The Brookhaven City Council recently transferred ownership of a Buford Highway gas station purchased this year for $1.7 million to the city’s Development Authority. The Brookhaven Development Authority will now pay back the purchase price to the city using money from its own coffers.
Earlier this year, the city used $1.7 million from its budgetary reserve to purchase the shuttered QuikTrip station at 3292 Buford Highway at the North Cliff Valley Way intersection. City officials said at the time it was a strategic purchase to ensure quality redevelopment along Buford Highway as outlined in the city’s 2014 Buford Highway Improvement Plan. The plan calls for more mixed-use development, economic development, implementation of a bike and pedestrian plan and connectivity to the Peachtree Creek Greenway.
The council voted at its Nov. 27 meeting to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Brookhaven Development Authority to hand over ownership of the gas station to the city’s Development Authority. The Development Authority approved the IGA at its Nov. 16 meeting.
The IGA states the Development Authority will make annual payments of $171,237 to the city’s general fund over the next 10 years to pay back the $1.7 million. Payments to the city from the Development Authority began this month.
The Development Authority is making the payments using the money coming from the $302,900 “payment in lieu of taxes” from the Atlanta Hawks. In 2016, the Development Authority approved a $36 million tax abatement to the NBA team to pay for construction of its practice facility in Executive Park. Through the tax break, the Hawks are paying the city a PILOT fee of $302,900 for 15 years. The Hawks’ first PILOT payment was made in October, according to city officials.
The City Council also entered into an intergovernmental agreement with DeKalb County this year to renovate the QT property to post three ambulances on Buford Highway.
The Development Authority is a separate, nonprofit governmental agency within the city of Brookhaven that can be used to redevelop business districts. The Development Authority can own, buy and improve property. It can also accept grants, apply for loans, enter into IGAs and has the authority to issue revenue bonds, according to state law.
Brookhaven Economic Development Director Shirlynn Brownell is the executive director of the city’s Development Authority. Members of the Development Authority include Luke Anderson, Susan Coker, Tim Peaden, Bruce Whitmer and Sarah Kennedy. City Councilmember Bates Mattison is an ex officio member.