05-25-18 Buckhead Reporter

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MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018 • VOL. 12 — NO. 11


Buckhead Reporter



Perimeter Business ► A co-lawyering complex custom-built for attorneys hangs its shingle PAGE 5 ► Entrepreneurs take flight at PDK Airport space PAGE 4

Coworking is here to stay P 4-9

MARTA, APS named to affordable housing study group

Playing in the park

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Nico Brett tickles the keys on a rainbow-decorated piano installed at Chastain Park Playground pavilion during a May 20 unveiling as part the nonprofit Play Me Again Pianos’ mission to place 88 of the instruments in metro Atlanta’s public spaces for anyone to play. Nico is the son of the nonprofit’s founders, Kelly and Jason Brett, who were inspired by similar programs in London and Paris. The new piano, dubbed “Melody,” replaces a previous piano installed in 2016 and now cycled out from wear and tear. The piano was painted by fourth-graders at Midtown International School.

Summer reading picks Page 10

EDUCATION Top of the Class


A wide-ranging group of representatives from public and private organizations have signed on to have a seat at the table on the Buckhead Community Improvement District’s forthcoming affordable housing study. The group, which includes MARTA, Atlanta Public Schools and major employers, will also help implement solutions suggested in the study. The idea for the affordable housing study came out of findings released in the “Buckhead REdeFINED” master plan that was completed in 2017. The master plan reported that most traffic congestion results from Buckhead employees not being able to afford housing in the area. In 2016, 98 percent of Buckhead area employees commuted to Buckhead from outside the area, the master plan reported. The Buckhead CID and Livable Buckhead released a request for proposals on See MARTA on page 12

Donor interest in park over 400 is weak, report finds BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reoprternewspapers.net

Pages 18-19

OUT & ABOUT Peachtree Peppers heat up Dunwoody concert series Page 16

The proposed park over Ga. 400 received a blow as a survey of potential park donors came back showing many are not bullish on the idea. The report recommended scaling back the donation expectations. Initial planning has suggested that $75 million of the $250 million projected construction costs be funded by philanthropic donations. The philanthropic feasibility study, conducted by Coxe Curry & AssociSee DONOR on page 23

2 | Community

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Community Briefs

and inspire and excite generations of Atlantans to come,” Suffolk said in the release. The piece will be featured in the reinstallation of the High’s folk and self-taught art collection galleries, set to debut in October this year. The High Museum is located in Midtown at 1280 Peachtree St. Founded in 1965 by 12 Atlanta women, the Forward Arts Foundation promotes and supports the visual arts. Over the past half century, the foundation has supported the acquisition of 10 works in the High’s collection, including paintings by artists including Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt and Camille Pissarro. This sculpture is the foundation’s first purchase for the High’s folk and self-taught art department, the release said. For more information, visit forwardartsatlanta.org.


“A Friend in Need Is a Friend Indeed” by Henry Church, Jr.



The Buckhead-based Forward Arts Foundation has acquired and donated a new sculpture to the High Museum. The 1888 sculpture, titled “A Friend in Need Is a Friend Indeed,” is by folk artist Henry Church Jr. The Forward Arts Foundation, which is based at the Swan Coach House on the Atlanta History Center campus, made the gift in celebration of its 50th anniversary, according to a release. The sculpture is Church’s best-known work and depicts a shepherd safeguarding a lamb from a lunging mountain lion, who is in turn being attacked by the shepherd’s dog, the release said. “We are incredibly grateful to the Forward Arts Foundation for its generosity, which allows us to bring this one-of-a-kind work into our collection,” said Rand Suffolk, the director of the High. “We’re thrilled that this extraordinary object will remain at the High

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The Atlanta Track Club will host a free run at its Buckhead office June 6 in celebration of Global Running Day. “The Club invites all of its neighbors at Armour Yards, and the greater Atlanta running community, to get active on their lunch break with a run at Atlanta Track Club’s office,” the organization said in a release. The Atlanta Track Club, which hosts prominent local runs such as the Peachtree Road Race, is located at 201 Armour Drive in the Armour Yards development. It will host the run at noon. The participants will run loops around Armour Drive, meaning runners will be able to pick their distance, according to the release. The track club will also host a midnight run on June 6 at Buck Godfrey Stadium in south DeKalb County and a 6 a.m. run in Midtown. For more information, visit atlantatrackclub.org.


Atlanta City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit seeks to renew the city’s contract with the Atlanta History Center, a Buckhead-based museum, to store and research legislative records. The museum’s services include storing and retrieving the city’s historical legislative and other records, performing historical research, and providing copies of records for use as exhibits in court proceedings and other legal matters, according to the legislation. The contract proposed in the pending legislation would be for a 10-year term that would not exceed $36,028 annually.


The city will host public meetings on the proposed budget on June 5 at 6:15 p.m. that will allow Atlanta residents, business leaders and other stakeholders an opportunity to ask questions in person or through social media. The city of Atlanta’s proposed general fund budget for 2019 comes in at $667.3 million, an increase of $18.7 million over last year’s general fund budget. The city said in a press release that the increase is primarily due to a $2.6 million allocated for parks upgrades; $500,000 for technology infrastructure improvements; $1.2 million for a citywide maintenance crew; and bonuses for city employees. The meeting will be broadcast live on City Channel 26. Residents can submit questions via email to citycouncilcommunications@atlantaga. gov; through Twitter using the hashtag #atlbudget; calling 404-330-6309; texting 404-3920159; or submitting questions to the Atlanta City Council’s Facebook Page at facebook. com/atlantacitycouncil. The proposed budget can be viewed on the city’s website, atlantaga.gov. The council is scheduled to adopt the budget at its June 18 meeting.


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Community | 3


State, federal candidates set for November elections The May 22 primary set the stage for the Nov. 6 election that will decide the next governor, U.S. House of Representatives District 11 and several state legislators.

State Senate District 6 Incumbent state Sen. Jen Jordan will face Republican Leah Aldridge for the Senate District 6 seat in the upcoming Nov. 6 election. The state Senate seat includes most of Buckhead, parts of central and southern Sandy Springs, and southern Cobb County. Aldridge, an attorney, received 5,900 votes, or 56.7 percent, defeating the other Republican candidate, John Gordon, according to unofficial results. Jordan, a Cobb County attorney, was unchallenged and received 9,983 votes, according to the unofficial results. Aldridge ran in the 2017 special election for the seat, which was vacated by Hunter Hill in his failed bid for governor. Jordan won the runoff in that election against another Democrat.

State House District 40 A Republican and Democrat will face off this November to fill the open state House District 40 seat, which includes a piece of Buckhead near I-75. The district is represented by Republican Rich Golick, who did not seek re-election. Matt Bentley won the Republican primary with 2,748, or 65.7 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. Bentley defeated Taryn Bowman. Sandra Bullock won the Democratic primary over Erick Allen. Bullock received 2,249 votes, or 58 percent, according to unofficial results.

State House District 52 Incumbent state Rep. Deborah Silcox will move on to the November election and face a Democratic challenger in House District 52, representing parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs. Silcox defeated her Republican challenger, Gavi Shapiro, in the May 22 primary election, according to unofficial results. Silcox, who was first elected in 2016, will face Democratic challenger Shea Roberts in the Nov. 6 election. Roberts was unopposed in the primary. Silcox received 3,089, or 72 percent of the vote, according to the unofficial results. Roberts received 3,233.

State House District 54


Democrat Betsy Holland will face Republican incumbent state Rep. Beth Beskin in the November election for the House District 54 seat, which includes most of central Buckhead. Holland defeated two other Democratic candidates, Dan Berschinski and Robert Gibeling, in the May 22 primary. Holland received 60 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

Beskin, who was elected in 2014, was unopposed in the primary.

Fulton County Commission chair Robb Pitts will remain Fulton County Commission chair after barely fighting off a Democratic primary challenge from Keisha Waites with just over 51 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. Pitts, a Buckhead resident, won the countywide chair position in a special runoff election last December, where he also beat Waites with about 55 percent of the votes. This time around, Pitts’ win was narrower. In the unofficial results, he earned 42,584 votes to Waites’ 40,812. Pitts faces no opposition in the November general election.

of the votes. Clay Tippins, a Buckhead resident and businessman, received about 12 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. Cagle, who currently serves as lieutenant governor, received about 39 percent of the vote. Kemp, who serves as secretary of

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Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris will remain in the District 3 seat, which represents Buckhead and parts of Sandy Springs. Morris did not draw a Republican or Democratic challenger. The race for an open Fulton County Superior Court judge position is headed to a runoff between Kevin Farmer and Fani Willis. Farmer is a Clayton County prosecutor and longtime Sandy Springs resident. Willis is best known as the lead prosecutor on the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal case. They were in a three-way race with Buckhead resident Bobby Wolf. According to unofficial results, Willis nearly won outright with 48.97 percent of the votes, followed by Farmer with 31.4 percent. Wolf finished out of the running with just under 20 percent.

