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Michel “Marty” Turpeau

Develop Fulton: Partnering for Progress, Powering Development

Michel "Marty" Turpeau was destined to make an impact; he was born to lead. His father, Aaron Turpeau, was good friends with baseball legend Hank Aaron, partnering with him to found The Aaron Group, the company he now owns and operates. His dad was also in the City of Atlanta's mayoral cabinets of both Maynard Jackson and Andrew Young.

Turpeau had no choice but to seek ways he could also positively impact the City of Atlanta and the County's other 14 cities. Turpeau serves as Chairman of the Board for the Development Authority of Fulton County (DAFC). Throughout our conversation, he referenced the mission statement.

To stimulate quality economic development that expands and diversifies the tax base, provides quality jobs, retains existing businesses, and sustains the quality of life for residents throughout Fulton County.

Have you ever wondered what attracts companies to locate offices in Fulton County? The answer is Turpeau—well, actually, the answer is the Development Authority of Fulton County. Still, Turpeau's involvement and leadership are critical to ensuring the corporation is the right fit for the community.

How does it work?

  • A corporation is considering locating to Georgia.
  • The organization reaches out to the DAFC, and in many cases, the State uses Fulton County's profile to attract businesses and refers them to the DAFC.
  • Why Fulton County? 
    • Location, location, location—home of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and proximity to all major interstates
    • Highly educated and skilled workforce
    • Fifteen diverse cities with unique attributes
  • The DAFC board reviews the request. 
    • Does the zoning match the local communities' commercial, residential, or industrial guidelines?
    • Will the organization's relocation in the county result in job opportunities for residents?
    • Are there infrastructure improvements that the organization is willing to make, for example, paving sidewalks, sewer system improvements, lighting, etc., that directly benefit the community the business is moving into, thus becoming an ideal corporate neighbor?
  • The DAFC tax incentives offered to the corporation, if selected, are: 
    • 10-year and 15-year programs in the form of decreasing property tax based on significantly increased property valuation resulting from the incentive to facilitate the new development. 
      • The 10-year program focused on commercial development.
      • The 15-year or "Attainable Fulton" program focused on affordable workforce housing.
  • Typical Benefits to the Community. 
    • Increase the speed at which community improvements are made, e.g., infrastructure refinements or additions and community clean-up from illegal dumping.

Turpeau shared examples of companies that have established a home in Fulton County thanks to DAFC's support, including AMS Holdings/Rooker Film Studio (now Atlanta Metro Studios), which redeveloped Shannon Mall.

The site's redevelopment into new movie studios was particularly transformative as it helped further Georgia's role as a leader in producing feature films and television. It helped prove that Atlanta was indeed the 'Hollywood of the South."

Other projects/business attractions that the DAFC is proud of include the Mercedes-Benz Headquarters, Alcon, Avalon, Comcast, Global Payments, Equifax, Miller Zell, The Coca-Cola Company, Grow America NOW (NOW Account), Atlantic Yards/Microsoft, PVH, ASOS, Pandora and Honeywell.

As DAFC celebrates 50 years of cultivating community and corporate partnerships, the board just approved its rebranding. The DAFC will now go by Develop Fulton: Partnering for Progress, Powering Development. Embracing the new name "Develop Fulton" and its accompanying branding represents a pivotal step towards not only reimagining the identity of the Development Authority but also redefining its role in shaping the future of Fulton County. This evolution is not just a matter of terminology but a powerful statement of commitment to progress, innovation, and unity.

Learn more: Development Authority of Fulton County GA - Home (developfultoncounty.com)

*Note: In addition to tax incentive projects, DAFC has been instrumental in facilitating federally taxable/tax-exempt transactions for the benefit of groups like Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Spelman College, Shepherd Center, Advance Education, Georgia Tech, Piedmont Healthcare, Robert Woodruff Arts Center.

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