Proverbs 29:18 says; “Where there is no vision, people perish.” Peachtree City has an unimaginable opportunity that addresses basically every issue and concern we are facing as a city enabling us to continue to flourish into the future. However, “A Vision” is required.
There has been a lot of discussion regarding the dwindling land open for industrial and commercial development culminating in the lost opportunity to bring a Facebook campus to Fayette County. A healthy and vibrant city needs an excellent commercial and industrial base (jobs) to complement its wonderful residential offerings. In Peachtree City, we do not have a healthy commercial and industrial base.
First, we cannot create more land out of thin air. We need to look toward annexation to extend our boarders, not toward more residential growth, but to compliment the community we already have.
I propose that we consider a westward annexation to include all of Fischer Crossing, (NCG movie theaters). This is an up and coming commercial development that adds commercial value while not adding to our already taxed traffic infrastructure. In fact, the biggest challenge may be extending our cart path system to meet these properties, possibly reducing traffic.
Next, there is 1,600 acres of virgin (unbuilt) land on the other side of PTC airport and Lake McIntosh. This land offers us the opportunity to create a technology-based park to attract high-paying jobs and diversify our base for the freight that dominates our city highways today.
In addition, a true “city center” feature with an entertainment district can be easily factored in. Under such a scenario Peachtree City would surround Lake McIntosh and could build a true “city center” at the lake.
This second option will require the extension of TDK Boulevard to meet this property, which will happen one day, if not by our choice but the by the Atlanta Regional Commission. Understand that GDOT built six lanes on south Ga. Highway 74 for a reason. In reality, if the state wants a TDK extension, it will happen.
However, by claiming this land we can now control the terms and design of a TDK extension, and more importantly, we can control what happens on our borders. This 1,600 acre addition would give the city exactly what it needs, a technology work space. By doing so, we avoid potentially thousands of houses (which we currently would have no control over) with the resulting traffic.
Over the past 12 years we have been passive and have allowed the future to dictate and control our path and the city has suffered by doing so. Now, by being aggressive and proactive we can for once control our future without our future controlling us.
Even better, with this annexation you are adding an estimated $400 million to $800 million in annual revenue towards our tax base, not to mention the property taxes, fees, etc. with the new development. Furthermore, I believe we can acquire $8 million to $12 million in much needed new amenities for our city, all paid for by the development and at no cost to the taxpayer. The economic benefit will be the largest in the history of our city and the overall long-term value may get into the billions.
The proposal to annex property in Coweta County has tremendous benefits: building a true city center, surrounding all of Lake McIntosh, supplementing our tax base (less money required from the individual taxpayer), creating a tech corridor, creating a protective border on the western borders of our city, bringing our city up to date (2018), removing 20 percent to 30 percent of the traffic off of the 74/54 intersection, removes the traffic nightmare for the homeowners in Planterra, adds much needed new amenities, and most importantly controlling the zoning of the developments around us, etc. The city cannot miss this opportunity.
With a shared vision for our great city, we can all work together toward a sustainable and successful Peachtree City. I believe my business experience with land deals and real-estate ventures can help aid in this process. If called upon, I am more than happy to offer my assistance to our leaders to get this deal done. With all of our support behind our leaders, we can make this happen.
To be clear, I hold no financial interest in any of these properties or developments. The benefit my family and I get is the same one we all do, a more stable commercial and industrial base for Peachtree City. We get quality jobs and retail options without sacrificing our quality of life.
Peachtree City, Ga.
[Thompson is a recent candidate for mayor of Peachtree City.]