U.S. House of Representatives District 11 Incumbent U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk will face Democratic challenger Flynn Broady, Jr. in the November election. District 11 represents most of central and northern Buckhead. Both primary races were uncontested.

U.S. House of Representatives District 5 U.S. Rep. John Lewis will remain in the House District 5 seat, which represents southern Buckhead. Lewis did not draw any Democratic or Republican challengers.

Georgia Governor Republicans Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp head to a primary runoff election to determine who will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in the November election for governor.

The runoff election is set for July 24. Cagle and Kemp toppled two candidates with Buckhead connections that were in the running for the Republican nomination. Hunter Hill, a former state senator who represented parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, received about 18 percent


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state, received about 26 percent, according to unofficial results. Abrams handily defeated Stacey Evans in the primary, receiving about 76 percent of the votes, according to the unofficial count.

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4 | Perimeter Business

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Perimeter Business

Focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Spring 2018 | Coworking is here to stay

The coworking craze is here to stay BY JOHN RUCH


The coworking craze is coming to town on an epic scale, from WeWork’s basketball court turned offices in Buckhead to Industrious leasing the entire 11th floor of a Sandy Springs skyscraper. And Continued on page 8


The WeWork Tower Place location repurposed a former basketball court for its “hot desk” area, which is the least-expensive plan that allows members to use a temporary desk.

Entrepreneurs take flight at PDK Airport coworking space BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Three years ago, Santiago Rojas and Diego Sabogal were sitting in various Starbucks or Caribou Coffee shops in Atlanta and dreaming up plans they had for their marketing company, 3pod. The two would each spend about $20 a night at the coffee shop, seven days a week, for about $1,200 a month. “And then we said, ‘We spend too much money on coffee,’” Sabogal, 34, said. Like many startup leaders today, the two decided to rent a “hot desk” — a shared desk space — at a membership-based coworking space, including at TechSquare Labs near Georgia Tech. About a year ago, they relocated to The Globe Hub coworking space located at the PDK Airport in Chamblee near the Brookhaven border. Here the coffee is free and rent for a tiny office is about $800 a month. “I like to work at Starbucks. They have good coffee. But Continued on page 6


1954 Airport Road, Chamblee theglobehub.com

Peter Giraldo, at left, Diego Sabogal, Santiago Rojas, Mauricio Munoz and Lucy Salazara take a break from working at the Globe Hub coworking space at PDK Airport to moment to enjoy a meal from the café in the building’s atrium.


MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018

Perimeter Business | 5


A co-lawyering complex custom-built for attorneys hangs its shingle BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

When attorney Jason Graham left a big firm to hang his own shingle about a dozen years ago, he tried setting up shop in one of the big coworking spaces in a thenemerging market. “I hated it,” he recalls. “They nickeland-dime you on everything.” After 18 months of paying for every cup of coworking coffee and waiting out a lease, he tried the traditional office route, renting space in Brookhaven’s Executive Park. It turned out to be more space than he needed, so he subleased to other attorneys. “The idea came up — I should do this on purpose,” Graham says. And so was born SynerG Law Complex, SPECIAL Jason Graham, CEO of the a custom-built co-lawyering space in the SynerG Law Complex. heart of Perimeter Center that combines traditional managed offices with some of today’s coworking and business incubator concepts. Graham, who created the complex with a developer client, is its CEO. Located at 6075 Barfield Road in Sandy Springs, just off Hammond Drive at Ga. 400, the two-story, brick-and-glass complex opened eight months ago and is rapidly filling up with lawyers drawn to what Graham calls the “plug and practice” model. The monthly rental rate includes everything from office furniture to cleaning services, from parking to conference rooms, from utilities to reception desk service, from the mix-your-own Coke Freestyle soda machine in the café to use of the legal research service Westlaw. The rates start at $1,750 a month for a basic office. They ramp up to a maximum of three offices and two cubicles for $5,700. Various discounts are available, and SynerG works to get group-purchase discounts for tenants for such outside services as bookkeeping. Lower-price “virtual offices” are also available for attorneys who want to use the basic amenities but only stop in occasionally.

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“If I tell people the rent, they get sticker shock,” says Graham, “but if I tell them [everything is included], they’re like, ‘How can you afford it?’” On a recent tour, Graham showed off the sleek, modern interior design that is intended to give every tenant a sense of workplace prestige and authority clients may expect from lawyers. In a large conference room, he raised the blinds to show off a big selling point — a view of the landmark King and Queen skyscrapers on the other side of Ga. 400. There are some practical amenities designed just for lawyers, such as a secure document shredder and a printer controlled by a key card so that others won’t see confidential documents popping out. Part of Graham’s pitch is that tenants know their space is overseen by a fellow attorney — he specializes in complex commercial litigation — and not just a property manager. Robin Lourie, a personal injury and product liability attorney, is one of the happy tenants.

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After over 30 years of practice and looking ahead to retirement, Lourie wanted a smaller office. “I was just looking for an all-in-one shop,” she said. She looked at renting a regular office, but found SynerG “more cost-efficient and nice.” And the specialized clientele was more appealing. “I like the idea of just lawyers,” says Lourie, adding that it has paid off with referrals from others in the building. Continued on page 7


Attorney Robin Lourie works at her new office at SynerG, which came complete with the furniture.

Jason Graham shows off the view of the King and Queen buildings from SynerG’s top-floor conference room.

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6 | Perimeter Business

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Eat Your Heart Out. DYANA BAGBY

Santiago Rojas, left, and his business partner Diego Sabogal, owners of 3pod, go over a marketing campaign at their office in the Globe Hub coworking space at PDK Airport. Their office looks out over a parking area filled with small airplanes.

Entrepreneurs take flight at PDK Airport coworking space Continued from page 4

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I’m saving money now,” Sabogal said with a laugh. The entire coworking space includes 30 offices, 20 dedicated desks and 100 hot desks. There are a few training facilities and meeting rooms that can be reserved by non-members. Special events can also be booked in the building’s atrium and patio area for non-members. Costs for these spaces range from $125 a month for a hot desk to $300 a month for a private desk to nearly $900 for a private office. But it’s more than free coffee. The Globe Hub creates an atmosphere of community, Rojas, 27, said. “We love ... the community here,” he said. “You come here, everyone is welcoming. They are willing to learn more about you. You see successful, humble people here. We love that about this place. Everyone wants to help you.” There is also the convenient location — and convenient parking. Asking a client to meet them at TechSquare Labs, for instance, meant dealing with traffic, Rojas said. Finding parking was also difficult and expensive. “This place is convenient for us and our clients,” Rojas said. He lives in Atlantic Station and Sabogal lives in Candler Park. The PDK Airport is a middle point for them, their clients in Midtown and for clients they have in Gwinnett County. Rojas and Sabogal work in a corner office with big windows that looks out on a patio area sitting just a few feet away from an area where dozens of airplanes are parked, with two large hangars in the distance. Their company develops websites, mobile apps, branding and social media campaigns for clients. They also handle all of these aspects for The Globe Hub business. The Globe Hub space is located in about 14,000 square feet — nearly the entire ground floor — of the 1954 Airport Road building. Aviation-themed furniture and paintings are located throughout the space. Framed photographs commemorating the airport’s history as the original site of Naval Air Station Atlanta line the building’s

entrance and the walls of the atrium. The Cloud 9 café in the building’s atrium, where sandwiches and sodas are available for purchase, is owned by Denise and Mark Cox-Taylor. Over their counter is a striking 50-by-30-foot mural of a Corsair plane flying over Camp Gordon painted by Atlanta artist Chris Allio. The owners of The Globe Hub, Kevin Henao and Vishay Singh, are also entrepreneurs and have offices onsite. “This was a traditional, old-style office space with everyone behind a door,” Singh said from his spacious glass-enclosed office across from 3pod. Singh said Henao saw a way to bring the building alive by creating a space where people could get to know each other, feed ideas off each other, network with each other. And with the airplanes and aviation surrounding them, a one-of-a-kind coworking space could be designed. “The building owner liked the idea. It was a no-brainer ... because of the uniqueness. The cool-factor,” Singh said. The two looked at other spaces in Buckhead, downtown and Midtown. But Chamblee is booming as a suburb and with the growth and lack of office space in Brookhaven next door, opening such a space here made sense, Singh said. The Globe Hub’s name was selected purposefully, Singh said. While the building was already named the Globe Building, it was incorporated into the coworking business name to represent the international clients and members, Singh said. Rojas was born in Bolivia and Sabogal was born in Colombia. Singh is from South Africa and Henao is also from Colombia. The Globe Hub also this month sponsored the 2018 InnoSTARS Competition with the U.S. China Innovation Alliance, which provides U.S.-based tech companies the chance to learn more about opportunities in China. “We are not your typical tech space,” Singh said. “We have entrepreneurs from all walks of life. We are one big community. We are having a bit of fun, but also enjoying the process of being entrepreneurs together.”

MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018

Perimeter Business | 7


A co-lawyering complex custombuilt for attorneys hangs its shingle Continued from page 5

For Kanner Baker LLC, a new firm focused on estate planning and tax law, SynerG’s services gave the ability to start practicing immediately instead of spending a month setting up a regular, independent office, said partner Paige Baker. “I can’t say enough great things about it,” said Baker. Besides the appeal of turnkey offices, SynerG has some social elements as well. Attorneys gather for regular “lunch and learn” programs to hear from professionals in other fields and chat with each other. During the tour, a lunch-and-learn with accountants about tax law changes was setting up. The complex has also hosted social events and meetings for such groups as the Sandy Springs Bar Association — partly for the atmosphere, partly to drum up business. The incubator element — helping to nurture new attorneys — is a mentoring program. More experienced attorneys can get discount rates for being available “kind of like college professor hours” to advise others in the building for free, said Graham, who also does such mentoring himself. He has one tenant fresh out of law school who could not otherwise get that help so easily. SynerG isn’t for every lawyer. Graham’s own commercial and corporate firm, Graham Legal LLC, is the largest there, with five attorneys, and he says that’s probably the biggest SynerG can handle. For the solo practitioners and small firms who make it home, Graham says he’s surprised at their diversity of experience and fields, from divorce to criminal defense. He’s also found that “location matters” — many of the tenants live nearby, though he lives in Lilburn. SynerG is nearing 50 percent occupancy, and Graham is already thinking about a second location, maybe in Decatur or the Cumberland area. And he’s pleased to see many of the current tenants paying a month or two in rent with referral fees from their coworkers in SynerG. “There’s a camaraderie that’s building,” he said. For more about SynerG, see synerglawcomplex.com.

Business Openings The following are some of the new businesses that recently opened in Reporter Newspapers communities.

Celebrating the opening of a new Sage Woodfire Tavern location May 7 at 3379 Peachtree Road in Buckhead were, from left, former Buckhead Business Association President Barry Hundley; owner James Liakakos; and current BBA President Chris Godfrey. Info: sagewoodfiretavern.com. SPECIAL

Grub Burger Bar, 1110 Hammond Drive, Suite 35, Sandy Springs. Grubburgerbar.com. GYN Surgical Specialists, gynecology practice, Northside Hospital Doctors’ Centre, 980 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 910, Sandy Springs. gynsurgicalspecialists.com. JP Morgan Chase & Co., bank, 4453 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Chase.com. Medical & Sports Massage, 220 Sandy Springs Circle, Suite 157-B, Sandy Springs. Livelifepainfree.com. Teamo Tea Café, 5920 Roswell Road, #A107, Sandy Springs. Teamoteacafe.com.


To learn more about how we improve the quality of life in Central Perimeter, visit PerimeterCID.org or call 770-390-1780.

8 | Perimeter Business

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The coworking craze is here to stay Continued from page 4






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it’s only the beginning. “I think coworking space in buildings is here to stay and it’s definitely going to increase going forward, says Scott Amoson, director of research at the Atlanta office of the real estate firm Colliers International. Stereotyped as hipster hangouts for startup kids, the coworking model of (almost) everything-included, short-term rent in cool, hangout-friendly workspaces is proving popular among big corporations, too. It ties into national trends of smaller corporate headquarters, flexible strategies in unpredictable times, and office complexes embracing the “live-work-play” approach to attracting and pleasing tenants. “Coworking” is a fuzzy term. Amoson boils it down to any complex that rents a short-term desk or office open to all. A bit different are “incubators” like Buckhead’s Atlanta Tech Village, which are focused on a particular industry and have a mentorship aspect. A coworking trademark is a nice building with “hot desks” for laptop use and amenities that range from free coffee to massages or, in one recent case, Mother’s Day bouquet-making classes. The basic idea: “flexible workspace,” Amoson says. With the typical commercial lease running three years, coworking can be attractive for everything “from a one-man shop to the Coca-Colas that might need a short-term solution to something they’re working on,” he said. The fee is more akin to a membership than a sublease, as most multi-location coworking businesses let clients use any facility. According to Collier’s count, there are 11 coworking businesses in or coming soon to Buckhead and seven in Perimeter Center. They’re among roughly 75 in the metro Atlanta market so far in what Amoson calls a “pretty crazy” boom time.

Cutting the commute

In Atlanta, there’s naturally a traffic angle to the craze — employees can pop into a nearby coworking space with a laptop instead of battling for hours on Ga. 400 or the Downtown Connector. That kind of satellite office use is one reason big coworking companies are creeping up from Midtown to Buckhead and now Perimeter Center, and soon outward into north Fulton and other suburban hubs. Valerie Jaffee, Industrious’ Southeast regional manager, says her company’s real business is making “happy, productive employees,” and a shorter commute can’t hurt. At the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts, self-taxing business districts that conduct traffic and streetscape projects, Executive Director Ann Hanlon said that coworking is booming enough to factor into the group’s forthcoming master plan. “Coworking can offer Perimeter’s commuters yet another option, in addition to traditional office space, to adapt their life-

styles to the region’s ever-changing transportation challenges,” Hanlon said in an email. “Even more, Perimeter’s coworking assets offer intown employers the opportunity to leverage an alternative work location to employees who may not always want to travel the distance intown every day.” Landlords like it, too. Amoson says giant coworking spaces often replace traditional tenants that are downsizing. He said the deals rarely involve incentives like rent discounts or build-out costs. The coworking tenants may one day become long-term tenants of other parts of the office building. Amoson said some of the brokers at Colliers hang out at WeWork just for that possibility of finding a client ready to move into their own digs. At Perimeter Summit in Brookhaven’s part of Perimeter Center, several long-term tenants have come from a Regus coworking space there, according to Randy Holmes, principal at Seven Oaks Company, the office complex’s owner. Coworking’s amenities also tie into Seven Oaks’ interest in programming — like large outdoor concerts — to attract and retain tenants. “The workforce is rapidly becoming more mobile, and it’s imperative for office owners to adapt and evolve so they don’t miss out on a fast-growing piece of the market,” says Holmes. “Prioritizing flexible workspace options and community activation that engages tenants will help build long-term asset value and ensure landlords stay relevant as our industry continues to evolve.” Employee attraction and retention are other factors, as coworking spaces offer amenities that might appeal to younger workers without capital expenses for the company.

Back to the future of ‘executive suites’

Coworking is not an entirely new concept and in many ways the trend is going back to the future. An earlier version popular in 1990s and early 2000s was “executive suites.” Also known as managed or serviced offices, they offered turnkey office rentals. Regus was the big player in the Atlanta market — and, after many economic twists and turns, still dominates local coworking. It operates 11 of the 20 coworking businesses that Colliers has counted in the Perimeter Center and Buckhead markets. The term “coworking” and the idea of offbeat amenities like a Ping-Pong conference table — an actual feature at a WeWork in Buckhead — are newer. The idea of tech workers hanging out and communally working started in San Francisco in 2005, when a software coder named Brad Neuberg started an informal group at the house of a feminist collective. His Left Coast idea of communitybuilding was quickly commercialized and subsumed into big-business coworking as we know it. That version started coming to Atlanta around 2014, Amoson says.

MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018


In some ways, coworking is shifting back to the “executive suites” model and appealing to major corporations. As Industrious comes to the 7000 Central Parkway tower in Sandy Springs, it isn’t envisioning just a group of coders on laptops. “The assumption around the country [about coworking tenants] … is early-stage startups, young guys fresh out of college,” Jaffee says. But at Industrious, the average age of a client company is 12 years, she says. Such companies as Hyatt have used Industrious as a base for regional teams. Industrious has even started building custom corporate headquarters. At Atlanta’s Ponce City Market, Industrious operates its standard coworking facility on the eighth floor. But they also built out the seventh floor as a serviced headquarters for the software company Pivotal, whose employees can also use the normal coworking space. Jaffee says Industrious is also interested in taking over management and programming of all common facilities, bringing expertise in that lifestyle type of activity that the landlord might not have.

