Yes. The plan for Midland Commons is illustrated in a site plan, which appears later in this section. The property can support the development of nearly 335,000 square feet of retail uses. In addition, a total of 250 senior housing units are planned for the mixed-use development. At build-out an estimated 735 permanent employees will be working at Midland Commons in the commercial and senior housing components of the development.
The table above summarizes the proposed development program for Midland Commons, showing the distribution of proposed retail and residential development by land use. The Plan anticipates that the project would require approximately four to five years to reach build out and the proposed density and distribution of land uses are subject to change as market conditions evolve.
Public access to this Midland Commons site will be made chiefly from several points of intersection with J.R. Allen Parkway and East Flat Rock Road. This will allow for access into the all portions of the Midland Commons site.
The report does not attempt to forecast and future development in the area around the TAD, beyond Midland Commons. However, if the commercial mixed-use development is successful, additional development may be attracted to areas around TAD #7 which, since they are not included in the TAD, could immediately generate additional property tax and sales tax revenues to CCG and MCSD. This phenomenon, known as the “halo effect”, has occurred in many other TAD districts around the State of Georgia.
The Plan anticipates that the primary method of financing development of Midland Commons will be through private equity and debt. TAD proceeds would be used to supplement private financing and reduce overall development costs in order to make this project financially feasible. TAD proceeds would be applied to address off-site development costs and/or reduce the cost of constructing access roads and internal infrastructure. In addition, a portion of TAD funds will be used to make transportation improvements to J.R. Allen Parkway and to enhance Flat Rock Park. Forecasts of potential TAD proceeds and proposed uses of those proceeds are addressed in detail, later in this report.
(4) Are contracts, agreements, or other instruments which are proposed to be entered into by the CCG (for the purpose of implementing the plan) outlined?
Yes. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §34-44-3(a), the Columbus City Council will act as the redevelopment agent and will exercise redevelopment powers as needed to implement this plan. In doing so, the Council, either directly or through its designee, may conduct or delegate the activities and enter into the contracts as shown on page 22 of the TADRP.
(5) Does the applicant describe the types of relocation payments needed (if necessary)?
Yes. The site of the proposed Midland Commons is vacant and partially undeveloped and therefore, no existing residences or businesses will need to be relocated. However, if at any time in the life of TAD #7 relocation of any residences or businesses is required, relocation expenses may be provided for under all applicable federal, state and local guidelines.
(6) Does the TADRP conform to the 2028 Comprehensive Plan and all UDO requirements?
The TADRP is inconsistent with the 2028 Comprehensive Plan. The Swift Boling Mill was still in operation at the time the Comp Plan was created. All UDO requirements will be met for the site. Zoning may need to be addressed as projects come along.
The Swift property is zoned LMI (Light Manufacturing/Industrial). Flat Rock Park and right-of-way do not carry zoning designations. Rezoning for mixed-use or retail will require rezoning for the Swift property.
(7) During the implementation of the TADRP, are estimates of redevelopment costs (to be incurred) submitted?
Yes. Priorities for the use of TAD proceeds would evolve as project planning proceeds, more detailed site development budgets are prepared and actual costs become better known. The intent is to employ TAD proceeds as available and necessary to make site development financially feasible and to attract the types of end-users that would positively impact the redevelopment area and the regional economy. Uses of TAD proceeds may include (a) supporting site development (including access roads, site preparation, demolition of the remaining slab, utility improvements, etc. (b) access enhancements and signalization at the main entrances to the property, and (c) funding certain improvements to Flat Rock Park. Four specific uses for TAD proceeds are described below as proposed by the applicant:
▪ Traffic enhancements and intersection improvements*: Given the substantial volume of traffic on J.R. Allen Parkway, access to Midland Commons will need to be improved, through creation of multiple entrances, a deceleration lane, and enhanced signalization. While some of these costs can be absorbed by the project, this site has unique access challenges and improvements which need to be made to assure its impact on J.R. Allen Parkway is minimized.
