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Smart City Expo World Congress Wrapup, Nuisance Ordinance, Pedestrian Bridge and Lidl



City Manager Brian Johnson

This time on Prime Lunchtime with the City Manager, Rico sits down with Brian to discuss his experience at the Smart City Expo World Congress as well as all the new and exciting developments in the City of Peachtree Corners. Topics today include; an update on the Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, the 141 pedestrian bridge, RaceTrac construction, Lidl and nuisance regulations.

[00:00:30] Introduction
[00:00:47] Smart City Expo World Congress
[00:17:47] Pedestrian Bridge update
[00:18:52] New businesses in the Town Center
[00:21:26] Boutique Super Market
[00:22:42] RaceTrac construction
[00:26:12] Redevelopment authority
[00:33:04] Nuisance Regulation
[00:39:52] Closing

“We unveiled a video in which not only shows how the lab operates now, but how it could be
used to operate in the not too distant future as technology is getting more advanced… it kind of hopefully puts into perspective when people hear about this and they’re trying to envision, we’re trying to take that imagination part out of the equation and actually show them what it looks like in real life and then show them the invisible part of what makes our lab unique.”

Brian Johnson
Please excuse the first minute of audio only on this video

Rico: [00:00:30] Hi everyone. This is Rico Figliolini. I’m the host of Peachtree Corners Life mainly and publisher of Peachtree corners magazine. But today, as we always do it once a month, is Brian Johnson city manager of Peachtree Corners my guest for Prime Lunchtime with the City Manager. Thank you, Brian. 

Brian: [00:00:46] Thanks for having me.

Rico: [00:00:47] He was across the ocean, across the pond, as some people say, doing, actually, some great work for the city looking to bring more economic impact to the city of Peachtree corners. So that was the world, the smart city, smart city world Congress…

Brian: [00:01:02] Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. That’s correct.

Rico: [00:01:04] You got a, you got a chance to be able to meet quite a few companies. So tell us a little bit about what went on. 

Brian: [00:01:12] So that smart city expos, the world’s largest smart city conference, and there’s over 30,000 participants in that conference, and we were invited for the second year to be part of the Metro Atlanta delegation, which is part of the US delegation to that conference. And this year we were asked to speak. About curiosity lab. And as part of our speaking engagement, we unveiled a video that we had made about curiosity labs. And you know, we can talk about that in a second, but we unveiled it. And then of course, we use the remainder of the conference beyond that to meet with lots of different, countries and companies within those countries that there might be some interest in utilizing in our facility. And of course, you know, the, the advantage there is that we get activity based on people coming in and using it for testing more, or even just demonstration. And so we talk to a lot of potential, I’m interested, you know, stakeholders here and, and some that are even interested in being partners, having a long term relationship here. And so now our real work starts. And that’s all the followup to all these, you know, the speed dating that we just did, which is, you know, quick, you know, here’s what each of us are, here’s exchanging of cards, you know, let’s get back in touch.

Rico: [00:02:42] And it’s always about the followup. 

Brian: [00:02:44] It is. And you know, in some cases, just like we do in real life, sometimes you’re not. Super interested in the followup and just tried to be nice 

Rico: [00:02:52] Sometimes. 

Brian: [00:02:53] And other times you really are, and you know, you’re just hoping that both parties ultimately find value and both parties are interested, but there’s plenty of times just like we were, man, remember back when we were dating that you could be interested in that other person and they’re not interested in you, right. Or they’re interested in you and you’re not interested in them, or both of you are interested, but the details just don’t work out. You know? I mean, maybe, you know, you’re going to go, you know, be on opposite sides of the globe or whatever. And so a lot of things have to work out for it to ultimately be consummated in some sort of a relationship.

Rico: [00:03:32] And I think, I think a lot of business people that go to trade shows. Understand this cause you do meet a lot of people. You do have to go through and, and sometimes it’s really funny, the ones that are really interested may not be the ones that do anything. And the ones that are more polite and less looking, less interested, maybe the ones that are doing. But it’s certainly an effort to be able to get through the, the leisure.

Brian: [00:03:53] We don’t go there and set up any kind of like booth per se. And you know, we’re not doing. These are ones that we’ve been invited to speak at. And that’s where we get a lot of momentum. It’s, you know, you’re on a program. People will then go and sit in the audience and listen. And then so then you get a lot of, you hopefully generate buzz by what you present. And so at the end of those talks we have, we have a lot of success with people coming up with their cards and all that was really, you know, interesting. “I didn’t know you guys are doing it. We’d like to come out and visit” and so we get more from that than if you were trying to go out there and just kind of like cold, just go up to somebody called the, okay.