Amenity vs. annoyance

WeWork takes a different approach, emphasizing the offbeat aesthetics while diversifying into other businesses. The company has been an aggressive leader in Atlanta’s coworking market. It came to Buckhead in 2016 with an enormous, 70,000-square-foot facility in Tower Place at 3340 Peachtree Road. Another WeWork — 42,000 square feet in size — aims to open June 1 in Terminus 100 at 3280 Peachtree. As seen at Tower Place on a recent tour, the company’s “hot desks,” the cheapest rental option that gives members access to a temporary desk, are located on a renovated basketball court. For an edgy vibe, some walls have custom-designed wallpaper featuring depictions of office workouts inspired by rap lyrics. A couch bore a pillow

adorned with the phrase “thug life.” WeWork has other types of lifestyles in mind, however, as it extends its brand in New York City and Washington, D.C., with WeLive apartments, a gym called WeRise, and a for-profit school called WeGrow. Bobby Condon, WeWork’s Southeast general manager, said that bringing such spin-offs to Atlanta is in discussion, but with no timeline. “We truly believe we are transforming the ways people think about working,” he said. “Our mission is to create a life and not just a living.” Coworking isn’t for everyone and one person’s amenity can be another person’s annoyance. Yet another brand coming to town in June is Serendipity Labs, which pitches itself as a more professional alternative for people who feel underserved by other coworking places. The company is opening a 26,000-square-foot space in the prominent Three Alliance Center skyscraper at 3550 Lenox Road in Buckhead. No Ping-Pong tables shall be found at Serendipity Labs, says Paula Gomphrecht, the company’s vice president of marketing. “These are people who don’t want to feel like they are competing for space or against noise levels,” she said. “These are people who are looking for a more professional environment. What they really want is a secure phone line.” Amoson said the pace of coworking growth will continue — Colliers predicts coworking space will double globally by 2020 — but that eventually there will be a shakeout, with bigger companies acquiring smaller ones, and landlords cutting out the middlemen to run their own coworking spaces. But the idea of flexible workspace has legs, he says, predicting that some element of coworking space will be a standard feature built into future office buildings. “When the hype dies down, it’s [still] going to be a model for leasing space,” he said. --Evelyn Andrews contributed

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Commentary / Librarians recommend their summer beach reads Summer’s approaching and the time is right for reading on the beach. But, what to read? We turned to our local book experts. Go to ReporterNewspapers.net for even more of their recommendations.


Principal librarian and branch manager of the Sandy Springs Library. “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue,” Mackenzi Lee Eighteenth-century party animal Henry “Monty” Montague is all set for his Grand Tour of Europe with his best mate and unrequited crush Percy and younger sister Felicity, when his traveling party runs afoul of a conspiracy of pirates and scheming noblemen. This fast-paced, funny, LGBTQ+ young adult novel reads like “The Da Vinci Code” meets “Jane Austen.” “The Poet’s Dog,” Patricia MacLachlan This middle-grade novel packs a heavy emotional punch, as two snowbound children consider questions of family, friends and loss. Poets, children and dog-lovers alike will find talking dog Teddy particularly hard to resist. “Flat Broke with Two Goats: A Memoir of Appalachia,” Jennifer McGaha McGaha’s entertaining memoir takes you through her unexpectedly disastrous situation as she lurches from one poor financial decision to another. She finds grace and peace by downsizing to a tiny rural cabin. Her solution to an empty nest is definitely unique! With her youngest off to college, and her house empty of kids, she decides to fill it up with … kids (goats, that is). “No One Is Coming to Save Us,” Stephanie Powell Watts Very loosely based on “The Great Gatsby,” this character-driven novel explores race, social class and the American Dream in an epic family saga. In a poverty-stricken African-American community in North Carolina, newly wealthy JJ returns to his small hometown to build a large home and win over his former sweetheart Ava. Ava is now married and struggling with infertility, even as her husband cheats on her.


Jared Millet is principal librarian at the Dunwoody branch of the DeKalb County Public Library. “The Book of Joy,” the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu Refreshingly different from other selfhelp books, “The Book of Joy” is a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu, two men who have witnessed hardship and tragedy and by all rights should be a pair of angry curmudgeons — and yet they’re not. “Head On,” John Scalzi One of today’s most addictive authors sets this mystery novel in the near future after a virulent disease has “locked” many people inside their own bodies with no way to interact with the outside world except through android proxies. Scalzi’s novel is fun and witty while addressing very real issues of surviving with a disability in the modern world. “The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story,” Douglas Preston This work of nonfiction from Preston is just as exciting as one of his thrillers. In 2012, the author was invited to participate in an expedition to find the legendary White City, once believed to be a myth. The journey into the wild to confirm the city’s existence was as fraught with danger and close escapes as any Indiana Jones mov-

ie, except that this time the hazards and hidden treasures were real. “No Time to Spare,” Ursula K. Le Guin The late Ursula Le Guin has been a literary giant for decades, best known for such seminal novels as “The Left Hand of Darkness” and “A Wizard of Earthsea.” In her later years she took up the fine art of online blogging, from which the essays in this collection are pulled. In this book she covers politics, the writer’s life, the problems of growing old and the adventures of living with a rambunctious cat.


Dea Anne Martin is a senior library specialist at the Brookhaven branch of the DeKalb County Public Library. The “Expanse” novels, James S. A. Corey I am not usually a fan of science fiction and, in particular, “hard” science fiction. That changed when I began watching the SyFy channel’s series based on these novels. The show is intriguing and the books even more so. “James A. Corey” is actually Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, who have collaborated on this series, and the two writers really know how to keep you turning the page. Start with the first book “Leviathan Wakes.” “The High Tide Club,” Mary Kay Andrews I think that Andrews writes wonderful beach books and while I haven’t yet read this one, I have it tagged to go on my vacation books list. “Savannah Blues” and “Savannah Breeze” were both tremendously entertaining, as was “Deep Dish.” Delicious, frothy fun!


Kate Whitman serves as vice president of public programs for the Atlanta History Center, which is located in Buckhead. As part of her job, Kate each year orchestrates more than 60 author programs the Atlanta History Center and Margaret Mitchell House at Atlanta History Center Midtown. “There Are No Grown-ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story,” Pamela Druckerman Truth be told, I have only read one parenting book cover to cover and it was Pamela Druckerman’s “Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.” So it is no surprise that I am excited to see Druckerman take on middle age with the same humor and candor that she brought to parenting. This book is filled with hilarious essays sure to bring levity and insight into the middle-age years. “Love and Ruin,” Paula McLain Bestselling author of “The Paris Wife” returns once again to Ernest Hemingway, this time detailing the fiery love story between Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, his third wife. A beautifully written and well-researched historical novel that brings Gellhorn into sharp focus as a fiercely independent woman who would become one of America’s great war correspondents. “You Think It, I’ll Say I: Stories,” Curtis Sittenfeld This short-story collection is one of the best ones I have ever read. I was already a fan of Sittenfeld’s long-form fiction and was delighted to see her bring her same wit, sensitivity, and depth to the characters in these short stories. BH

MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018

Commentary | 11


Packing cubes are no panacea Back in the dark ages before there was an internet, backpacking students got around by using a revered guidebook called “Let’s Go Europe.” You’d go to a youth hostel and you’d find sections on Rome or Vienna that had been ripped out and left there by travelers who had seen those cities and wanted to lighten their load or share information. The book was filled with excellent tips on cheap places to eat and sleep and how to get from point A to point B without a car and what to appreciate once you got there. But there was one tip tucked into that gem of a travel guide that has stuck with me for all these years, and it involved packing. The advice was to get all the money you planned to bring and all the clothes you wanted to pack and lay them out across your bed … and then bring half the clothes and twice the money. I’ve been following that advice pretty sincerely ever since, but I’m wearing down. Sometimes I just don’t want to decide between the gray top and the white top. I want to bring them both. My husband and I were embarking on a two-week, multi-city trip this spring to visit our kids, and since our trip fell during the most challenging packing season of the year, I solicited the advice of my travelsavvy neighbor on what to cram into my carry-on. To my surRobin Conte is a writer prise, she didn’t say “layers.” Instead, she said “packing cubes.” and mother of four who I dismissively waved off that tip, but then reconsidered as she lives in Dunwoody. She explained that with that system she can get more in her suitcan be contacted at case and keep herself organized. robinjm@earthlink.net. I reconsidered. And I consulted the internet. It was there that I came across a woman who had, strewn across her bed, what appeared to be an amount of clothes equal to half the contents of my closet. She announced that she was going on a 10-day trip and would condense the entirety of that wardrobe into a carry-on bag using the wonders of packing cubes. They’re like a trash compactor for your suitcase. I watched, enthralled, and immediately ran out to buy a set. I came home with a variety of zippered nylon bags ranging in size from an iPhone 5 to an 8 Plus to a Motorola, giddy at the prospect of being able to pack all of my clothing choices. I could bring the comfy denim jeans AND the skinny floral jeans! I could bring the gray shirt, the white shirt, AND the navy shirt! I could bring pops of color! A warmer jacket! An extra pair of shoes! A dress! I couldn’t wait to pack. I spread half the contents of my closet onto my bed and began. I started with the Motorola cube. This one I planned to fill with five pairs of pants, two sweaters, four shirts, a pullover, and a blouse. Logic and the rules of physics were not in play at this point; I was delirious with optimism. After rolling my second pair of jeans into the cube, doubt set in. Well, I consoled myself, I AM wearing one pair of jeans on the plane. At the third pair of pants, the cube was almost full, and by pair number four, I had enough room left for my hairbrush. It’s okay, I soothed myself, shirts take up much less space than pants. I rolled up the first three T-shirts and stuffed them into the iPhone 8 Plus, reevaluating my choices and eliminating all the while. How often will I really need a pop of color, anyway? The gray will go with everything. I probably don’t need two sweaters … I think it’s warming up where she lives. I rolled up, crammed in, and eliminated until all four cubes were bursting. Then we left. How much did I bring on my trip? About half of what I originally wanted to pack. But I spent twice the money.

