MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 11
Sandy Springs 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
North End task force is told to boost retail, avoid gentrification
Splashy fun at City Springs
BY JOHN RUCH firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Waldrop, 3, enjoys the new splash fountain at City Springs during the May 12 debut of the Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market there. The fountain is part of the new City Green park, which is expected to fully open to the public in time for the “Food That Rocks” restaurant tasting event June 9. Meanwhile, the market continues Saturday mornings through November. For details, see foodthatrocks.org and heritagesandysprings.org.
Summer reading picks Page 10
EDUCATION Top of the Class
The city’s North End Revitalization Task Force kicked off its brainstorm for redevelopment of northern Roswell Road on May 16 at Pontoon Brewing — the sort of hip, trendy business leaders want to see proliferate in the area of today’s aging shopping centers and apartment complexes. A city-hired facilitator sketched out a tentative schedule of public meetings for the task force, starting July 11 and running to year’s end, when a report is expected. And Mayor Rusty Paul, who convened the task force, spoke in detail about its challenging concept — attempting to boost higher-end retail, which hinges on a wealthier customer base, without displacing the workingclass residents of the city’s perhaps most diverse area. In his most nuanced and strongest public statements so far, Paul See NORTH on page 12
Backyard swim lesson business sinks at Planning Commission BY JOHN RUCH
OUT & ABOUT Peachtree Peppers heat up Dunwoody concert series Page 16
An attempt to legalize a beloved backyard swimming lesson business sank before the city Planning Commission May 22 amid concerns it could open a “Pandora’s box” and ruin the city’s new zoning code. Not joining in the 4-1 vote was commissioner Reed Haggard, who was the source of the original complaint about Swim With Allison, and recused himself. Another commissioner later said it would have been 5-0 against if he See BACKYARD on page 22
2 | Community
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The City Council approved contracts May 15 that opted for stability in the city’s Tennis Center, Call Center and parks and courts departments. Since its 2005 founding as Georgia’s first new city in decades, Sandy Springs has been famous for its system of outsourcing most government services to private companies. In the years since a major restructuring and rebidding, the city has largely focused on stability and staff retention in the main general services contracts, sometimes with extensions during heavy planning periods. In part, the new contracts for incumbent companies reflect that interest in stability.
Recreation and Parks
Jacobs Engineering Group, which has held the Recreation and Parks Department contract since 2011, will continue in that role for up to five years at a first-year bid of $1,096,262. Four companies bid, with Jacobs the second-most expensive, but highest-ranked. Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert said the pluses of Jacobs’ bid included the lack of transition costs, a good performance history and the ability to retain existing staff. The low bidder was The Collaborative, a company that currently provides the city’s communications and community development departments. The $983,000 bid was acknowledged by The Collaborative’s president as probably too low to adequately pay staff, Tolbert said, adding the company had no experience running a park system of Sandy Springs’ size. The rejected high bidder, at about $1.2 million, was Lowe Engineering. Another bidder, IBTS, is considered the official backup contractor if Jacobs fails to fulfill its contract. The IBTS bid was about $1.08 million, including costs involved in starting up as a new operator.
Jacobs is also the incumbent contractor for the municipal court, and will remain so for up to five years with a base bid of $821,310. IBTS was the only other bidder, at about $831,000, and will be the official backup in case of a failure by Jacobs.
