empty since then.

The rezoning for both properties was unanimously approved Tuesday.

Multimillion-dollar developments in midtown Gainesville are launching the city’s voting calendar in 2020.

The Gainesville City Council will be starting the year by voting on some developments that will change the face of downtown and midtown. Two midtown properties are up for rezoning for a mixed-use development, and the “fourth side of the square” project could be getting some tax incentives. Both projects could break ground this spring.

Rezoning for mixed-use development

A mixed-use development on two properties in midtown will be up for a vote from council members Tuesday.

The 6.8-acre site on the southern end of the Jesse Jewell Parkway pedestrian bridge and the 4-acre property at the intersection of Main and Parker streets, the former Hall County jail property, would both be rezoned to planned unit development. The Jesse Jewell property is now planned unit development and general business, and the Main Street property is now light industrial.

Atlanta developer Terwilliger Pappas was announced in September 2018 as the city’s choice to redevelop those two properties. Plans include 400 apartments and 15,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Monthly apartment rents would be about $1,500 to $1,600.

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board recommended approval of the rezoning on Dec. 10. The first phase of the project, the property on Jesse Jewell, could start construction in May and take two years to build, said Greg Power, Terwilliger Pappas’ executive vice president. The second phase would be at the Main Street property.

The city is the applicant for the rezoning and has agreed to sell the properties to Terwilliger Pappas. The Jesse Jewell property will be sold for $5 million, half of what the city paid for it in 2018. The developer will then have the option to buy the Main Street site for $3.6 million within 60 days of when the last certificate of occupancy for the first phase of the project is issued. Gainesville paid Hall County $7.2 million for the Main Street property, the former Hall County Jail site, in 2012. The jail was torn down in 2017, and the property has been empty since then.

The Council will hold a public hearing before the rezoning vote Tuesday.

Funding for ‘fourth side of the square’

Gainesville Renaissance, the proposed multi-use development for the Spring Street side of the downtown square, could be getting some tax incentives if council members approve it Tuesday.

The project’s developer has requested to participate in the city’s Midtown Tax Allocation District. The program allows developers and property owners to use a pool of property tax money for  improvements at the property. Participating properties are taxed at the rate established in the TAD’s base year, which is 2006 for Gainesville’s midtown TAD. When the property is developed, its value increases, and the extra dollars paid in property taxes go into the TAD fund for an agreed upon period of time. Developers apply for funding and if approved can use increments from the fund for the improvements, usually over a period of three to 15 years, depending on the size of the investment.

The city has offered $2.95 million in funding and assistance with building a “pocket park” at Gainesville Renaissance. The city and the developers will each be responsible for paying at least $150,000 toward the pocket park, which will be between Gainesville Renaissance and the Hall County Courthouse. If the park costs more than $300,000 to build, the city will make up the difference. The city will also approve the final pocket park design.

The $2.95 million in TAD funding would be paid over 13 years, beginning when the certificate of occupancy for the building is issued.

Gainesville Renaissance is scheduled to break ground in the spring and be finished around August 2021. It will have 15,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space on the first floor, 15,000 square feet of office space on the second floor and eight condominiums on the third floor.

The $22.4 million project is a collaboration between developer Fred Roddy, Doug Ivester and The Melvin Douglas and Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation. Ivester is from the New Holland area of Gainesville and is a former Coca-Cola chairman.

New Holland storage business

Capstone Property Group had requested to annex a 6-acre property at the corner of Jesse Jewell Parkway and Old Cornelia Highway into the city. The property would be rezoned from heavy industrial to light industrial for a storage facility with an office building.

The development would include a three-story, 65,100 square foot climate-controlled storage facility and a 5,400 square foot office and warehouse building. Vehicles would enter from Old Cornelia Highway.

The planning board recommended approval Dec. 10.

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