▪ Internal Circulation*: With the active uses planned on site and over 355,000 SF of retail space the creation of an internal street network to handle traffic that allows ready access to all parts of the mixed use development is essential.
*A traffic study is being conducted.
▪ Site Demolition and Development Costs: There is a massive slab of the former textile plant remains on site and has to be removed to allow for redevelopment. This will be a major extraordinary cost of redevelopment and has likely been a major cost which has made redevelopment infeasible in the past. In addition, given its past manufacturing use, the site lacks sufficient water, sanitary sewer, and specialty infrastructure that the planned uses may require.
▪ Park Enhancements: The City has requested that Flat Rock Park be included in the boundaries of TAD #7 and would like to finance some modest improvements to the park from potential TAD proceeds. We have included these costs in the TAD estimate.
The estimated $7.5 million in TAD Bond proceeds could be used in numerous combinations as specific needs arise. The above table contains a representative distribution of fund uses among the priorities described above. In reality, TAD proceeds will be allocated to specific purposes as development opportunities arise and specific agreements are negotiated between the Master Developer and the Columbus Consolidated Government (CCG) and with prospective end users.
The calculations made above provide one reasonable forecast of achievable future redevelopment within the proposed TAD #7, resulting in gains in the area’s real estate tax digest, corresponding tax allocation increments, supportable TAD financing proceeds and potential uses for those proceeds to reduce redevelopment costs. As noted above, numerous combinations of equally reasonable inputs and assumptions could be applied to produce marginally different results. This report sets an achievable expectation for the TAD’s future financial performance, which is intended to help the Consolidated Government make decisions moving forward.
(8) Has the applicant presented the last known assessed valuation of the redevelopment area and the estimated assessed valuation after redevelopment?
Yes. The redevelopment area for Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government Tax Allocation District #7– Midland Commons as defined in this Redevelopment Plan includes five tax parcels and 289.2 acres within those parcels. The proposed TAD #7 has an estimated 2017 fair market value of $8,502,871 and a taxable assessed (40% digest) value of $3,401,148, according to Muscogee County tax assessment records.
Pursuant to the Redevelopment Powers Law, upon adoption of the Redevelopment Plan and the creation of the tax allocation district, the City will request that the Commissioner of Revenue of the State of Georgia certify the tax base for December 31, 2017, the base year for the proposed tax allocation district.
The tax base will increase in the future through the private investment stimulated by the implementation of the redevelopment plan and the reinvestment of TAD increments back into the project. Upon build out of Midland Commons, this tax allocation district is projected to have a market value of approximately $57.5 million and a taxable value of $22.9 million at the end of an estimated 5-year absorption period. This represents an incremental digest growth of $19.6 million over existing conditions or more than a fivefold increase in taxable value.
(9) Has the applicant identified and mitigated historic properties within the redevelopment area?
Yes. The proposed redevelopment area for TAD #7 does not contain any “historic” properties listed locally or on the National Register of Historic Places. In the highly unlikely event that any historic properties are identified within the TAD, they will not be substantially altered in any way inconsistent with technical standards for rehabilitation; or demolished unless feasibility for reuse has been evaluated based on technical standards for the review of historic preservation projects, which technical standards for rehabilitation and review shall be those used by the state historic preservation officer.
(10) Has the applicant specified the proposed effective date for the creation of the tax allocation district as well as the proposed termination date?
Tax Allocation District #7 will be created effective December 31, 2017. The Redevelopment Powers Law provides that the TAD will be in existence until all redevelopment costs, including debt service, are paid in full. For analysis purposes, this report assumes that the TAD will remain in existence for a maximum of 30 years.
(11) Does the application contain a specific TADRP boundary map as well as establish existing conditions and uses of real property?
Yes. The proposed TAD #7 boundaries are shown on the following map. Existing land use within the proposed TAD #7 is predominantly vacant land, of the former Swift Denim Plant site, and Flat Rock Park, the remaining land is largely highway right of way and the Fall Line Trace. These uses are shown on the Existing Land Use Map presented earlier in this report. The boundaries of the TAD include the totality of the five parcels listed and the right of way along J.R. Allen Parkway, and the interchange with Manchester Expressway as shown in green on the map below.
