New Southlake 75 Community Improvement District planned for Clayton


Efforts are underway to create another self-taxing business district in Clayton County that would be a catalyst for a much-needed facelift in the community surrounding Southlake Mall and I-75.

The proposed Community Improvement District would include about 1,500 businesses in a 10- to 15-square-mile area in the northern end of the county that includes such landmarks as the state Farmer’s Market, Clayton State University and the mall.

Community Improvement Districts - or CIDs - when a majority of the property owners in the disrict agree to pay additional taxes for infrastructure improvements, security enhancements and economic developments in the designated area.

The proposed Southlake 75 CID is in the infancy stage now but could be a reality by the end of the year, says real estate broker and developer Charlie Fiveash, one of the organizers of the proposed Southlake 75 CID. It would be the second in Clayton.

The county already is part of the Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs, a 15-square-mile, two-district entity that straddles the Clayton-Fulton line, southwest of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The two-year-old combined districts encompass the Porsche headquarters on the east side and Camp Creek Parkway on the west. There are 430 property owners including Porsche, Delta Air Lines, Chic-Fil-A, Duke Realty and OA Development.

“We’re in the process of wrapping up a five-year master plan for (Aerotropolis) CIDs that has identified more than $150 million worth of projects,” said Gerald McDowell, the Aerotropolis CIDs’ executive director. The Aerotropolis master plan includes hotels, office buildings and improvements to the interstate highway networks around the airport.

Adding another CID to Clayton would be “a very positive sign of the economic upturn in the county,” McDowell said. “When property owners voluntarily decide to self-tax themselves that’s a positive sign.”

Ed Reagin, purchasing manager at Tensar Corp. in Morrow, said the surrounding area near his company’s 100,000-square-foot facility could use a boost. He has seen the benefits of CIDs. A CID near his home in Stone Mountain has revived that area, he said.

He’d like to see a similar transformation in the community surrounding Tensar. Right now, it’s a collection of warehouses, industrial and commercial businesses and small strip malls near Southlake Mall. The area, Reagin says, is hurting for more retailers.

“The surrounding area is in need of rejuvenation, Reagin said. “A lot of our employees live in the area and anything we can do to support them and raise their quality of life, we’re for.”

Tensar, a 95-employee company that makes plastic undergirding found in roads and commercial construction projects, has been in Clayton 30 years.

Metro Atlanta currently has more than two dozen CIDs, mostly in the northern counties. There are plans for more that are now in various stages of development.

The existing CIDs in metro Atlanta are expected to have invested more than $1 billion in taxes by 2025 and produced more than $3 billion in investments. The investments would include infrastructure, multi-use trails, parks, public safety and traffic mitigation projects, landscaping and other improvements, according to the Council for Quality Growth. The council is a trade group that promotes balanced growth and development.

“Clayton needs to catch up with other counties,” Fiveash said. “This is an opportunity to get out in front of the economic development.”

Businesses in the proposed CID area are being notified about the plan, which also needs county approval, Fiveash said. Commission Chairman Jeff Turner said he has had initial discussions with those trying to bring another CID to Clayton.

“It’s a great idea. I know the value of what Community Improvement Districts can do for our community, looking at the ones that are successful in north Atlanta,” Turner said. “I’m encouraged about the possibility of having a second CID and would love to see more CIDs throughout the county.”

Clayton Economic Development Director Courtney Pogue agreed.

“It’s definitely a tool, if it’s well-managed, for economic development.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Middle school runner chooses kindness over competitiveness
Middle school runner chooses kindness over competitiveness

A middle school athlete from Michigan showed that sportsmanship was more important than winning a cross country race, UpNorthLive.com reported. >> Read more trending news Amelia Malburg, an eighth-grader at Mason County Eastern, was running in a meet when she noticed her teammate was on the ground and struggling. Malburg said she generally...
Katrina victim says FEMA demanded money back 7 years later
Katrina victim says FEMA demanded money back 7 years later

A Florida woman said she was forced to pay back thousands of dollars she received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Katrina. >> Read more trending news Deborah Campbell said the IRS came after her seven years after she got the money. "We were guaranteed that this was not needed to be repaid," the Jacksonville...
Iran tests new ballistic missile
Iran tests new ballistic missile

Iran tested a new ballistic missile that reportedly is capable of carrying multiple warheads, CNN reported Saturday, citing the nation's state-run broadcaster announced. >> Read more trending news “Iran has released footage of the successful test-launch of its new ballistic missile, Khorramshahr, a few hours after it was unveiled during...
Memo: Seattle officer bragged that 'mini Mafia' controlled off-duty contracts
Memo: Seattle officer bragged that 'mini Mafia' controlled off-duty contracts

As an FBI investigation into Seattle’s off-duty police work unfolds, additional claims of questionable tactics by officers have emerged, including a report that one policeman proudly called his fellow officers a “mini Mafia” in the way they secured, enforced, and collected on private security and traffic contracts in the booming city...
Trump touts transparency on Twitter
Trump touts transparency on Twitter

President Donald Trump has no intention of scaling back his Twitter presence.  >> Read more trending news The president, campaigning for fellow Republican Luther Strange in Alabama on Friday night, touted his provocative and sometimes controversial tweets, CNN reported. "That is the great thing about Twitter," Trump said during...
More Stories