The Sandy Springs Tennis Center operations contract has been a source of repeated bidding controversies. Now incumbent Groslimond Tennis Services has again won the bid after a two-year saga that included no-bid extensions and a rebidding after complaints of mistakes and unfairness in the process. The Tennis Center is a popular, cityowned facility at 500 Abernathy Road. Groslimond won the operations contract in 2012,
but only after the first in the string of controversies, as a losing bidder threatened legal action. In 2016, the council balked at a staff recommendation to give Groslimond a nobid, three-year contract extension due to its good work at that point. One concern, outlined by Councilmember Andy Bauman, was the lack of any metrics or goals the city expected Tennis Center operators to meet. With time running short to hold a bidding process, the council agreed to a one-year, nobid extension solely to allow for that process to happen. Last year, city staff again recommended awarding Groslimond the five-year contract, but another bidder, Universal Tennis Management, complained about the process and the council balked. A rebidding was conducted that included more detailed metrics and questions about such topics as proposed player fees. After all of that, Groslimond was again recommended as the winning bidder — though its bid was driven up from $6,000 to $10,000 a month, or $120,000 a year. Universal Tennis again was a losing bidder, at $84,000 a year and less than half that in the first year with start-up costs. Also losing was Agape Tennis Academy at $109,200 a year, or about $98,000 with start-up costs. Universal Tennis pledged to put the highest percentage of revenue toward maintenance and capital improvements, while Groslimond offered the highest take from retail sales. As for all of the new metrics, Assistant City Manager Tolbert said all three bidders had relatively similar scores. Tim Noonan of Universal Tennis said his company will not challenge the loss of the bid this time, though he suggested it was unfair and that the city rewrote the bid to keep Groslimond with such additions as changes to startup costs and taking a cut of the pro shop sales. “I feel like they knew who they wanted to win,” said Noonan, a Sandy Springs resident, about the city government. “…To basically waste time our time for a bid we were never going to win, it’s frustrating.” Asked about Noonan’s criticisms, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said, “We are satisfied with the process and the selection.” Amy Pazahanick, the founder of Agape Tennis Academy, declined to comment on the loss of the bid.
The Call Center is a help and information phone line and web service, based in Orlando, Fla., that handles about 130,000 requests a year, according to the city. Faneuil, Inc., had held the contract since 2013. Kraun, the city communications director, proposed and got a one-year extension for $535,621, citing good performance and ongoing work with Faneuil on various Call Center initiatives. SS
MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018
Community | 3
We are pround to welcome
Community Briefs FA R M ER S M ARK ET MO VES T O C I TY SP RIN GS
The Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market is drawing sizeable crowds to its new home next to City Springs. But “brutal” sun and heat during the May 12 debut has the city ordering tents and considering such devices as watermisters to serve the farmers market and other outdoor events at the new civic center. The market began in 2010 on the City Springs site — at the time, a parking lot outside an old Target store. For the past few years and the beginning of this season, it had operated in an office park on Lake Forrest Drive. Attendance was reportedly declining at the previous location and appeared to be bigger in the new, more visible home — a closed-off section of Mount Vernon Highway between Roswell and Blue Stone roads, adjacent to the new City Green park, which is the heart of the City Springs civic center. City Councilmember John Paulson later praised the market, but said the heat was “brutal,” and city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said the city will chip in with some shade and cooling devices. Carol Thompson, Heritage’s executive director, said that despite heat and other start-up issues, the market was “very busy” and “made for a good day for our farmers and other vendors.”
H AMM ON D D R I V E WI DEN I N G STU DY I S O UT TO BI D
A long-awaited study of widening a narrow stretch of Sandy Springs’ Hammond Drive is finally out for bids, with a deadline of June 6. Meanwhile, the city has bought yet another house to landbank in anticipation of the possible widening, which could include a mass transit route as well. City officials have insisted that the study will determine whether any widening should happen, though they clearly favor it in some form. Hammond Drive is a major east-west connection between Mount Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs and Ashford-Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody. Most of Hammond has been expanded to various widths over the years, but the section between Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive in the Glenridge Hammond neighborhood remains two lanes. Government officials frequently call it a traffic bottleneck, but the widening idea — which would require tearing down dozens of houses — is controversial among locals, who question its need. Studying the widening idea and acquiring more property was a combo project on the list for a transportation special local option sales tax approved by voters SS
Dr. Abubakr Chaudhry to our team.
in 2016. The final study will have to include timelines for building its features. The process must include various public input meetings. In recent years, the city has spent millions of dollars to acquire residential properties along that stretch of Hammond in anticipation of the possible widening. The idea is to buy properties before a particular project and rising land values make it even more expensive. On May 15, the City Council voted to buy yet another house, at 436 Hammond, for $425,000. In the short term, it may be used as affordable housing for police officers or firefighters under a city program.
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4 | Perimeter Business
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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 email@example.com
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
THE GLOBE HUB
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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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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.
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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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10 | Commentary
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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
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. SS
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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. email@example.com. 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.
