Monday, November 13, 2023–12:18 p.m.
-David Crowder, WRGA News-
Rome’s sixth Tax Allocation District may be along the North Broad Street corridor in the area of a proposed new hotel.
On Monday, the Rome-Floyd County Redevelopment Agency approved the boundaries for the North Broad Redevelopment Corridor, which is more than 1,700 parcels, and the smaller area consisting of 22 parcels that could be the next TAD.
“One of the projects that the community had previously heard a little bit about is the potential for a Hilton Home2 Suites,” said Rome City Manager Sammy Rich. “That project would be adjacent to The Varsity that is currently under construction.”
The action taken by the Redevelopment Agency is just the first step in the process.
“There are public hearings that will be held by the governing bodies to move forward with the redevelopment plan adoption and the Tax Allocation District adoption, so at some point, in the near future, it would allow for a project and developer to come forward and put together a specific application requesting tax allocation dollars.”
A public hearing will be held before January 1, likely sometime in December. Then, within 45 days a meeting will be held to consider approval of the redevelopment plan. If approved, the developer of the hotel could then apply for TAD funding.
Under a TAD, any increase in property taxes stemming from improvements would be funneled back into the project for a set number of years.
“We’re not taking money out of city coffers,” Rich added. “We would simply forgo the net new tax revenues on these properties to offset the investment. TAD is simply a tool in this case to help incentivize and try to get some investment into some areas that are ripe for development.”
The Redevelopment Agency also approved the boundaries for the Martha Berry redevelopment area. Nothing has changed since the last update. Monday’s vote was just to restart the adoption calendar.
“We don’t have a bird in the hand for Martha Berry,” Rich said. “The corridor runs from the West Ninth Street area up to pretty close to Redmond Road. It’s a much smaller redevelopment area encompassing about 41 parcels and roughly 131 acres. You have some underutilized, underdeveloped parcels that I think this could be timely for. There are no projects yet, but I suspect the redevelopment area will lend itself for some opportunities to come in the future.”
There have already been some improvement projects in the area, including the complete makeover of the former Glenwood Apartments and Berry College’s purchase of the old Sunrise Inn & Suites motel, which was then converted to housing for students. Another project, known as The Point, is nearly ready to go. That project, expected to include housing and retail, will take all but a small corner of the triangle formed by Martha Berry Boulevard, North Fifth Avenue, and West 11th Street. Areas across the street from The Point could benefit from a TAD.
The City of Rome has been working with its consultant, the KB Group, for several months on both the North Broad and Martha Berry plans.