Robin’s Nest

Check out Robin’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’

“The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Robin’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the firstplace Lifestyle/Features Column award in the 2017 Georgia Press Association contest. To order the book and to follow updates on Robin’s book-related appearances, see her website at bestofthenest.net. BH

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12 | Community

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MARTA, APS named to affordable housing study group Continued from page 1

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thority; Amanda Rhein, MARTA’s director of transit oriented development and May 4. Responses from firms interested real estate; and Rachel Sprecher, the Atin conducting the study are due June 14, lanta Public Schools director of partneraccording to the document. The study is ships and development. being funded by a $90,000 grant from “Our department has a vested interthe Atlanta Regional Commission. est in the state of affordable housing “Today, many employees lack attainand ensuring its success within Atlanable options to live near their place of ta,” said Keane employment. in an email. “In Their comorder to promutes contribpel the mayute to traffic or’s vision forcongestion in ward, we must the Buckhead take the lead core,” the rein identifyquest for proing beautiful posals said. and affordable The study housing opwill aim to portunities in SPECIAL study afall areas of the Left, Amanda Rhein, director of transit oriented fordability city.” development and real estate at MARTA. through the Two Atlanangle of reducRight, Sarah Kirsch, the executive director of ta City Counthe Urban Land Institute’s Atlanta branch. ing traffic concil members gestion, in part who reprebecause that is sent Buckhead are planned to serve on the CID’s stated mission. the steering committee: Howard Shook, “This positioning is critical as it enwho also serves on the CID board, and sures the problem is viewed as relevant J.P. Matzigkeit. to everyone in the community,” the docRepresentatives from residential ument said. companies, law firms and the financial The study would take stock of the sector are also planned to serve on the current Buckhead housing inventory committee. The CID wants to have a maand find opportunities for new housing, jor employer, retailer, hotel owner and including vacant land, office-to-residenrestaurant owner participate, but have tial conversions and places to build afnot determined who they will be, acfordable or mixed-income housing, according to the RFP. cording to the document. It would also Rhein said Buckhead has “great” define the demographic makeup of the transit access with three stations and Buckhead workforce and from where bus service, but lacks affordable housthey commute so that strategies to reing. Policymakers are increasingly using duce congestion can be implemented, the combined cost of housing and transthe RFP said. portation when considering if a commuThe study will be contracted through nity is affordable, she said in a written the CID, managed by Denise Starling, the statement. executive director of Livable Buckhead “MARTA appreciates that the Buckand led by a project management team, head CID recognizes the relationship a stakeholder committee and a technical between housing affordability and advisory committee, the RFP said. transit,” Rhein said. “Including MARThe project management team is TA in the conversation is also imporplanned to include the CID, Livable tant because MARTA provides access Buckhead and potentially the Buckhead to opportunity, which is key to improvCoalition, Buckhead Business Associaing economic mobility for low-income tion and Buckhead Rotary, according to households.” the RFP. Sprecher felt it was important to The steering committee, which voice the school district’s perspective would “ultimately become the task force in discussions about affordable housthat guides the implementation of the ing and transit in Buckhead, said APS identified strategies and outcomes,” is spokesperson Latisha Gray in an email. planned to include representatives from Kirsch said ULI, a nonprofit that rea wide range of public and private secsearches land use, believes a better contor organizations, according to the RFP. nection between housing, jobs and tranSome of the members include Tim sit is needed to address affordability Keane, the city’s planning commischallenges. sioner, who is listed as tentative; Sarah “ULI Atlanta’s participation in the Kirsch, executive director of the Urban Buckhead study is one example of our Land Institute’s Atlanta branch; Trish working with partners from across the O’Connell of the Atlanta Housing Auregion to bring to bear research we have


MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018

Community | 13


conducted and well as brining lessons learned from work being done in other ULI District Councils across the country,” Kirsch said in an email. The firm that is selected for the study is instructed in the RFP to frequently engage the steering committee in discussions and provide opportunities for

broader public engagement. “Strategies should be developed with an effort to ‘meet people where they are’ to ensure broad based reach and input from communities typically underrepresented in public discussions,” the RFP said.

Buckhead Police Blotter The following crime incidents are from the Zone 2 weekly report from the Atlanta Police Department for May 6 through May 12.

Aggravated Assaults 2 Burglary 8 Larceny from Auto 61 Larceny 34 Auto Theft 11 Domestic Crime 1 Arrests 0 Aggravated Assault 2 Larceny 17 Auto Theft 1 Narcotics 4 Traffic 24 Warrants 9

Senior Life Atlanta

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14 | Community

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Eat Your Heart Out.

Bridge replacement brings safety concerns, lawsuit


A map shows the official proposed detour plan for the Powers Ferry Road closure.

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While most residents near the upcoming Powers Ferry Road closure have accepted that their commutes will temporarily be disrupted for the bridge replacement, one homeowner couple is suing the city of Atlanta over proposed changes to their property. The Chastain Park Conservancy expressed safety concerns and is working with the city to install a temporary fence to prevent pedestrians from bypassing the closure through the golf course. “It’s going to jam us up, but it’s got to be done. We’re just glad to live here,” resident Cindy Mendenhall said at a May 15 open house meeting held at the Chastain Horse Park clubhouse. The Powers Ferry Road bridge over Nancy Creek on the west side of Chastain Park was built in 1948 and needs replacing due to its age, according to the city. The bridge will be closed for seven months starting in September, with preparatory work starting sooner. The road is used by about 6,000 vehicles per day. The official detour is planned to be the local roads to the west of the bridge and park. They include Jett Road, Conway Drive, Northside Drive, Blackland Road and Putnam Drive. The southern end of the route ends at a five-way stop with major roads that can become a bottleneck. The first public meeting for the project held in 2016 found that most people disapproved of making the official route Lake Forrest Drive, which is on the east side of the park, said Ibrahim Abousaud, the project manager. “In reality, people are going to take whatever roads they want,” Abousaud said. The road is in the city of Atlanta, but

is close to the border with Sandy Springs and will affect residents who live and travel through that area, Sandy Springs City Councilmember Andy Bauman said. Sandy Springs has been in touch with Atlanta and will help with coordination and manage detours and traffic, Bauman said in an email. “There are a lot of positives that will come from completing these long-deferred infrastructure projects, but in the nearterm all of us that live and drive through that area are going to need to have some patience while the work gets done,” Bauman said. Multiuse paths circle the park and run across the bridge, creating about a threemile loop regularly used by walkers. Documents distributed at the meeting recommend three different routes pedestrians can instead use while the bridge is replaced. Wendy Hackett, who regularly walks the paths around the park, said she is prepared to deal with the closure. “For me, I’m going to have a new route to walk,” she said. “It’s going to be a little bit of a nuisance, but the bridge needs to be replaced. People are just going to learn they can’t go that way anymore.” The project, which is budgeted at nearly $2.5 million, will also provide a visually-upgraded bridge. The proposed bridge design includes siding with decorative windows. The project is funded by the Renew Atlanta bond funds. Ray Mock, the operations director at the Chastain Park Conservancy, said he hopes to not see a repeat of the safety problems caused by previous sidewalk closures. When the multiuse paths were built in 2016, closing the sidewalks, pedestrians tried to bypass the closures through dangerous detours, Mock said. BH

MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018

Community | 15


“We had mothers pushing their babies in carriages into oncoming traffic and on the golf course,” Mock said. Pedestrians walking on the course disrupts the play of golfers who paid to use the course, Mock said. “It also scares players to look up and see they hit a ball toward people. No one wants to hurt anybody,” he said. To prevent this, the conservancy is working with the city to install a temporary fence along Powers Ferry Road, he said. “We’re just going to have to change their habits for a few months,” he said. The city has not finalized that it will pay for the fence and is still working with the conservancy on the safety plans, Abousaud said.

Residents file lawsuit

Although most nearby residents at the

meeting approved of the city’s plans, an adjacent homeowner has filed a suit against the city over proposed changes that would affect their property. Walton and Virginia Byrde, who own the house at the southeast side of the bridge, claim they deserve to be compensated for vegetation loss and the reconfiguration of the driveway. The Byrdes are asking for $45,000 from the city to compensate them for several 25-year-old bushes that will be removed and to repave a part of their driveway the city does not plan to repave, Walton Byrde said. They also want to instead have a rock wall barrier built on their side of the bridge for aesthetic reasons, which is planned for the other three sides of the bridge. A metal guard rail is planned on the Byrde’s side. “We understand the bridge is going to have to be done, but let’s do it and work together,” Virginia Byrde said.

