P. Springs development authority: Tax breaks for warehouse a net gain for schools

Nov. 11—MARIETTA — The Development Authority of Powder Springs laid out the fiscal impact of tax breaks it approved for a new warehouse before the Cobb County Board of Education Thursday.

The $35 million, 347,000-square-foot logistics warehouse, a project of Alpharetta-based Native Development Group, will be located at Oglesby Road and C.H. James Parkway. It is scheduled for completion in June 2023, according to Joe McGorrey, Native's principal, who said it will be conveniently located near the Norfolk Southern freight rail yard.

The Cobb school board does not have any say on whether development authorities approve tax breaks, however, authorities do brief the district on tax abatements that will affect the district's property tax revenues.

The authority last month approved the issuance of $35 million in economic development revenue bonds for the warehouse, according to Jon Gargis, a spokesman for the city of Powder Springs. The abatement will begin in 2025, when the owners will pay no property taxes. In each subsequent year, the taxes on the property will increase by 10% until it is taxed at full value in 2035.

Rob Hosack, a representative for the development authority, told the school board Thursday the abatement would lead to "a net positive effect" for the city, the county and the school district. He said that, according to a fiscal impact study from Georgia Tech commissioned by the authority, the school district would net $455,000 over the ten-year abatement period.

"All three entities will never lose money, they will always remain whole," Hosack said.

The warehouse, McGorrey said, would be 3-5% office space. He estimated the warehouse to have anywhere from 150 to 250 employees.

The Powder Springs City Council approved the annexation of more than 125 acres of property in Cobb County for the project, as well as a rezoning the property, in November 2021.

"This is just going to be a great aspect to the City of Powder Springs. We want to create that 'live, work, and play' (environment) — we've been working on the 'live,' we've been working on the 'play,' but this brings the 'work,'" said Powder Springs Mayor Al Thurman, at the warehouse's Oct. 14 groundbreaking. "We're hoping this is going to bring jobs to the city, so we're very excited about this development."

School board member Randy Scamihorn asked about traffic related to the warehouse — McGorrey responded that it should not be a concern.

"We did a traffic study and it determined that it didn't really change the current traffic pattern," McGorrey said.