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

BREAKING: 2 found dead in north Forsyth County home
BREAKING: 2 found dead in north Forsyth County home

Sheriff’s deputies are investigating two deaths inside a home in north Forsyth County, according to authorities. Investigators are at the home in the 5400 block of Memphis Street, officials said in a tweet. The sheriff’s major crimes unit is on the scene. We’re working to learn more.  —Please return to AJC.com for updates...
Atlanta United collaborates with Atlanta, Soccer in the Streets, MARTA
Atlanta United collaborates with Atlanta, Soccer in the Streets, MARTA

The Atlanta United Foundation and the city of Atlanta, through its Department of Planning and Design, recently announced an official collaboration with Soccer in the Streets and MARTA to expand Station Soccer, the world’s first network of soccer fields inside the perimeter of major transit stations, according to a press release. Officially named...
NEW DETAILS: Argument over Walmart parking space leaves 1 dead; suspect ID’d
NEW DETAILS: Argument over Walmart parking space leaves 1 dead; suspect ID’d

An argument over a parking space turned deadly Sunday night outside a crowded metro Atlanta Walmart, Channel 2 Action News reported.  A man was fatally shot about 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Walmart on Scenic Highway in Snellville. Police arrested Troy Dennis Hunte, 27, of Grayson, on a charge of voluntary manslaughter, according to the...
Decatur commission voting on storage facility, East Lake MARTA LCI
Decatur commission voting on storage facility, East Lake MARTA LCI

Decatur’s city commission will vote on two hotbed issues this week. According to the meeting agenda for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at city hall, 509 North McDonough Street. First up is a proposed storage facility on Clairemont Avenue. A recommendation for that project was denied several weeks ago by the city’s Planning & Zoning Board, citing concerns...
UPDATE: GSU police, man exchange gunfire hours before classes begin
UPDATE: GSU police, man exchange gunfire hours before classes begin

Georgia State University police are investigating an overnight shooting on the downtown Atlanta campus as thousands of students are preparing for the first day of classes. Four officers responded to suspected drug activity in a stairwell in the parking deck of the University Commons housing complex about 10:45 p.m. Sunday, university police Chief...
More Stories