Bye-Bye Gulch Redevelopment, One Possible HQ2 Site

The Gulch will remain a gulch.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said earlier today she has “no intention of asking the authors of [Gulch redevelopment] proposals” to vote on said package. 

She also seemed to take a shot at the City Council members who torpedoed her $1.75-billion redevelopment plan, saying “we have negotiated an unprecedented deal that will transform a 40-acre hole in the ground and make tens of millions in significant investments in other parts of our city related to affordability, equity, and opportunity. (Emphasis added).

In addition to being, well, a hole in the ground, some had speculated the Gulch could be a site for Amazon’s HQ2.

City Council members determined they need more time to analyze what better to do with an unsightly, poorly-used gap in the middle of booming downtown Atlanta.

A vote on Mayor Bottoms’ proposal was expected to take place today.

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Lea ThraceTrey A.Jack FitzGregsGeorge Chidi Recent comment authors
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George Chidi
George Chidi

To be clear: this isn’t over.

The plan, as issued, isn’t going to work. That doesn’t mean a better plan can’t be worked out over time. Everyone wants to see the Gulch redeveloped. People are arguing over the terms.

Gregs
Gregs

Good news! No deal this big and complex should move forward without being vetted by all stakeholders. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and let all the stakeholders have a chance to digest the details behind two billion dollars in tax abatements. Once this deal is inked, we can’t go back and get a do over.

The days of Mayor Reed bullying partners to get his way are gone. Kudos to the newly installed Council members!!!

Jack Fitz
Jack Fitz

I applaud the city council for hitting the pause button on KLB’s rushed through proposal. When you’ve got an exiting Gov and Lt. Gov, and an ethically challenged mayor trying to ram this through, then you know the devil is in the details. I think a new deal will get done, but one thats going to benefit all of Atlanta more than it’ll benefit a select few. Also kudos to Amir Farokhi, Michael Julian Bond, JP Matzigkeit, Natalyn Archibong, Jennifer Ide, Andre Dickens, Dustin Hillis and Matt Westmoreland for introducing a third party audit of the deal and its benefits… Read more »

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

What ethics issues does KLB have?

I am familiar with Reed’s issue but none of that points to KLB so Im curious if I’ve missed something.

Trey A.
Trey A.

Anyone who’s actually researched this Gulch “deal” is absolutely thrilled with the Council’s decision to pump the brakes… Julian Bene laid it out pretty well during public comment at yesterday’s council meeting. Derrick Boazman also had some important things to say regarding the project…

Here’s Bene’s cliff’s notes version https://www.myajc.com/news/opinion/opinion-big-gulch-public-subsidy-not-taxpayers-best-interest/wPbwAOvJiq0FHp71EAhgRK/

Also, Amazon HQ2 is and always was going to the D.C. metro.

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

Considering how Cobb got hosed by the Braves deal and how that was passed so quickly without much input or outside review, I think we will likely see more of this kind of action. Brakes need to be put on when we are talking tax payer money being used to fund private endeavours. And if the expediency and secrecy is a feature required by the developer, chances are it is not a deal the government needs to get into.

Gregs
Gregs

Same thing happened in Gwinnett county with the Braves minor league stadium. It was hatched in total secrecy to benefit a local developer who fell on hard times. None of the projections have proven to be true and the county is now paying for the boondoggle:
https://politics.myajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/gwinnett-hook-for-struggling-ballpark/EBBmymL74kL3lEeAihsnxN/

Also, the taxpayer investment for MBS will wind up being much more than Mayor led us to believe. The question is: is this the highest and best use of taxpayer’s money?

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

MBS is funded by hotel motel taxes from my understanding. Where bonds (not backed by hotel/motel fees) floated for it too?

Gregs
Gregs

Reed/Deal sold a contribution figure of 200 million, however, many analysis have shown the figure is likely to be a lot more…

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/29/why-are-georgia-taxpayers-paying-700m-for-a-new-nfl-stadium.

The point is that these numbers need to be vetted and analyzed before the ink is dry. Almost everyone of these tax giveaways have been done in secret and almost none of them have lived up to the hype. Do it if you must, but do it with open eyes and an honest analyst of the comittment.