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12 | Community
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North End task force is told to boost retail, avoid gentrification Continued from page 1 specifically said “gentrification” must be avoided and “upward mobility” increased, and cited Atlanta’s BeltLine as a cautionary tale. “Retail is the canary in the coal mine for the health of an area,” said Paul, setting its improvement as the ultimate goal. But, he added, “While there’s too much rental housing in the area, we’re not interested in gentrification. I want to make that real clear.” How to practically resolve such contradictory goals is something Paul is leaving to the task force, along with promises that the city will be flexible on laws and property purchases to help. “Think big and let’s see what we can find out. … And think innovation,” he said. Twelve of the 13 task force members were in attendance. In a note-taking session at the end, many of them requested basic real estate and demographic stats about the target area of Roswell Road north of Dalrymple Road. Other requests ranged from crime statistics to strategies for preserving existing affordable apartments. City Councilmember Steve Soteres, the task force chair, lives nearby and
said he has a simple interest: “I want to be able to walk from my house to dinner and to have an enjoyable experience.” Another member, Carolyn Axt, said the task force faces a complex task. “If it was simple, it would have happened already,” she said.
Race, class and representation
Intended to be focused on practical solutions, the task force is heavy with developers and financiers, along with some advocates for affordable housing and community-oriented development. However, it lacks direct representation from apartment landlords or tenants, and its public meetings are tenativaly slated to be held at City Hall, miles outside the north end. And while the task force is focused on one of the city’s most racially diverse areas, its membership appears to be entirely white. The word “race” was not spoken during the kickoff meeting, with Paul only referring to it in passing as he called for “not only ethnic diversity [but] also … economic diversity, generational diversity,” rather than diversity “as often defined in popular culture today.”
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Economic class, however, was an open topic. Paul said he understands it personally, having grown up in poverty in Alabama. “I mean, we were poor,” he said, and today “we have sawed off the bottom rung of the ladder” for people to work out of poverty. But, he added, “we won’t do that by keeping them perpetually poor, perpetually in rental housing.” He also noted how class affects school districts, saying, “In Sandy Springs, rich kids go to private schools, poor kids go to public schools, and middle-class kids go to Cobb County.” Part of the goal Paul suggests is mixed-income redevelopment to create middle-income ownership opportunities. “We have a monoculture here” of rental housing, Paul said of the north end. “The goal is not to force workingclass people to leave. … They’re an essential part of the economy of this city,” Paul said, but to successfully “make them upwardly mobile.” The task force almost must recognize “that change is disruptive” to communities, he said. Single-family residential areas — notably including Huntcliff, the exclusive neighborhood where several task force members live — are not up for such diversity-oriented remaking in the task force’s loosely defined area. In city planning, they’re “protected neighborhoods,” which is local jargon for exclusionary zoning, where density is kept low and property prices high.
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Paul said the city is willing to provide a wide variety of resources in public-private partnership for the right redevelopment strategy, such as permitting smaller or denser housing, waiving
impact fees charged to large projects or changing land uses. “If they’re reasonable, we’re willing to be flexible,” he said. “The council meets every two weeks. We can change the law that quick.” There is also the possibility of the city buying or developing land itself. The city already owns a parcel at 8475 Roswell Road, a long-vacant gas station it land-banked a few years ago. Another related possibility is city financing, such as through bonds. City officials have previously said major redevelopment in the north end is probably infeasible without government subsidy. “I think if we had a good plan, the city is willing to put skin in the game,” Paul said. City Springs, the city’s new, $229 million civic center, is an example of the scale of redevelopment the city is willing to undertake. Paul said City Springs was a “big rock in the pond to create ripples,” but that when it comes to the north end, “maybe that’s not we need in this area.” Instead, the city might create smaller “catalyst” projects to prove the potential of the area to developers. The city may acquire more property or consider “preapproved plans” for certain sites, he said.
