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Decatur Development Authority getting new members


Decatur Development Authority getting new members

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Decatur City Hall.


By Cathi Harris, contributor 

The Decatur City Commission is expected to appoint three new members to the Decatur Downtown Development Authority board at its regular meeting Monday night, Dec. 16, the city’s Director of Planning and Economic Development Angela Threadgill said during the DDA board’s regular meeting on Friday.

Current DDA board members Fisher Paty and John Drake, who serve as secretary-treasurer and vice chair respectively, have completed their terms and will be rotating off the board at the end of the year. Board member Scott Kentner moved out of state this summer and that position has been open.

The City Commission appoints the seven-member DDA board, whose members are required to be property owners in the City of Decatur.

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According to a memo included with Monday’s agenda packet for the City Commission meeting, the new members to be recommended for appointment are: Darren Comer, Noah Peeters and Lisa Turner. Their terms will all run through December 2023.

Darren Comer is a realtor with Keller Knapp Realty and is a co-owner of The Marlay House on Ponce de Leon Avenue. Decatur resident Noah Peeters is general counsel and managing director of the Atlanta-based real estate investment and management company, Jamestown. Lisa Turner is the owner of Trinity Mercantile and Design located at 116 E. Trinity Place in Decatur.

In other DDA news, the board unanimously approved a four-year lease extension with RLW Investments for the DDA-owned property at 252 S. Columbia Drive. The tenant had asked to renew the lease for the longer term, Threadgill told the board. As there are no immediate plans on the city’s part to sell or redevelop the property, it is in the board’s interest to extend the current lease, she said.

The new four-year lease contains a termination clause allowing the authority to end the lease with 120 days’ notice, she added, in the event that they wanted to do something with the property. 

Threadgill also updated the board on the progress of the planned Cottage Court development on property at 230 Commerce Drive. The city is currently in negotiations over construction costs with the builder, Threadgill said, responding to a question from board member Tony Leung.

“The land disturbance permit is ready and waiting to go,” she said. “But, as many of you are aware, construction costs have increased significantly and since we are trying to do an affordable housing project, it has been difficult.”

Board member Conor McNally, who is a real estate developer, indicated that he could assist the city in negotiations with the builder, if needed.

McNally is also on Decatur’s Affordable Housing Task Force and advised the board that it would be presenting a report and recommendations at a work session on Monday at 6 p.m. just before the City Commission meeting.

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“So it’s it’s been a great process with everyone very, very engaged,” McNally said of the task force’s work, which began in June. “I think there’s a lot of passion about making sure that we can make things happen and we can we have actionable, tangible things that we can recommend to the City Commission and there’s appetite on City Commission to tackle the issue and to push forward.”

The City Commission work session will begin at 6 p.m. with the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the commission meeting room at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street. The meeting is open to the public. 

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