Michele Wynn, a program manager from the Renew Atlanta bond program, said that a metal guard rail is needed there because of the topography and the angle cars would approach that side. “I don’t think their request is unreasonable, but it’s a process that we’ll have to work through,” Wynn said. For more information about the project or to view documents distributed at the meeting, visit renewatlantabond.com.


Walton Byrde, right, and his wife Virginia Byrde, center, discuss their concerns that led them to sue the city with Michele Wynn, left, a program manager from the Renew Atlanta bond program.


North Atlanta High School Class of 2018!

Thanks to the ongoing dedication of our students and families committed to public education, along with our top notch administration, faculty, volunteers & program offerings, we have great news to share about our seniors this year. • • • •

$25,008,919 in Scholarships Awarded and counting 2 Posse Foundation Scholars & 1 DREAM US Scholar 57 Zell Miller Eligible & 158 HOPE Eligible Seniors (53% of seniors) Admitted to 27 of the Top 50 National Colleges & Universities and Admitted to 25 of the Top 50 Historically Black Colleges & Universities (per U.S. News & World Report) • Appointment to the United States Air Force Academy, our 10th in the past 5 years

• 24 Admitted to Georgia Tech & 60 Admitted to University of Georgia • 13 NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA Athletic Commits for Basketball, Baseball, Fencing, Football, Lacrosse, and Soccer, including 8 NCAA athletic scholarships • 86% of the 403 graduating seniors applied to college • 61% of NAHS took AP or IB course load and 45 were Dual Enrollment Students

Stats as of 5/14/2018 (final stats will be available from NAHS in August)

North Atlanta High School, the oldest International Baccalaureate school in the Southeast, offers well-rounded academics, a variety of extra-curricular activities, fine & performing arts, competitive athletics, study abroad, and more. Students must earn significant community service hours, to further engage in the wider world that awaits them at graduation.


Thank you to the residents of our community whose tax dollars support the students at NAHS and our APS North Atlanta Cluster!

16 | Art & Entertainment

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter. org.





ion or take a blanket or chairs for lawn seating. Cash bar; no outside alcoholic beverages. $12$18; children 2 and under free. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.



Saturday, June 9, 7 to 9 p.m. Peachtree Peppers, a modern rock and Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band, is next up in this lineup of summer concerts, held every other Saturday evening through July 21. Seating available on a first-come, first-served basis in the meadow or on the back porch. Outside food and drink welcome. Craft beers, sodas and water available. $5 adults; $3 students; free for members and for children 3 and under. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.


Sunday, June 10, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Concert begins at 7 p.m. The Chattahoochee Nature Center hosts River Whyless, an Asheville, N.C.-based quartet whose musical sounds have been described as folk-rock and baroque-folk. Purchase a table seat in the picnic pavil-

Sunday, June 10, 7 to 8:30 p.m. The 22nd season of Heritage Sandy Springs’ outdoor summer concert series continues with beach music favorites by the Swingin’ Medallions. Gates open at 5 p.m. Picnics welcome. Food, beer and wine available. Free. Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn at Heritage Green, 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org or 404-851-9111.


Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, June 3, noon to 5 p.m. Live butterfly releases and butterfly-inspired events including arts and crafts and a plant sale are in store at this 19th annual fundraising event for the Chattahoochee Nature Center. $12 public; $8 CNC members. This event also kicks off the CNC’s Butterfly Encounter, open from June 4 to Aug. 31. Walk inside an enclosure filled with butterflies and the plants they love. Free with admission.


Saturday, June 16, 8 to 11 p.m. The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association hosts the Nashville-based Roux du Bayoux Cajun Band at the Dorothy Benson Center. Cajun/Creole food for sale. All ages. No partner necessary. $18; $14 active military; $5 students. Cash or check only. Free Two-Step dance lesson at 7 p.m. Intermediate/Advanced Cajun dance class from 4:30-6 p.m. is $15. 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.



Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A fun-filled day of music, dog trick demonstrations, pet-related vendors, adoptions. Free. Dogs must be leashed. Brookhaven Park, 4158 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven. Info: brookhavenga.gov.




Sunday, June 10, noon to 3 p.m. Enjoy outdoor pools and the splash park at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta at a free pool party and community celebration. Music, door prizes, games, activities and free ice pops for children. Food available for purchase. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info/ RSVP: atlantajcc.org.

Saturday, June 2, 11 a.m. to noon. Learn about container gardening in this month’s Dunwoody Community Garden & Orchard Master Gardener Session. Refreshments served. Free. DCGO greenhouse complex in Brook Run Park, opposite the skate park. 4770 Georgia Way South, Dunwoody. Info: dcgo.org.


Saturday, June 2, 11 a.m. to noon. Learn about the life of a honeybee in a program at the Dunwoody Nature Center, home to an observation honeybee hive and a traditional stacked honeybee hive. Free. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.








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Saturday, June 9, 6:30 to 11 p.m. This third annual “Celebration of Sandy Springs” is a time to eat, drink and party with a purpose at City Green in City Springs’ inaugural event. Features food from more than 20 popular local restaurants, local musicians and wine, beer and cocktails. The outdoor event benefits Sandy Springs-based charities — The Drake House, Community Assistance Center and Second Helpings Atlanta. Ages 21+. Rain or shine. $55-$75. City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: foodthatrocks.org.

MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 17



Tuesdays through Dec. 18, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Get free help with your resume at the Sandy Springs Branch Library. Call to schedule an appointment with the library’s “in-house resume doctor.” Open to all Atlanta-Fulton Public Library cardholders. 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. Info: 404-303-6130.


Saturday, June 9, 10 a.m. to noon. Learn about fragrant flowers, plant a fragrant herb, and learn how herbs are used in aromatherapy at this month’s edition of Little Diggers, a free family gardening series presented monthly through October by Heritage Sandy Springs. Best suited for ages 6-10 with accompanying adult. Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.

THE BRAVES EXPERIENCE FOR FANS OF ALL SIZES 5K, One Mile & 50m Dash | June 2 | SunTrust Park Registration includes: • 5K participants receive a ticket to select Braves game • Additional discounted tickets available for purchase • All participants receive a Mizuno shirt


Register at atlantatrackclub.org

Opening reception Thursday, June 7, 6 to 9 p.m. Exhibition runs Tuesdays through Saturdays through Aug. 18, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This collection of the best work currently being produced at the Spruill Arts Center was curated by leaders in the Atlanta art community. Free. 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts. org/gallery or 770-394-4019.


Wednesdays through Oct. 3, 6 to 9 p.m. Food trucks, beer and wine, entertainment, kids’ activities. Free admission, free parking. Dogs welcome. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven. Info: brookhavenga.gov/ parksrec.


Thursdays through October, 5 p.m. till dark. Join the crowd at a picnic-style gathering at Brook Run Park for a rotating array of food trucks, music and entertainment. Participating food trucks, desserts, adult beverages and weather-related updates will be listed on Facebook. 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyga.org/Dunwoody-Food-TruckThursdays or facebook.com/dunwoodyfoodtruckthursdays.


Davis Academy Class of 2018! Nate Artzi Anna Baylin Olivia Bercoon Shelby Bercoon Rachel Binderman Brandon Bohrer Asher Bressler Logan Bucovetsky Stuart Cohen Ashley Costley Samuel Durbin Evan Feintuch Hannah Ferrar Sammy Finkelstein Joshua Forman Harrison Frank Alexa Freedman

Jack Goldstein Sarah Greenberg Annalise Hardy Amalia Haviv Kady Herold Rachel Hertz Noah Hirschfield Kaden Husney Joshua Isaacs Samuel Isaacs Shoshana Katz Margo Kaye Daniel Kobrinsky Veronica Kogan Maya Laufer Sydney Leahy Andrew Levingston

Jordan Levy Ezra Mahle Max Martin Matthew McCullough Seth Meiselman Daniel Menis Mai Miller Jacob Mirsky Sophia Mokotoff Gabrielle Murray Alex Newberg Jordan Palgon Emma Perlstein Sy Polekoff Amit Rau Matthew Richmond Ellie Rifkin

Alon Rogow Daniel Rosen Alec Rosenberg Jessica Schulhof Zoe Shapiro Eric Sherman Jason Sherman Brooke Stanley Ava Stark Lily Stark Virginia Sullivan Matthew Szabo Datya Voloschin Alexa Warner Eli Weiser Hailey Weiss Sasha Wildstein

8105 Roberts Drive Atlanta, GA 30350 770-671-0085 davisacademy.org

18 | Education

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers â– twitter.com/Reporter_News

2018 Valedictorians & Salutatorians H

igh school graduation season returned this month. Proud parents, brothers and sisters and other family members packed auditoriums and stadiums across Reporter Newspapers communities to clap and cheer as local schools conferred hardearned diplomas and special honors on hundreds of new graduates. During many graduation ceremonies, a few students are singled out to be honored for achieving the highest academic standing among their classmates. They are the valedictorians and salutatorians for their schools. Here is a gallery of photographs of the valedictorians and salutatorians for the Class of 2018 at high schools in Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. The schools provided their names and photographs. The Atlanta International School could not immediately provide photos of its honorees: Katherina Ruenger, valedictorian; and Katherine Paton-Smith and Clary Bond, salutatorians (jointly).