Paul also addressed transparency issues with north end planning and general city affordable housing policy. In January, the Reporter revealed that David Couchman and Melanie NobleCouchman, a local philanthropic couple, had worked closely with city officials behind the scenes on affordability and zoning policy for at least two years, including a secret specific redevelop-
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ment concept for part of the north end. The Couchmans are now co-chairs of the task force, and an affordable housing consultant who worked on their concept is a task force member. But the Couchmans and City Councilmember Steve Soteres, who chairs the task force, says it is starting with a clean slate, not that particular concept. At the task force kickoff, Paul dismissed the Reporter’s coverage as “flights of fancy” and spoke strongly of openness, saying, “There is no secret formula. There is no secret document. There is no secret policy.” In fact, there was a secret policy document, called “Realizing the Dream,” a blueprint for the task force, which the Reporter recently obtained after months of claims from Paul and city staff that it did not exist or was private. Internal city emails show that Paul had the Couchmans privately review “Re-
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www.ReporterNewspapers.net alizing the Dream” last summer and shared it with City Manager John McDonough and Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert. When the Reporter requested those officials’ copies, noting the Open Records Act would require their preservation, city Communications Director Sharon Kraun said they had “trashed it” and that Paul agreed to provide a hard copy instead. The undated version Paul provided is an outline of challenges and goals for a north end task force for the “dream” of redevelopment. Paul said it is the final draft, but his emails with the Couchmans describe content not found in it, including the ideas of upward mobility and impacts on schools that he later discussed at the task force kickoff. Whatever the timing, it is clear that Paul’s thoughts about redevelopment have expanded in recent months, partly with the Couchmans’ influence.
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The May 22 primary election is sending some key local races into July 24 runoffs, while setting up others for the November ballot. And one major position was decided, with Robb Pitts narrowly winning the right to remain as Fulton County Commission chair.
6th Congressional District Democrats Kevin Abel and Lucy McBath are headed to a runoff for the right to challenge Republican incumbent Karen Handel for the 6th Congressional District seat. McBath was leading with about 36 percent of the votes and Abel following with about 30.5 percent. Finishing out of the running were Bobby Kaple and Steven Knight Griffin. Both candidates cite personal reasons for running. McBath, a Cobb County resident, is a gun control advocate whose son, Jordan Davis, was murdered in a notorious 2012 Florida shooting. Abel, a Sandy Springs resident, is a South African immigrant who discusses the fate of the American Dream. Handel faced no primary challenger. In an Election Night statement, she got an early start at campaigning against the Democrats. “While the Democrats will continue to pump outside money into our community leading into their July runoff,” Handel said in the written statement, “I will remain committed to lowering the taxes on hardworking families and small business, cutting over-burdensome regulations, strengthening our military, standing with Israel, honoring
our commitment to our veterans and combating the opioid crisis. This is my focus in Washington and the district — every day.” The 6th Congressional District includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs as well as sections of north Fulton and Cobb counties.
Fulton County chair 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 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.
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 gover-
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Community | 15
nor. Jordan won the runoff in that election against another Democrat.
Senate District 40 Sally Harrell, a former state representative, defeated Tamara Johnson-Shealy with 67 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results in the Democratic primary for the state Senate District 40 seat. Harrell will now face incumbent state Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) in November. The district includes parts of Dunwoody, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs.
Senate District 56 Ellyn Jeager won the Democratic primary in state Senate District 56, which includes part of Sandy Springs, and will face unopposed incumbent John Albers in the November general election. Jeager, a retiree who works on mental and physical healthcare advocacy, won 64 percent of the votes in beating fellow Democrats Jim Guess Jr. and Patrick Thompson, according to unofficial results. 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.
House District 80 In House District 80, which includes Brookhaven and a sliver of Sandy Springs, incumbent Meagan Hanson ran unopposed in the Republican primary and received 1,245 votes, according to unofficial results. Her Democratic challenger, Matthew Wilson, received 1,449 votes in the primary, for a difference of 204 votes.
Other races Two local races had uncontested primaries that send nominees on to November election battles. In House District 51, Democrat Josh McLaurin and Republican Alex Kaufman will vie to replace retiring state Rep. Wendell Willard. McLaurin survived a legal challenge to his eligibility filed by a former Sandy Springs City Council member to remain on the ballot. In state Senate District 32: Republican incumbent Kay Kirkpatrick and Democrat Christine Triebsch will compete in a rematch of a special election last year.