Rico: [00:04:37] This is, it’s always better putting out that information. It’s like putting out a reel, on a fishing line to seeing if anyone’s going to bite 

Brian: [00:04:43] It is and the cool thing about this one is for the first time, you know, we’ve, we’ve had PowerPoints that we show. To show some pictures of things and you know, it’s evolved from renderings and you know, you’ve seen the evolution, you know where you go and you know, we’ve had some renderings before about what we thought it was going to look like or hope it will look like. And that kind of went into some still pictures of what it does look like, even though it’s still not done yet. We still have used a little bit more signage. We’re actually tweaking some of them. But this time, we unveiled a video in which it was going to show, or does show not only how the lab operates now, but how it could be used to operate in the not too distant future as technology is getting more advanced and, and so it, it kind of hopefully puts into perspective when people hear about this and they’re trying to envision, we’re trying to take that, that, you know, imagination part out of the equation and actually show them what it looks like in real life and then show them the invisible part of what makes our lab unique, which is all that.

Rico: [00:05:59] You know, what’s great about Titan pictures did a great job on putting that together. The fact that you had, that we have a live lab that, the drone shots of actual real cars on an existing road, a mixture of that with, with animation, really good animation about what that role can do. Really, I think pieces that together, I mean through people can better imagine that when you start seeing all the connections as you’re driving that down that road.

Brian: [00:06:25] That was part of the, you know, the, the intent was you know, just like you just brought up connected vehicle, you know, we talk about, Oh, a vehicle driving down the road, being able to communicate with other things and you know, terms are oftentimes V to X vehicle to everything. Right? Then there is its vehicle to infrastructure, vehicle to pedestrian, vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to, you know, you have all these. But until you see how much communication there could be in a real live, you know, like video format where you’re like, Oh, wow, you know, a car really could be, you know, getting all this data and sending out data of itself to other people. It puts, you know, again, it puts things into perspective that you haven’t imagined it.

Rico: [00:07:12] And, you know, especially with all the things going on now, when you think about the electric car vehicles coming up from some major companies that are pushing out electric vehicles now, and even with the Elon Musk, a truck that was introduced the other day, the Bulletproof glass didn’t quite work, but, but, and the fact that it looks like it’s one of these vehicles from those, one of the role playing games on Xbox. But these vehicles are out there and they’re programmed eventually that they can be updated to drive on these roads. So all this stuff is happening now. It’s not like this is not out there. So this is the perfect time to be doing this.

Brian: [00:07:52] I mean, we literally, as we talk right now, have a driverless shuttle operating on a road that has human driven vehicles at the same time. You know, this is a public street that has a driverless vehicle on it. So this, yeah, it is happening right now.

Rico: [00:08:11] So the fact that we’re doing this, you’ve met a lot of people there in Barcelona, you know, do you, do you expect, I mean, are there any more, are there any companies in the pipeline right now that you can talk about? The, the, maybe the, maybe doing things at this point? 

Brian: [00:08:27] Well, it’s hard to say on that just because, you know, these corporations get real squeamish on their, their, their name being thrown onto something that we haven’t, that we haven’t executed an agreement. I can say this much. Where we’ve got a lot of interest is companies that are headquartered in some of the, in, in, in countries that we’ve had some discussions. So a lot of it is pushed by a country who has a big company that is headquartered in that country, and that country’s interested in that company that comes from that country having more of a presence here, and this is an opportunity. So, you know, we had really good conversations with some of the Nordic countries that were there with Canada, with France, with Taiwan. And we of course executed a moment, a intergovernmental agreement or MOU really between us in the Taiwan, US trade office. And we executed that a couple of weeks ago, so we actually have a formal agreement with them. And then South Korea, those are countries that had, you know, delegations there that were, came over and were really interested in continuing conversation. Cause they have specific companies that are in their countries that they would like to maybe either expand their presence or in some cases establish a presence in the US. And this isn’t a location that they’re considering what we tend to be up against. And it was not just Peachtree Corners, it was all of the Metro Atlanta delegation.

Rico: [00:10:17] So the, there was the US section, those zones.