Milyazim Anvarov Valedictorian

Julia Platt Valedictorian

Yourong Geng Salutatorian


Sakshi Sehgal Valedictorian

Aminur Ali Valedictorian


Mario Becerra Aleman Valedictorian

Yuyan Ke Salutatorian

Brian Kang Salutatorian

Khawla Nirjhar Salutatorian


Shreya Nainwal Valedictorian

Alexandra Buhl Salutatorian

Caitlin Howie Salutatorian

Education | 19

MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


Saffiya Bashey Valedictorian

Christine Catherman Salutatorian MARIST SCHOOL

Anais Marenco Valedictorian

David Sullivan Valedictorian

Madeleine Hardt Salutatorian

Michael Propp Valedictorian


Carol Beatty Salutatorian

Megan Lienau Valedictorian


Jared Coffsky Valedictorian



Eric Miller Salutatorian

Arial Strode Salutatorian

Matthew Halbig Salutatorian

Richard Hill Valedictorian

Saya Abney Valedictorian

Ben Thompson Salutatorian WEBER SCHOOL

Samuel Weiss-Cowie Valedictorian

Rosa Brown Salutatorian


Abbey Pan Valedictorian

Alex Palacios Valedictorian

Ben Israel Salutatorian



Nicholas Poulos Valedictorian



Jennifer Spalten Valedictorian

Emma Ellis Salutatorian

Phoebe Liu Salutatorian

Justin Schaufele Salutatorian

Dori Balser Salutatorian

20 | Education

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

BIA parent says state scores don’t tell the whole story BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A parent of two students attending Brookhaven Innovation Academy said that, despite receiving failing scores from a state oversight commission, the school has vastly improved her children’s education experience. The State Charter Schools Commission, which decides whether a school is renewed to continue operating, in a March 21 report gave BIA failing scores on academic and financial sections. BIA passed the operations section. The school was dinged for not earning a College and Career Ready Performance Index, or CCRPI, score that was higher than the district it serves, the entire state. Although created by Brookhav-

en officials to be a better and varied option to DeKalb County public schools, it ranked lower than all but one county public school in Brookhaven. But Veronica Johnson, whose 4th and 6th grade children attend BIA, said that the school’s performance is measured by more than the state’s evaluation. Her children are receiving a better education and getting better grades than they did at their previous public school and private school, she said. The school has worked well enough for them to not mind commuting over an hour from East Point to the school, she said. She said BIA has the right balance of pushing advanced students forward while supporting students who need extra help in areas. BIA avoids the “over-

Mazel tov to the Class of 2014!

We wish you the best of luck in college and beyond.

testing” and strong emphasis on testing traditional public schools often have, Johnson said. Students are encouraged to collaborate and work on projects that apply to life more than other schools, she said.

“Just looking at something in black and white without digging into the details could lead someone to have the wrong impression of the school. It is a fabulous school and I’m happy to send them back there next year,” she said.


Three local state legislators have been named to a state Senate committee charged with making recommendations to improve school safety. State Sen. John Albers, who represents Sandy Springs and authored the legislation to create the committee, will serve as chair. Senators Kay Kirkpatrick, who represents Sandy Springs, and Fran Millar, who represents Dunwoody and parts of Brookhaven and Sandy Springs, will serve on the committee. “This legislation is helping us assess what is best for each community and create system-wide solutions that allow students to learn in an environment where they are protected,” said Albers in a press release. The three Republicans are among a bipartisan group of eight senators that were named on May 10 to the committee. “The safety of our children has always been a priority in the legislature,” said Sen. Kirkpatrick in a written statement. “As state legislators and parents ourselves, there is constant accountability in ensuring that our children will feel protected in a place that is intended to be a ‘safe space.’ ” The committee will travel across the state meeting with teachers, students, parents, first responders, community leaders and experts to get input and learn how to best improve safety in different communities, according to the release.


MEMBERS OF EPSTEIN’S CL ASS OF 2014 WERE ACCEPTED TO: Auburn University Boston University Bowling Green State University Brandeis University Clemson University College of Charleston Colorado School Of Mines DePaul University Drexel University Elon University Emory University Florida State University Georgia State University Georgia Tech Indiana University Ithaca College Kennesaw State University Michigan State Northeastern University

North Carolina State University Oxford College of Emory University Rutgers University SUNY Binghamton Syracuse University Temple University Tulane University University of Alabama University of Arizona University of Colorado Boulder University of Florida University of Georgia University of Kansas University of Maryland University of Massachusetts University of Miami University of Michigan University of Missouri

University of North Carolina University of Oregon University of Pittsburgh University of South Carolina University of Southern California University of Tennessee University of Texas (Austin) University of Toledo University of Vermont University of Wisconsin Washington University in St. Louis Wake Forest Wayne State University We are also proud that 2 Class of 2014 graduates will be joining the Israeli Defense Forces.


Sequoyah Middle School has won a grant for $20,000 worth of sports equipment, which will allow students otherwise financially unable to participate in sports teams, the school district said. The donation was awarded March 5 by Good Sports, an organization that has donated over $26 million worth of sports equipment to students in economically disadvantaged areas nationwide. The DeKalb County Board of Education accepted the donation at its May 14 meeting. Sequoyah Middle is located in Doraville and serves Brookhaven students in the Cross Keys cluster. The items donated include jerseys, shoes, cleats, gloves, knee pads and socks, according to the district.


The Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce awarded four $1,000 scholarships to seniors at Riverwood International and North Springs charter high schools. The Donna Adams Mahaffey scholarships were awarded to Riverwood students Alina Cortes and Valeria Atempa and North Springs students Vanessa Lovinsky and Nirelys Rohena-Santos on April 24 and 30, according to a press release. The organization created the Donna Adams Mahaffey Scholarship Fund in 2015 with the goal of inspiring female graduates to attend college, the release said. SPECIAL “These scholarships instill children Alina Cortes, left, and Valeria Atempa from Riverwood International Charter School with the concept that regardless of their accept their $1,000 scholarships from financial situation, they too can receive a the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber. higher education,” the organization said in a press release. “Improving education on a regional scale has always been a priority to at the chamber.”

MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018

Classifieds | 21



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22 | Community

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Local faith leaders join in Atlanta unity prayer BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A group of Buckhead faith leaders, inspired by former Mayor Sam Massell, convinced 15 congregations to join in a common prayer for “Atlanta Together” unity on the May 19-20 weekend. A total of 30 faith leaders from those 15 houses of worship signed onto the call for the prayer. The congregations were mostly in Buckhead, but included two historic Civil Rights bastions: The Temple, a Midtown synagogue, and Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King Jr.’s congregation in Sweet Auburn. While Massell said he hoped more congregations would sign on, he called the event “tremendously successful” in terms of thousands of people hearing the unity message. He delivered a brief prayer himself at Second-Ponce Baptist Church that Sunday. Among those hearing the message was bestselling novelist Emily Giffin, who posted the prayer as handed out at St. James United Methodist Church on her Facebook page, saying it was a “citywide Atlanta prayer that our whole nation can share.” To Massell, the effort is another facet of the “Atlanta Together” theme he has pushed since last fall’s close and bruising election between now Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Buckhead’s Mary Norwood, and other municipal elections. Bottoms spoke on the theme in January at the annual meeting of the Buckhead Coalition, the business group that Massell now heads and which endorsed Norwood in the cam-

mer campaign treasurpaign, and went on to er, Jamie Ensley, blasted speak of “One Atlanta” in the prayer in a Facebook her “State of the City” adpost after news reports dress earlier this month. that the Georgia Secre“There’s a lot of bittary of State’s office is terness that hangs in the investigating reports of air from the elections … irregularities in the mayThe bitterness is very oral election. deep this time, for some “Now is not the time reason,” said Massell. He to pray for unity with said the tension highthe real possibility that lights divides that are “raFILE the mayoral election was cial, religious, geographKeeva Kase, president and CEO a fraud and so is Keshia ical … and also financial, of Buckhead Christian Ministry. [sic] Lance Bottoms as rich versus poor.” mayor,” Jamie Ensley “If the faith communiwrote on a Reporter Newspapers Facebook ty can’t do this, no one can,” he said of the post about the unity effort. unity effort. Massell called Ensley’s comments “disKeeva Kase, president and CEO of the appointing” and said they made some peoBuckhead Christian Ministry, a homelessple “very upset,” and said he was glad that ness prevention organization, agreed to Norwood did not respond to them. Massell lead the prayer effort. He’s an ordained emphasized that the prayer was not just minister and his organization is a coalition about political unity, but economic, racial of 30 member churches, so the idea was he and other forms as well. could be a neutral party. Post-mayoral political unity already “It’s about reminding all Atlantans that has not gone well so far in Buckhead. Norwe have kinship, not only as children of wood, in her first public post-election comGod, but as children of Atlanta,” said Kase. ments, claimed the neighborhood doesn’t Kase said that Massell “was wise in askget its fair share and that south Atlanta ing our houses of worship to lead this efcontributes little in taxes; Bottoms’ office fort, and it is now incumbent on the faith later blasted those comments as a way to community to choose and model solidarity “stoke division when we should focus on going forward. What we choose to do next unity.” is critical.” The prayer effort involved most reliHowever, Kase and Massell had hoped gious leaders delivering the same, 341-word to get far more congregations on board prayer of unity that weekend, and also and endorsements from Bottoms and Norsigning onto a written copy. wood, both of whom did not respond to “Help us to be an outward-focused peocomment requests. And Norwood’s for-