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16 | Art & Entertainment
Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter. org.
FOOD THAT ROCKS
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.
CONCERTS BY THE SPRINGS
DUNWOODY NATURE CENTER SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
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.
SUNDAYS ON THE RIVER CONCERTS
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.
FESTIVALS FLYING COLORS BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL
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.
BARK IN THE PARK
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.
SUMMER KICKOFF POOL PARTY
CAJUN CONCERT AND DANCE
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.
FREE FIRST SATURDAY: BEES
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.
KIDS AND FAMILIES LITTLE DIGGERS
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
VISUAL ARTS SPRUILL ARTS STUDENT & FACULTY JURIED EXHIBITION
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.
GET INTO THE COMMUNITY BROOKHAVEN FOOD TRUCK ROUNDUPS
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.
DUNWOODY FOOD TRUCK THURSDAYS
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&#x2013; 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).
ATLANTA GIRLSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; SCHOOL
Milyazim Anvarov Valedictorian
Julia Platt Valedictorian
Yourong Geng Salutatorian
CHAMBLEE CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL
Sakshi Sehgal Valedictorian
Aminur Ali Valedictorian
CROSS KEYS HIGH SCHOOL
Mario Becerra Aleman Valedictorian
Yuyan Ke Salutatorian
Brian Kang Salutatorian
Khawla Nirjhar Salutatorian
DUNWOODY HIGH SCHOOL
Shreya Nainwal Valedictorian
Alexandra Buhl Salutatorian
Caitlin Howie Salutatorian
Education | 19
MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net
HOLY INNOCENTS’ EPISCOPAL SCHOOL
Saffiya Bashey Valedictorian
Christine Catherman Salutatorian MARIST SCHOOL
Anais Marenco Valedictorian
David Sullivan Valedictorian
Madeleine Hardt Salutatorian
Michael Propp Valedictorian
MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL
Carol Beatty Salutatorian
Megan Lienau Valedictorian
NORTH SPRINGS CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL
Jared Coffsky Valedictorian
THE LOVETT SCHOOL
HOLY SPIRIT PREPARATORY SCHOOL
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
THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS
Abbey Pan Valedictorian
Alex Palacios Valedictorian
Ben Israel Salutatorian
RIVERWOOD INTERNATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL
ST. PIUS X CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
Nicholas Poulos Valedictorian
NORTH ATLANTA HIGH SCHOOL
Jennifer Spalten Valedictorian
Emma Ellis Salutatorian
Phoebe Liu Salutatorian
Justin Schaufele Salutatorian
Dori Balser Salutatorian
20 | Education
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BIA parent says state scores don’t tell the whole story BY EVELYN ANDREWS firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Education Briefs LO CAL LEG IS L ATO R S NA M ED T O S C HO O L SAFET Y S T UDY C O M M IT TEE
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.
SEQ U O YAH M ID D LE WINS G R A NT FO R S P O R TS EQ UIP M ENT
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.
335 COLEWOOD WAY NW | SANDY SPRINGS, GA 30328-2956 | EPSTEINATLANTA.ORG
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.
