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Authority OKs $38.5 million bond resolution for south Forsyth development

Forsyth County’s Development Authority has taken another step toward a large-scale development in south Forsyth.

On Tuesday morning, the authority voted to move ahead with the issuance of $38.5 million in taxable revenue bonds for the Stables Motor Plaza, an 86,500-square-foot retail village on McFarland Parkway west of the intersection with Union Hill Road.

“What we’re here today to do is to ask you to approve a final bond resolution,” said William Holby, an attorney representing the developer Destination Development Partners, Inc.

The village will include retail, entertainment options, restaurants event space and offices. A full-service car wash and boutique luxury car dealership will also be on-site

A future phase of the development, called the Stables Motor Condos, is not tied to the bond and will feature 150 private garages and a 15,000-square-foot warehouse to store additional cars. That phase will be funded by the developer. 

Holby said, unlike other bonds, the company was planning to purchase them instead of third-party customers.

“We’ve come to this board on many occasions where we’re actually issuing bonds to a third party of investors,” he said. “In this case, what we’re really trying to structure is an arrangement where the development authority can take title to the facility and then lease it back to the company.”

Because the authority is a government entity, it does not pay local taxes. In the future, the company will buy the land back for $1. 

Holby said it is possible the company may sell the bonds at a later date to third-party customers. If there are defaulted payments on the bonds, the company, not the county, will be impacted.

Last week, Forsyth County Commissioners voted 4-0, with the District 2 seat vacant, at a work session to approve a tax abatement agreement. Since that was approved at a work session, it is not formally approved until the regular meeting on Thursday.

The company will slowly work its way to paying full property taxes. Taxes will not be paid the first year and will rise by 10 percent of the total taxes until paying 100 percent in the 11th year. 

Per a previous resolution, the first phase is to be completed by Dec. 31, 2019.

In October, commissioners rezoned 16.7 acres of land from agriculture district (A1) to industrial district (M1) and nine acres from A1 to community business district (CBD) for the development. 

Once completed, the development will have 30 private garages for high-end vehicles, a warehouse storage facility, an automotive retail center and a parking deck. More than 150 permanent, full-time jobs are also expected to be supported by the development. 

Several out parcels and about six acres of nature preserve will be part of the overall development.

Authority Chairman David Seago said prior to the vote the authority could have waited until after formal approval by commissioners but wanted to move the project forward. 

“We could certainly wait until after Thursday, but in order to get this done … we can already get this part out of the way,” he said.