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Despite Revision, Gulch Vote Delayed

A CSX coal train travels underneath CNN Center's parking deck in the Gulch in this 2013 photo.

Despite a deal at the eleventh hour over a tax district's life span, Atlanta officials did not vote on the controversial Gulch incentive package Monday.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Oct. 15 that the city and CIM Group reached a new agreement on the incentive package's terms that excludes an original plan to extend the Westside Tax Allocation District — a self-taxing district where businesses pay for infrastructure work and other incentives — by another 10 years.

That provision met with a lot of resistance among both city council and Atlanta Public Schools officials that threatened the passage of the entire package, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Bottoms scrapped plans to vote on the package this past Monday to give council members time to read the legislation, according to the AJC.

It was unclear as of press time what other changes to the proposal have been made. The original incentive package would allow Los Angeles-based CIM Group to reap up to $1.75B in incentives if it fully realizes at $5B mixed-use project on the 40-acre Downtown Atlanta parcel known as the Gulch. CIM envisions a project spanning 9M SF of office, 1M SF of retail space, and hundreds of hotel rooms and apartments, some of which would be designated for affordable housing.

While it has never been explicitly stated by a public official, the project is believed to be Georgia's choice as the landing spot for Amazon HQ2 if the city is chosen for the project.

Councilman Andre Dickens told the AJC that he was pleased that the TAD extension was off the table, “because that was one of the major concerns that I and other council members told CIM within the first week we wouldn't support it, ever,” Dickens told the AJC. "We still have some ways to go."

It was unclear when the proposal would next come before the city council for a vote.