SANDY SPR I NG S P ER I M ETE R C HA M B ER AWAR D S C O L L EG E S C HO L A R S HI P S
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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Backyard swim lesson business sinks at Planning Commission Continued from page 1 hadn’t mistakenly voted in support. The Planning Commission’s vote on the proposal, which would legalize certain types of backyard businesses, is only advisory. A final decision awaits at the July 17 City Council meeting. “Very disappointed. It’s not over,” said Allison Dubovsky, the business’s owner, after the vote. Meanwhile, she said, the city is allowing her to run the swimming lessons this summer pending a decision on the legalization. She said that is partly compensation for the city issuing her a business license for four years without ever being told the business was illegal under zoning, then suddenly yanking it in January. A city spokesperson confirmed the deal, which “avoids litigation.” Allison Dubovsky operates the business in the pool behind her house at 640 Weatherly Lane, in a cul-de-sac in the exclusive Riverside neighborhood. Haggard, who is Dubovsky’s neighbor, previously said he fielded noise and traffic complaints about the business several years ago when he served as Riverside Homeowners Association president, and more recently, due to his work on the city’s new zoning code, realized the business is illegal. He asked city staff about it and they revoked her license. Other neighbors say that Swim With Al-
lison causes no problems, and Dubovsky says she has more than 950 petition-signers, mostly clients, in support. Dubovsky and her supporters — roughly 100 of whom showed up for the Planning Commission meeting at City Hall — have made increasingly dramatic claims that children will drown if her specific business is not allowed to teach them basic skills. That argument swayed some City Council members at a March meeting, where they requested a code somehow written to allow only her type of backyard business and sent it to the Planning Commission for review. But at that same council meeting, Mayor Rusty Paul and City Attorney Dan Lee warned that it is impossible to write a code to essentially legalize a single business and that bad unintended consequences would follow. Similar concerns led the Planning Commission to recommend denial. Commissioner Elizabeth Kelly said “there are many ways to twist the intent” and to create “unintended consequences… that will start to really deteriorate the [zoning] code.” Haggard began the meeting by apologizing to the other commissioners, city staff members and everyone in the audience for what he called a neighborhood dispute that escalated. “I just wanted some peace and quiet in my back yard. That’s all,” he said. Haggard said he chose to recuse himself,
despite no legal requirement to do so. Before leaving the meeting, he said that, after months of some “not very nice” comments, that they say nothing about him while he was gone, and no one did.
The city can’t write a code literally legalizing a specific business. So instead, planning staff tried to write something as narrowly tailored to Swim With Allison’s needs as possible. City staff planner Paul Leonhardt said one issue with drafting a code is the lack of models — no other city in Georgia legalizes outdoor home businesses, he said. The proposal would make outdoor businesses a conditional use — meaning a permit, plans and public meetings would be required — in single-family residential zoning districts. Only “educational,” “recreational” or “instructional” businesses would be allowed, only operating in the side or back yards, and with no employees except residents of the house. “Nuisances” and unusual “machinery” would be banned. A minimum of four on-site parking spaces would be required, along with fencing or other screening. The businesses could have a maximum of two students at any one time and a maximum of four per hour. The businesses
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could operate up to six hours per day within certain hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and no Sunday or holiday hours. If the business had children as students, general American Red Cross safety certification would be required; and swimming certification from a similar organization would be required for businesses like Swim With Allison.
“I want to start with number seven” – the number of children who drowned in Georgia last summer, Dubovsky said in her remarks to the Planning Commission, continuing the theme of her business as a vital safety resource. “I have one goal, and that’s to save as many kids’ lives as I can.” However, she and other supporters acknowledged that there are other places for kids to learn swimming. An emerging issue of unintended consequences was reports of several other such backyard swimming businesses — possibly less beloved — that could seek legalization under the proposed code. And according to the Swim With Allison website, Dubovksy offers not only basic lessons at $375, but also training for experienced swimmers in such skills as strokes and diving at $195. City staff raised a different sort of safety issue: There are state and county regulations governing the condition of public pools, but not of private ones like Swim With Allison’s. That means no oversight of safety and hygiene for such businesses. The numbers of Swim With Allison’s customers remain unclear, as does whether the new code would help her, as she and some supporters have called its hours and other limits too restrictive. “This has turned into a big commercial enterprise, it seems to me,” said commissioner Craig Johns. The concern for city staff, the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods and the Planning Commission was whether allowing such businesses would legalize unwanted businesses and tear up a core part of the city’s new “Next Ten” planning and zoning policies. Single-family residential areas are considered “protected neighborhoods” of low-density, low-traffic uses. “I feel bad about this,” said commissioner Andrea Settles, but said the denial was not a judgment about the swimming business. “What’s more important is, we have an obligation to protect those residential communities,” she said. Commissioner Andy Porter said the proposed code has too many vaguely defined terms that will “pit neighbor against neighbor” and violate protected neighborhoods. Commissioner Dave Nickles made the only vote against denial, but later said he meant to support denial and got confused by the language of the motion. He said he will notify City Council members about his actual advisory intent, SS
MAY 25 - JUNE 7, 2018
Public Safety | 23
Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Capt. Steve Rose of the Sandy Springs Police Department provided the following information, which represents some of the police reports filed between May 5 and May 10.
