The Henry County Board of Commissioners approved the award of a proposal for master planning of the Atlanta Speedway Airport and the Henry County Speedway Megasite at the February 5 Commission meeting.

Planning and Economic Development Director Daunte Gibbs presented the resolution which proposed to create a new master plan for more than 6,000 acres to be known as the Henry County Speedway Megasite. The goal of the Megasite is to become a major employment and mixed use destination in the southern part of the metro Atlanta region anchored by the Atlanta Speedway Airport, according to officials.

Gibbs said that outreach to the respective property owners will be essential for the success of this initiative and that the plan will include branding and marketing strategies, along with viability and implementation. The master plan project is expected to include an infrastructure assessment specific to the Megasite as well as the Atlanta Speedway FBO (Field Base of Operations).

The resolution states that Master Planning of the Megasite will include the feasibility for potential Tax Allocation Districts (TADs) along Hwy. 19/41, Hwy. 81, Hwy. 42 South, Fairview Rd., Jodeco Rd. and or Hwy. 155 South, as well as the feasibility for potential Community Improvement Districts (CID) mainly along I-75 and Hwy. 19/41 and Hwy. 138.

Gibbs said that essential strategies and policies that must be part of the Master Planning are to encourage mixed use within sites and building; create great public spaces and thoroughfares; encourage parking management strategies; ensure existing business and retail vitality to attract new businesses with community partners; function as a multimodal hub; limit warehouse/distribution development; and to promote high-end advanced manufacturing, biomedical, pharmaceutical; and technology.

Commissioners approved awarding the bid to create the Master Planning of the Atlanta Speedway Airport and the Henry County Megasite in the amount of $252,000 to Tunnell-Spangler & Associates.

District II Commissioner Dee Clemmons said this is a great first step to boost economic development and said that she has been working with Hampton city officials and others to make this initiative successful.

“I want to also commend staff for getting us to first base with the whole 19/41 corridor and we are on the way. The mayor of Hampton and the city council of Hampton have worked graciously with us to talk about what we are doing in that area, and I think I’m the only commissioner to have all four cities in my district, so to be able to work with the city of Hampton to make this happen has been tremendously great,” said Clemmons. “With this development we are looking to have a successful development, not just smart growth, but a successful development in this Hwy 19/41 corridor.”

Clemmons also talked about the importance of a TAD being a part of the plan.

“The TAD is very important. The TAD gives us an opportunity to attract investors into our community and to invest their dollars into our community,” said Clemmons.

In a related item, commissioners approved a budget amendment to use a portion of the Insurance Premium Tax Revenue to increase the Planning and Zoning professional account to fund the Speedway Airport Megasite Master Plan.

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