Hospital anchors West F’ville’s ‘urban core’

Fayette County Planning Director Pete Frisina shows maps of the proposed annexation that would include Pinewood Atlanta Studios and the area around Piedmont Fayette Hospital. Photo/John Munford.

F’ville cautions against competition with existing city commercial areas

The latest vision for the 600-acre West Fayetteville area surrounding Piedmont Fayette Hospital was presented at a joint meeting of the Fayette County Commission and Fayetteville City Council July 9.

The new plan has been tweaked somewhat from the original concept developed for the Fayette County Development Authority, which was inked well before Pinewood Atlanta Studios entered the mix with plans to develop its 288-acre campus a short distance north of the hospital.

The new plan, drawn by the renowned Historical Concepts architecture firm of Peachtree City, calls for an urban core immediately surrounding the hospital campus, with buildings up to five or six stories tall. The intensity of use would decrease as distance continues further away from that center.

The goal is for the urban center area to be served by “slip” access roads to prevent further curb cuts and a potential mangling of traffic on Ga. Highway 54 and Veterans Parkway, according to Historical Concepts architect Ryan Yurcaba.

Fayetteville Mayor Greg Clifton said he doesn’t want new development in West Fayetteville to compete with existing retail space, especially since the city’s tax allocation district referendum was designed to help revitalize some of the city’s older shopping centers.

“Hopefully we can steer some ancillary businesses with the studio to some of these properties so they don’t all have to be on Pinewood’s site,” Clifton said.

A key feature of the overall plan is the use of a “green network” including wetlands and also parks, ponds and other features that can help connect pedestrian passageways and trails, Yurcaba said.

The eastern portion of the plan is envisioned to have residential type uses, Yurcaba said. Likewise, the Crystal Lake Park area closest to downtown Fayetteville is envisioned to be residential to mirror the eastern side of the lake, Yurcaba added.

The Lester Park area, further west of the hospital, is segregated from the rest of the West Fayetteville plan by a power-line easement and is expected to be developed as commercial, but some distance off the highway, Yurcaba said.

With the slip roads and a grid layout system proposed for the development, the idea is to keep traffic self-contained without needing to get on Hwy. 54, Yurcaba said.

Yurcaba said the hospital is excited about being part of the development process and is looking at the possibility of bringing its nursing schools and related institutes closer to them, though such might occur off the hospital’s campus.

The conceptual plan also includes a layout of multi-use paths that will require bridges and/or tunnels to avoid crossing roads at-grade, officials said. Clifton noted that the county is seeking funds for such projects from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Such path projects would include a bridge over a wetland area north of the hospital and a tunnel underneath Veterans Parkway to allow access to the film education facility directly across from the Pinewood campus, added County Commission Chairman Steve Brown.

While the idea of making the hospital area into an urban-type development might worry some, there are other parts of the plan designed to preserve the county’s rural heritage, including opportunities to preserve barns and a chapel along with rural countryside, said Historical Concepts founder Jim Strickland.

“We’re trying to re-create old Fayette County,” Strickland said.

The nice thing is that the local company running Pinewood Atlanta Studios is aspiring to have a high-quality development, Brown added.

Brown and Clifton, who shared the microphone going back and forth in a presentation, both noted that the project could leave a nice legacy for current and future city and county residents.

In comments from other elected officials at the meeting, County Commissioner Randy Ognio said he was “a little disappointed” in the amount of land the city is proposing to annex for the West Fayetteville development. Ognio said he was worried about the new development leading to empty structures elsewhere in the city as the development becomes a center of financial activity.

In response, Fayetteville Mayor Clifton noted that the cost of developers’ attaching to the city sewer service may slow the development a bit.

County Commissioner Charles Oddo said he liked the plan, but he was concerned with overdeveloping the area.

“I’m not against growth, but just want to control it the best we can,” to curb traffic problems and other issues, in favor of “keeping that rural flavor,” Oddo said.

Brown said it’s nice that Pinewood Studios Atlanta appreciates greenery such as large trees as potential sets and backrops.

“They are more into preserving the character in and around the property than most developers probably would be otherwise,” Brown said.

Clifton added that he doesn’t see the need for much residential development in the West Fayetteville area beyond “a limited amount of housing.”

