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CIM's Incentives To Develop The Gulch Could Top $1B

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

Los Angeles-based CIM Group could reap at least a $900M incentive package to develop Downtown Atlanta's Gulch.

In a document obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, proposed developers of the parcel between the Five Points MARTA Station and Philips Arena are seeking public financing of $900M if it realizes $3.5B in office towers, apartments, retail and hotels along a grid of newly created downtown streets. That public financing could climb to $1.75B if CIM manages to realize the full potential of the $5B project, the AJC reports.

According to documents, the financing would be funded by sales taxes collected inside a newly created Enterprise Zone that would encompass the Gulch property as well as a tax allocation district. The return benefit would be new property revenues of more than $30M a year after the TAD bond debt is repaid in 2048 and the creation of between 2,000 and 4,000 new permanent jobs, the AJC reports.

The deal, if it winds up as the final proposal, would need approval from the city of Atlanta, the Fulton County Commission and the Atlanta Public Schools system. It would amount to the largest public assistance for a development project in Atlanta history, topping the financing for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which was more than $700M, the AJC reports.

This is the latest in what have been largely quiet maneuvers by CIM to acquire and redevelop the Gulch property, and it comes at a time when the state, and the rest of North America, await the final decision by Amazon on where it will locate its $5B second headquarters.

It is believed that the Gulch property is one of the primary sites in Atlanta that is being pitched as Amazon's $5B home. It was unclear from the documents whether CIM's proposed financing package was independent of the rumored $1B in incentives the state of Georgia offered to Amazon. The proposal likely will not come before the city council for a full vote until September, the AJC reports.