The TAD includes 5 tax parcels located within the pink shaded area plus associated public rights of way. For any section roadway that is used as a boundary in the TAD map, including but not limited to J.R. Allen Parkway, Flat Rock Road, Psalmond Road and the intersection with Manchester Expressway, the entire section of right of way is intended to be included inside the TAD boundary in order to maintain flexibility to use TAD proceeds for public improvements to those rights of way, if desired by the redevelopment agency.
Implementation of this redevelopment plan is not entirely consistent with the City’s existing zoning, Future Land Use Map and previously identified strategies for the area as articulated in the Consolidated Government’s Comprehensive Plan and adjustments will be required for the proposed land uses.
(12) Does the applicant specify ad valorem property taxes for computing tax allocation increments?
Yes. As provided in the Redevelopment Powers Law, the taxes estimated to be included in the tax increment base for the tax allocation district are based on the following authorized millage rates:
Creation of the tax allocation district will not affect any existing or planned business improvement districts within the boundaries of the redevelopment area.
Proposed MCSD participation is included in the report but has not been approved by the Muscogee County School Board.
(13) Does the applicant specify the amount of the proposed tax allocation bond issue/issues as well as establish the term of said bonds?
Yes. Upon adoption of this Redevelopment Plan, the Columbus Consolidated Government may issue tax allocation bonds or other financing instruments, in one or more issues.
The Columbus Consolidated Government could issue tax allocation bonds or alternative forms of financing for a term no longer than 25 years.
(14) Does the applicant estimate positive tax allocation increments for the period covered by the term of the proposed tax allocation bonds?
Yes. The Columbus Consolidated Government may issue tax allocation bonds or alternative forms of financing for a term no longer than 30 years. Given current market conditions, the calculations made in this report assume a maximum of two financing issues, each using a 25 year term.
(15) Does the applicant specify the properties proposed to be pledged for payment or security for payment of tax allocation bonds?
Yes. Bonds or pay-as-you-go agreements will be secured by the positive tax allocation increment from eligible ad valorem taxes levied for these purposes. Based on current millage rates and commercial property values in Columbus, positive tax allocation increments from development of real estate are estimated at $794,000 when build-out is completed within five years. The actual amount of collected tax increments will depend upon the pace at which the Redevelopment Plan is implemented and the impact of the redevelopment activities and other economic factors on the tax base in the TAD as a whole. The Consolidated Government also reserves the flexibility to pledge ad valorem tax increments taxes on business personal property to the TAD.
(16) School system impact analysis:
(A) Estimated number of net new public school students:
(B) Location of existing/planned school facilities within the TADRP:
The development plan for Midland Commons calls for the creation of 250 senior housing units. Since these units will be age-restricted to persons who are either 55 and older or 62 and older, there will be no school aged children living at Midland Commons. At this time, there are no specific proposals to introduce other residential development within the proposed TAD. Thus, there will be no school aged children living at Midland Commons that would impact the MCSD.
(C) Estimate of SPLOST to be generated:
There are no Muscogee County Schools facilities located within TAD #7. The closest schools to TAD #7 are Midland Middle School, Midland Academy, Blackmon Road Middle School, Shaw High School, and Eagle Ridge Academy. None of these schools would be directly impacted by development of Midland Commons in terms of enrollment. The location of more employers and potential job opportunities for area residents should have a positive impact on area schools.
(17) Has CCG staff validated the digest calculations as well as the percentage of the total digest?
The hypothetical development that could occur in the Midland Commons TAD could have a positive impact on the amount of ESPLOST revenue the school district will receive. Shown below is an estimate of the additional retail sales that will occur in the Midland Commons from the hypothetical development in the TAD. Based on both the net addition of new residential units and the development of additional retail space and new hotel rooms, the MCSD should receive an additional $479,000 in ESPLOST revenue from the development occurring in the TAD annually.
The Tax Assessor and the Finance Director are reviewing the digest calculations.