B U R G L A RY 500 block of Granite Place — On May
5, a caller said he was arrested for threatening his roommate — he said he had a machete to make him move out faster — and during that time, someone came into his residence and took his TV, two laptops, clothes, cologne and sunglasses. The roommate made the short list of suspects. 200 block of East Belle Isle — On May
7, a caller said someone attempted to kick his apartment door open. The suspect failed to breach the door. A second suspect also unsuccessfully tried to get in. The victim had a Ring doorbell that captured the incident on video. Suspect one is about 5-feet-9-inches tall and suspect two is about 6-feet-3-inches, both with thin build. Both wore Adidas sweatpants with black and white stripes and both had their faces covered. Nothing was taken.
block of Northridge Road — On May 8, a phone was stolen. 300
block of Northridge Road Captain — On May 9, a STEVE ROSE, terminated emSSPD ployee returned srose@santo retrieve his dyspringsga.gov personal items from the security office. He later reported that his medical records and a “Star Wars” action figure were missing. 1100 block of Perimeter Center West
— On May 10, a caller said she placed her phone under the cash register at her place of business. The phone holder has a pocket to keep credit cards and ID. Someone located them, removing them from the phone holder.
THEFTS FROM VEHICLES
5900 block of Roswell Road — On May
Between May 5 and May 9, four thefts
5, an employee said a man came in the store to look around. The clerk said the man took two laptops and then fled on foot towards the Whole Foods area. Galambos Way — On May 5, a phone
was taken from the desk of an employee of the Performing Arts Center. 6100 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody
Road — On May 6, a caller said she and a male friend named Andrew were staying at the Hilton Hotel. She left the room briefly to shower. When she returned, Andrew was gone as were her car keys, the car that goes with the keys, debit and credit cards, $800 cash and a Walther P22 pistol. 5900 block of Roswell Road — On May
6, a caller said while getting soup at a grocery store soup bar, she placed two packages down but forgot to take them with her when she left. Fifteen minutes later, she returned to discover they were gone. Video images showed a male, wearing a black ball cap, gray shirt, black shorts and gray shoes, removing both bags. The male paid for his items, and then he and a female sat at one of the tables, going through the bags. The officer requested and retrieved the Visa payment information the suspect used to pay for the items and the theft is under investigation. 300 block of Hilderbrand Drive — On
May 7, someone cut a muffler and catSS
alytic converter from a customer’s car.
from vehicles were reported.
F R AU D 5900 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody
Road — On May 9, a company representative said he received an email from someone whom he believed was the company president requesting $38,684 be wired to an account at the First National Bank of Texas. The wiring process was unsuccessful, so he mailed a check for that amount to 22nd Street in Mineral Wells, Texas. Soon after, he discovered the email was fraudulent. He was able to put a stop payment on the check before it could be processed. If this sounds familiar, you will remember we posted a similar scenario to another company representative who emailed a large amount of cash to the president of the company only to find out the mail was hacked.
A S S AU LT 8600 block of Roswell Road — On May
6, a 40-year-old Marietta woman told cops that she was assaulted by three other women outside a sports bar at around 3 a.m. She identified one as a server at another local bar but did not know her name. She also claims her Rolex was taken sometime overnight. (Alcohol was involved.) The officer spoke to a man who identified himself as the caller’s boy-
friend. According to him, the fight began as he left with his girlfriend.
ARRESTS On May 5 and early-morning May
6, DUI arrests were reported at I-285; Northside Drive; Roswell and Belle Isle Road; Ga. 400 at Northridge Road; and the 6000 block of Roswell Road. I suspect they are Cinco de Mayo-related.
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 email@example.com. 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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300 block of Northridge Road — On
May 9, an employee of a financial group received an email from her company CFO asking for 20 $100 iTunes cards for clients. She purchased the cards and attempted to photograph the card numbers to send on the e-mail, but it failed to send. She realized the email was not the same. The crook did not get the card numbers, but the cards cannot be returned because the seals were peeled off. That said, I guess the first 20 new customers with this financial company will receive a free iTunes card.
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