“The tax commissioner said he would certify us three different times last year and he didn’t,” Mr. Morsberger said. “He claims we don’t meet his standards, but he won’t tell us what those standards are. I’m sure he’ll eventually get around to it but his inaction has already cost us about $4 million in funding.”
Both Gary Young, director of airport affairs for College Park Economic Development, and Gerald Walker, director of communications, declined to speak about the CIDs.
The CIDs have prominent supporters in their respective business communities. On the board of directors for Airport West/Camp Creek Parkway are representatives from Wells Fargo, Chick-fil-A, First Industrial Realty Trust, Duke Realty, Hilton Garden Inn and Capital City Bank, as well as several civic or government entities such as Fulton County Economic Development, College Park Economic Development and the Atlanta airport. Porsche Cars North America, which is building its new headquarters near the international terminal, is supportive of the nascent Hapeville CID.
The impetus for forming the Airport West CID was a fatal car crash on Camp Creek Parkway that was “due to faulty road construction,” Mr. Morsberger said. “As we started talking, we realized that the area west of the airport is not very well coordinated. Property owners wanted to improve the quality of the infrastructure and make it better.”
Stuart Gulley, president of Woodward Academy in College Park, is committed to the CID. The school contributed $30,000 in start-up money.
“We’re excited about the benefits of the collaboration of property owners in the area to try to improve the traffic flow, aesthetics and security of along the named thoroughfares,” Dr. Gulley said. "In an ideal world you would expect the local government to attend to these things, and with this collaboration these things will be more likely to happen. I’ll be happy to have the grass cut so we have a more attractive entry for visitors and guests.”
Airport East is currently establishing its board and its goals and priorities, which focus on appearance (improving the physical appearance of interchanges and major arteries through maintenance and landscaping); economic development (building a desired brand and attracting higher-level jobs and improving property values) and infrastructure (funding pedestrian safety improvements and working to relieve congestion near interstate interchanges).
The Hapeville CID is putting together its board and signing up members.
“Whether it’s reducing car break-ins, landscape beautification or general economic development goals, CIDs have been very successful throughout metro Atlanta, and with the airport as a base, we think they will be very successful in this area,” Mr. Morsberger said.