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$5.5 million in bonds for Flowery Branch improvements gets OK from Gainesville-Hall Development Authority
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A Flowery Branch public works employees records video as the town's former police station is razed Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, in downtown Flowery Branch the demolition is to make way for new building that will feature commercial space and residential space above. - photo by Scott Rogers

Update, Feb. 21: Financing of $5.5 million for downtown Flowery Branch improvements appears in place, as the Gainesville-Hall County Development Authority voted to approve issuing bonds for the effort.

Update, Feb. 17: The terms of a $5.4 million bond issue Flowery Branch is using to pay for downtown public improvements are set to be discussed Thursday, Feb. 20.

Officials are looking at an interest rate no higher than 5 percent and a maximum annual debt payment of $450,000, with bonds maturing April 1, 2039, according to a city document.

An underwriter from Raymond James is set to present final terms at the meeting, which is set for 6 p.m. at City Hall, 5410 W. Pine St.

Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution setting an installment plan for the bonds.

Original story: While an Atlanta developer plans a multi-use project in downtown Flowery Branch, the city plans to make some investments of its own, including some park space.

Those improvements will receive some funding in the form of $5.4 million in bonds issued by the Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority, which approved the adoption of the bonds Tuesday, Jan. 28.

The Residential Group, based in Atlanta, has plans for a mixed-use project on Main Street, where City Hall and Flowery Branch’s police station once stood. Those buildings were demolished last year. 

The new building will include 15 apartments and 7,700 square feet of ground level retail. Flowery Branch has approved $5 million in tax allocation district funding for the project, part of which will offset demolition and construction costs for the project. 

The TAD application approved by Flowery Branch was a joint application between the developer and the city, approved by the City Council in November 2018. The city is planning some public improvements in the area, including a town green, a farmer’s market pavilion, sidewalks, parking and landscaping.

To help the city finance these plans, the development authority will issue bonds on behalf of the city. The city will use TAD proceeds to repay the debt.

When a property is developed, its property taxes will go up, but property owners and developers that are approved to participate in a tax allocation district can use increments of those increased tax payments toward improving the property.

The development authority will set the rate for the bonds at its next meeting.  

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