EAST POINT, GA – RH Ledbetter Properties, LLC, a third-generation family-owned real estate development and management firm headquartered in Rome, Ga.; assembled a 30-acre site along Cleveland Avenue to transform a blighted, residential development into a $35 million, modern retail amenity for East Point. Situated just west of Interstate 85, Cleveland Avenue Crossing is a 173,000-square foot retail development located in the heart of the East Point Corridors Tax Allocation District (TAD) and represents the first retail project to receive TAD financing assistance along the Cleveland Avenue corridor. Ledbetter Properties closed on the final parcel on July 31 marking the commencement of the demolition of the existing structures.
“It’s been over a decade since the success of the award-winning Camp Creek MarketPlace, East Point’s first TAD initiative,” states Wright Ledbetter, chief operating officer, RH Ledbetter Properties, LLC. “Cleveland Avenue Crossing will benefit the City of East Point and its neighborhoods tenfold by creating hundreds of new jobs and thousands of dollars in tax revenues. It exemplifies our focus on improving the communities in which we invest, and we are confident that this new redevelopment will become a popular retail and service destination in South Atlanta.” Upon acquiring the property, Ledbetter Properties paid approximately $1.1 million in outstanding property taxes to Fulton County and the City of East Point.
Construction of Cleveland Avenue Crossing is expected to begin in December upon completion of the demolition and remediation. The retail center includes a 153,000-square foot Walmart Supercenter along with 20,000 square feet of shop space and four outparcels that front Cleveland Avenue, ideal for restaurant and service tenants. The center is expected to be complete by November 2014.
The East Point Corridors TAD, which was established in 2006 to facilitate investment in East Point’s commercial core, is providing financing assistance valued at an estimated $2.5 million to Ledbetter Properties to cover a portion of the project’s redevelopment costs. The development, approved earlier this year, is the first retail project along Cleveland Avenue to be approved for this public financing tool.
“The East Point Corridors TAD was established for projects like Cleveland Avenue Crossing,” explains The Honorable Earnestine D. Pittman, mayor, City of East Point. “Not only has Ledbetter’s attention to detail as well as the needs and concerns of the City of East been forefront throughout this process, the shopping center is set to reshape the Cleveland Avenue corridor and enhance the quality of life for residents of the surrounding neighborhoods – the ultimate goal of the TAD initiative.”
On this site starting in 1946, South Towne Apartments and Suburban Court Apartments were opened as premier housing communities along Cleveland Avenue, then a burgeoning South Atlanta commercial corridor. Now, the property consists of 58 condemned, asbestos-filled duplexes with a long-term vagrancy problem. Ledbetter Properties acquired the majority of the property that was already rezoned C2 commercial from Mayberry Partners, LLC under a short sale agreement with its lender Colony Capital, a Los Angeles-based, privately-held independent global real estate investment firm. The development team further secured the TAD financing assistance and negotiated a roadway abandonment with the City of East Point in an effort to bring its redevelopment plans to fruition.
“It took a knowledgeable, diligent and exceptionally cooperative team to navigate the TAD compliance, roadway abandonment as well as the zoning modification process to make this redevelopment possible,” concludes Pittman. “I’m not sure anyone but Ledbetter could have made this a reality.”
Tax allocation districts are a form of tax increment financing, a tool that is widely used by local governments to serve as a catalyst for private investment into areas that are economically depressed or underdeveloped. Local governments increasingly utilize this tool, in part, because federal and state funds have become scarce. More information is available at www.eastpointcity.org.
About RH Ledbetter Properties, LLC
Now in its third generation, R. H. Ledbetter Properties, LLC is a family-owned real estate development and management firm headquartered in Rome, Ga. Ledbetter focuses on retail, medical service and medical office developments. With a portfolio of 1.8 million square feet in three states, Ledbetter Properties provides services in development, asset management and acquisitions. More information is at www.ledbetterproperties.com.
Contact: Jenn Weyand, 678.290.1460, [email protected]