 

BELOW , listening to Fayetteville planner Brian Wismer (standing) are (in the foreground, front to back) Fayetteville councilmen Ed Johnson, Larry Dell, Walt White and Mickey Edwards, and Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown. Photo/John Munford.

naturegrl
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public safety

Is there not a need for a new fire stations? How about additional police protection? Has this entered into the plans? I think the developer should build a new fire station, buy ambulances, fire trucks, and fund some additional emergency response teams. Also, maybe they should build a police station and fund some new cars, and pay police and fire fighter salaries.
Seems the developers, Cathy & his team have plenty of money. Why should the current taxpayers have to fund this? This development is so good for Fayette County, let the developers anti up with additional money.
I do think this development is better than all the Clayton/Fulton County residents abusing our school system.

Husband and Fat...
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I will convert`

Prove that the studio can stand on its own two feet without the state giving them my tax dollars.

Production companies can receive a 20% tax credit and another 10% if they place the GA promotional logo in the back end of the film credits. ( You know, when everyone is walking out of the studio with their backs turned from the screen)

Why anyone would invest in a business that depends on states offering kickbacks is beyond me.

http://taxfoundation.org/blog/new-york-times-tells-tale-michigans-bankru...

We need to learn from others mistakes.

Newsboy
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Your tax dollars?
Husband and Father of 2 wrote:

Prove that the studio can stand on its own two feet without the state giving them my tax dollars.

Production companies can receive a 20% tax credit and another 10% if they place the GA promotional logo in the back end of the film credits. ( You know, when everyone is walking out of the studio with their backs turned from the screen)

Why anyone would invest in a business that depends on states offering kickbacks is beyond me.

http://taxfoundation.org/blog/new-york-times-tells-tale-michigans-bankru...

We need to learn from others mistakes.

The tax credits ARE NOT kickbacks! The studios are not getting YOUR tax dollars! They have to SPEND the money to EARN THE CREDIT ... and wouldn't spend any money at all without the credits.

If a group of 5 year olds on a TV commercial understands this, why can't you?

Husband and Fat...
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Bad choice of words

Kickbacks was a poor choice of words.

These are subsidies. The film producers pay the taxes and 20% is returned afterwards with another 10% if the GA emblem is placed in the film credits.

Go the link and then hit the link about recent updates. GA's own tax review commission has recommended that we eliminate the program because it is not fiscally responsible.

I am all for the studios. If they want to film in GA. Great. But the state can take those tax dollars and apply them to education, infrastructure, ect.. Not to make an out of state producer richer.

Find me one state other than CA, FL, or NY that has hired permanant good paid careers when these studios are built. If you think hiring part time caterers, hairdressers, makeup artists is a good investment than your not thinking high enough.

The state of Ga can certainly provide subsidies. The Hundai plant in LaGrange was a good investment.

If the state would subsidies the labor cost I pay every month (50), I would be sitting on easy street. And my employees are all GA residents with homes, cars, & families. When the out of state producers receive thier subsidies, they are spending my road and school money in Cali.

The Wedge
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Earned Income Credit, Newsboy

Does it work the same way? Or can a person make more in credits than they pay as taxes? I guess I need to find a group of five year olds if you don't have a ready answer. Can't good information on it on an internet search.

Newsboy
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It's a TAX credit
The Wedge wrote:

Does it work the same way? Or can a person make more in credits than they pay as taxes? I guess I need to find a group of five year olds if you don't have a ready answer. Can't good information on it on an internet search.

You're asking the wrong person, but basically it works the same as R$D credits (research and development) so the answer is no:

"R&D tax credits are available to any company that increases its qualified research spending. The tax credit earned is a portion of the increase in R&D spending. The credit can be used to offset up to 50 percent of net Georgia income tax liability, after all other credits have been applied. Any unused R&D tax credits can be carried forward for up to 10 years."

IN OTHER WORDS ... any production company that invests at least $500,000 in Georgia qualifies for a 20 percent credit off their tax liability to the state. If they put that little peach logo in the closing credits, they get another 10 percent for a maximum credit of 30 -- or $300 of every $1,000 owed.

Better still, the credits don't have to be applied in the current year and are completely transferable -- they can be sold to other Georgia companies at a small profit. That's what most of the entertainment companies are doing. It's a win-win!

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