Holly Springs Town Center Project Q&A
The City has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback since several news articles helped spread awareness about the City’s Town Center Project.
The City realizes that with all of this new information, there were still a few questions left unanswered. We hope that the information provided here will make clear the items that were left a little hazy. As always, please feel free to contact the City if you have any further questions.
(Please note that plans are subject to change and must be formally adopted by the Holly Springs City Council prior to the execution of a development agreement.)
Q: What kind of development will the Holly Springs Town Center Project be?
A: The development will truly be a “Live, Work, Play,” project. Housing options will include lofts, townhomes, and cottage homes. There is space for retail and office space. The center of the development will be the new City Hall, which will overlook an event green. We are looking forward to being able to hold all of the City’s special events, like the Easter Egg Hunt, Autumn Fest, and Christmas Parade in the heart of the City.
Q: What kind of retail shops will be coming to the Town Center?
A: There is not a specific list of retail businesses for the town center yet. However, a 2015 marketing study completed by Bleakly Advisory group found that there are opportunity gaps for the types of businesses that generally comprise successful Atlanta-area town center developments within a two mile trade radius. The study specifically noted that there were opportunity gaps for restaurants, clothing stores, and general merchandise stores.
Q: What is the anticipated start and completion date of the Holly Springs Town Center Project?
A: While there is not a completion date yet, the City hopes to have a master developer in place by the end of 2016, and break ground in 2017.
Q: Will taxes be going up in order to pay for the development of the Holly Springs Town Center Project?
A: Residents of Holly Springs will see a decrease in taxes. The proposed tax millage rate for 2016 is 5.086 down from 5.315 in 2015. As you can see, there is a reduction in taxes for the upcoming year, not an increase. (The 2016 millage rate will be set by City Council on August 15th at 7:00 p.m. following a public meeting.)
Q: Since residents will not see an increase in taxes, how will the project be funded?
A: The project will be funded by private-sector developers pursuant to a development agreement. The City of Holly Springs has proposed using a Tax Allocation District (TAD) to fund the construction of public sector infrastructure on the site. The City also plans to seek approval from the state legislature in 2017 to form a Community Improvement District (CID) to fund future infrastructure improvements projects in downtown.
Q: What is a Tax Allocation District (TAD)?
A: A TAD uses incremental property tax revenues to pay for infrastructure improvements within the geographic boundaries of the district. All of the property in the Holly Springs Town Center Project is owned by the City of Holly Springs and the Holly Springs Downtown Development Authority. As a result, all of this property is exempt from property taxes. (It is assessed at $0 for tax purposes.) When the property is sold, it will become taxable property. The difference between the new property value and the old property value ($0) will be used to calculate the incremental taxes. The property taxes (incremental taxes) collected on the town center project will be placed in a separate fund to pay the debt of the project.
Q: What are the plans to address the traffic congestion problems in the downtown area?
A: The City is currently advertising for proposals for preliminary engineering for the Industrial Connector (bypass) that will divert traffic from Hickory Road to Holly Springs Parkway, close to Exit 14 on I-575. In addition to the Industrial Connector, the City also will be making improvements to Holly Springs Parkway and Hickory Road, near their intersection. Improvements will include additional turn lanes as well as acceleration and deceleration lanes. Motorists can expect to see construction beginning on this project as early as the first quarter of 2017.
Downladable Q&A document & project schematic