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New shopping center: Tax allocation district is key

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Plans have finally been announced for the proposed shopping center at the site of the old high school. The plans include retail shops and restaurants – but no grocery store.


At the joint city, county and school board meeting on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, City Manager Charles Davis introduced Perlis Nease Development to local officials for updates concerning the re-development of the old high school grounds.  Currently, Perlis Nease Development is in partnership with The Jones Company, based out of Waycross, and have announced their plans for Douglas Square, a 120,000 square-foot shopping destination anchored by Hobby Lobby and Marshalls.


According to development partner Jarrett Nease, “New development faces many challenges, including rising construction costs and land values. These challenges coupled with the competition our tenants face with online retail have made partnerships between public and private sectors crucial for developments to happen in tertiary markets.”


In order for the re-development to begin, citizens of Douglas will have to vote in November to establish the area as a tax allocation district.  A tax allocation district is defined as an area where real estate property tax monies gather above a certain threshold for a certain period of time.  The monies are placed in a tax-free bond where the money can continue to grow.  These monies are used for revitalization and re-development efforts in the specified area.


“As the mayor of Douglas, I promise to present you timely information,” says Mayor Tony Paulk.  “I am extremely excited for this opportunity. This is our moment.”


On Nov. 5, 2019, citizens of Douglas are urged to participate in the vote on the ballot to establish the property area as a tax allocation district. 

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