ple who are concerned for one another and unified in our concern for the well-being of every Atlantan,” read the prayer in part. “… We ask that you heal deep divides by creating new and lasting bonds of kinship across the city. We ask that you unite our great city in ways previously unimagined that will bring prosperity, wellness and a sense of belonging to every Atlanta resident. We pray for the unity of your children in this great city. We pray for an Atlanta Together, this day and forevermore.” Rev. David Richards, the pastor at New Hope AME Church, said it was “critical” for his church to join the movement as the only historic African-American church in Buckhead. “We have to stay focused on keeping this city together,” said Richards, who spoke about the effort at a conference of north Georgia churches that weekend. Rabbi Neil Sandler of Ahavath Achim, one of the signatories, explained his participation in an email sent during a trip to the “Capitol of divisiveness,” Washington, D.C., saying he sees value in a statement of solidarity from Buckhead congregations. “Our own community may not reflect such strong degrees of political divide, but there is more than a hint of it,” Sandler said. “I resonate to what I think is one of the primary messages of the ‘Atlanta Together’ prayer — a recognition that amidst our differences, there must be a sense of unity that informs how we speak in the political realm about and to each other.” – Evelyn Andrews contributed

Buckhead cityhood talk continues, but has no backers BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

After the passage of legislation that would allow the division of a Henry County city, comments and questions about a potential city of Buckhead have again swirled. However, there is no known movement or proponent to de-annex the community from the city of Atlanta. “To my knowledge, there’s no formal movement. And that’s good news,” Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell said of the separatist discussion. Talk of creating a city of Buckhead has existed for decades, but is more prevalent now with the passage of state legislation that would allow residents to vote on carving out part of Stockbridge to create a new city called Eagle’s Landing, said Massell, a former Atlanta mayor. But the discussion seems to be echoing back and forth between community groups and leaders without any real proponent. Most of the comments Massell hears are general questions or people asking his

opinion of the matter, but no one he hears from is genuinely pushing for the move, he said. “I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say, ‘that’s what we want to do’ or ‘that’s what we need to do,’ ” he said. A Twitter profile called “Free Buckhead” was created in May after the passage of the legislation with the description, “a community movement to allow Buckhead to govern herself.” The account has not garnered any followers. Messages to the creator of the account were not returned. State Rep. Beth Beskin, who represents Buckhead and voted against the legislation, said she also has heard comments about cityhood, but not serious discussion pushing for it to happen. “It’s not something that I encourage. I listen to what people are saying,” she said. The discussion Massell has heard prompted him to ask Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms her opinion at a May 14 Buckhead Rotary meeting, he said. “She said it would be damaging to Atlanta and Buckhead and I agree with that.

We’re partners in this city,” Massell said. Massell has always opposed a possible city of Buckhead, but said he does even more so now because of the economic inequality between Buckhead and other parts of Atlanta. “It’s way too late for us to be the city of Buckhead. It would be just devastating to Atlanta,” he said. Buckhead would also have to overcome another challenge if it were to become its own city — dealing with the existing town of Buckhead in Morgan County. Calls to that small town of 171, according to the latest census, were not returned. Massell’s known status as an opponent to cityhood led to a lobbyist for Stockbridge trying to recruit him to help defeat the Eagle’s Landing legislation, he said. “I gave her information, but I didn’t see fit to get involved,” Massell said. Rep. Scott Holcomb, who represents Brookhaven, is one of the legislation’s detractors and fears the precedent it could set. “I think it’s a very bad public policy. It

does not lend itself to stability or security,” he said. Several cities have been created out of formerly unincorporated territory relatively recently, including Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, but this would be different, allowing an existing city to split into two cities. Holcomb fears this would leave Stockbridge unable to meet its financial obligations, the same fears Massell has about the city of Atlanta if Buckhead were to leave. “We’ve been used to conversations around incorporation for a while now, but this is different,” Holcomb said. Although a separate bill would have to be drafted and passed to allow Buckhead to de-annex itself, the passage of this legislation shows that it is possible, he said. However, Stockbridge residents have filed a legal challenge, he said. “That’s one of the dangers of this bill. It does set this precedent for long-term instability in our cities,” he said.


MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018


Public Safety | 23

Donor interest in park over 400 is weak, report finds Continued from page 1 ates, suggested that be scaled back to $25 million, with more funding coming from public sources. Several potential donors interviewed questioned the worthiness of the park for philanthropic donations, as it would benefit surrounding private businesses. They also questioned if it is worth the large investment given that other infrastructure projects are needed in the city. The proposed park would cap Ga. 400 between Peachtree and Lenox roads, provide green space and bring a redesigned Buckhead MARTA Station. The Buckhead Community Improvement District, which originally envisioned the idea, set up a nonprofit to manage the park’s formation after questions over the appropriateness of the CID’s involvement as a group set up to reduce traffic congestion. However, the Coxe Curry report and other feedback suggested the CID be more closely involved because of its capacity and history of handling large-scale infrastructure projects, said Jim Durrett, the CID’s executive director. Twenty-one potential donors were interviewed and, despite their concerns, 17 said they would consider donating to the park, according to a summary of the report read by Durrett at the May 23 CID board meeting. The names of the entities or individuals interviewed were not released. Grants and funds are planned to be requested from several public entities, including the city of Atlanta, the Georgia Department of Transportation and MARTA. New special taxes were once floated to help fund the park, but the CID and nonprofit have since said they don’t want or expect to use taxes. Some interviewees suggested naming rights and other sponsorships be considered to help fund the park. Several of the concerns have been previously expressed by two CID board members, District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook and Lenox Square mall manager

Robin Suggs. No comments were made by board members at the meeting. Shook was not present. The concept and park design was viewed positively by most interviewees, but they questioned if it would help solve what they see as Buckhead’s biggest problem, which is traffic, Durrett said. Some interviewees expressed that, although the park would connected to MARTA with the Buckhead Station located inside it, the park would likely be perceived as park for Buckhead, not the city or region as a whole, the report said. Some wanted to know what the CID’s involvement in the project will look like going forward, which Durrett said will be determined by the board using the feedback from the report. “Some questioned if the nonprofit was the most appropriate entity to take on the technical things that needed to be taken on in order to deliver a big capital project,” the report said. The nonprofit board is chaired by Barbara Kaufman Fleming, an entrepreneur. Other members include business owners, an engineer and real estate attorney. The report recommended the nonprofit serve as more of a park advocate and fundraising arm rather the project manager. Concerns that the park would be seen as an economic benefit to the adjacent property owners hurts the case that it is “a community asset worth of philanthropic support,” the report said. Many said the expected $250 million is a “huge investment” and questioned if it was appropriate given the other needed infrastructure investments around the city, according to the report. Many argued that large philanthropic donations for parks are often made when the park will serve to revitalize an area. The park over 400 would be in an area already developed and economically stable. Durrett said the consulting team is reviewing the project to see if some proposed parts, such as streetscaping, can be scaled back to lessen the costs.

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) Housing Authority of Fulton County, Georgia (HAFC) is issuing a Request for Proposal from qualified property owners and developers interested in applying for up to 60 Project Based- Vouchers (PBV) specifically made available to provide affordable housing to be used in new construction of multi-family affordable housing rental project(s) in Fulton County, Georgia. Proposals must be received by 6:00 p.m. EDT, Monday, July 9, 2018 in the HAFC office, 4273 Wendell Drive SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30336 or via email re: Proposals to mortgagefinance@hafc.org. Any proposals received after the designated time and date will be returned unopened. HAFC may reject for good cause any or all proposals upon a finding of HAFC it is in the public interest to do so. Detailed application and selection information of the Request for Proposal is posted on the HAFC website at www.HAFC.org. Proposers are responsible for checking the HAFC website for any addendums before submitting their proposals. HAFC Board of Commissioners reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and to waive any and all informalities in the best interest of HAFC.



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