MDN: With MAA, TraVure Is Gateway To Germantown
The developer of Germantown’s mixed-use TraVure project is anxious to start work on the development’s centerpiece, a five-story Class A office building that now has an anchor tenant for most of the space – the headquarters of Memphis-based MAA, or Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc.
The target date for opening the office building is January of 2018.
MAA will become the largest publicly traded real estate investment trust focused on apartments with its August announcement that it is buying Post Properties Inc. of Atlanta for $4 billion. Even before the acquisition, the corporation was looking for more headquarters space and had decided to remain in Shelby County.
TraVure is a 10-acre project that is to include a parking garage, retail and a pair of hotels as well as the office building, representing a total $43.5 million capital investment. It is just east of the Memphis-Germantown city line not far from the current MAA headquarters.
MAA’s new office campus will create 219 jobs for Germantown that will pay an average of $85,128, according to the application. That is 161 percent of Germantown’s per capita income.
TraVure is a part of what Germantown leaders refer to as the “western gateway” to the city.
The PILOT agreement is for a term of 15 years and is a 75 percent abatement of personal property and real estate taxes and 25 percent of the land taxes for Germantown as well as Shelby County.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell indicated the county’s approval in a letter sent to Germantown officials.
The city of Germantown still gets $1.1 million in taxes from the project over the 15 years, or $72,000 a year, which is more than Germantown currently gets in taxes on the unimproved site.
“In Germantown, we use PILOTs sparingly,” Lawton said.
The city has two other PILOT agreements in which the nonprofit Industrial Development Board takes ownership of the property, making the tax abatement possible, and payments are made to the IDB in lieu of the taxes.
“It’s the first major development that we’ve seen coming out of the ground since that whole 50-plus acres was rezoned to the SmartGrowth code that allows for this type of mixed-use development,” Lawton said.
Until TraVure site preparation began earlier this year, the property between Poplar Avenue and Poplar Pike had been Kirby Farms – home to a historic farm house that was moved off the land as TraVure began preparing for the mixed-use project.
The initial TraVure plans encountered vocal opposition in 2015 from homeowners in the adjacent Nottoway community, east of TraVure. The first plans in the summer of 2015 had a dozen deviations from the city’s SmartGrowth ordinance.