Brian: [00:10:19] We had a big pavilion that was the US and it had other locations in the US and then part of that big pavilion, we had a Metro Atlanta section. 

Rico: [00:10:30] Okay. 

Brian: [00:10:31] And it was kind of. You know, the Southeast really, because there were a couple other companies that are not necessarily just in Metro Atlanta. But anyway, as we’re talking to companies, you know, there’s always a, initial interest from foreign companies or foreign countries. And when they’re coming into the US they’re either going to be, they want to go to Silicon Valley. Or New York city, you know. Those are the two areas that they’re like, “Oh, you know, if we want to have to establish a presence, we want to go to those too.” So there’s a lot of conversation and we’re getting some traction about discussing that a

The Metro Atlanta area has a lot of tech going on, more than people realize.

Rico: [00:11:18] You have Alpharetta for one thing.

Brian: [00:11:20] Alpharetta is a great one. You’ve got, you know, tech square downtown, you know, with Georgia tech, you know, you got what we’re doing. You’ve got a bunch of things here that offer some advantages. You have a lot of fortune 500 companies that are headquartered here. You got a massive…

Rico: [00:11:39] FinTech. You know, for instance.

Brian: [00:11:44] Here, yeah, financial thing. I have a FinTech presence here. You’ve got great easy access because of the airport. And so, and then when you kind of lay out those kinds of things, and then you remind them that yes, Silicon Valley and maybe the, you know, New York city metroplex may have more of the tech, you know, companies and startups than we do here per se. But it’s a, they would be a much smaller fish in a much bigger pond, in a much higher cost of living than to be done here. And so we spend a lot of time, you know, having to convince or at least get people to understand that there’s a unique opportunity here that they may not have realized. And so that’s, you know, it’s a, it’s a challenge sometimes. Sometimes people just want to go with, if they’re going to come in there and you know, they’re like just focused on Silicon Valley, and if they can’t make it, they can’t enter the North American market through Silicon Valley they’re not going to do it. Sometimes that’s the case, but other times they’re like, you know what? That’s interesting. You bring up some, no. Some things to consider. Now, of course, sometimes we get companies who are like, yep, sure, we like them. Metro Atlanta markets.

Rico: [00:13:03] It’s going to take, it’s going to take time. I mean, curiosity lab at Peachtree corners is only how old now? I mean, really,

Brian: [00:13:10] September 11th. 

Rico: [00:13:11] Right? So, I mean, it’s, it’s young and, we’re in a state that I think more and more is willing, certainly in our city, we’re willing to do what is needed. But it also doesn’t hurt to have a state that may be willing to do more for technology on incentives of various sorts. So yeah, it’s gonna take a little time to get there, I think. 

Brian: [00:13:33] But first I do think that also the state of Georgia is starting to really take notice of Curiosity Lab as maybe something, another example in another amenity that they can point to when they’re meeting with, we had the governor’s smart city policy advisor was up here, two weeks ago. He came up to be presented what, you know, and to see Curiosity Lab with his own eyes. I mean, so they’re starting, you know, there’s movement there. And then that looks like the department of economic development, the board of directors for the department of economic development may in fact actually have one of their annual meetings here at Curiosity Lab next year in 2020. Because they’re starting to say, you know, okay, we’re hearing a lot of this. Let’s have a meeting up there. So we’re starting to get noticed at the state level.

Rico: [00:14:33] And that’s great for the state. That’s great for us. I mean, they want to, they want to bring business into the state, so it’s all good. Having low unemployment rate only means you know.

Brian: [00:14:43] All of the things that you can throw out there to a company who’s considering this area you want. So hopefully we become one of those things on the list of. advantages that the state of Georgia offers. Yeah.

Rico: [00:14:55] So cool. Now that we’ve caught up a little bit on the global aspects of where we were, where the city’s been, and curiosity lab, you always take something a little bit of time with that hour of hour, 45 minutes or so together, because it’s a real big part of what the city’s doing.

Brian: [00:15:09] Right now it’s, it is, we have a narrow window of opportunity, I think. And so we’d want to get as much market share as we can and as much visibility as we can. I mean, the one other thing that I can say is, is, you know. Anytime a city is new and people are not used to calling it a city and everything, there’s been a struggle, you know? And all new cities and Georgia have had this struggle with getting people to understand that Peachtree Corners is a city. The law to say, you know, people are still like, you know, no, I thought that was Norcross or you know, right. When you know, and when Norcross has been around for a hundred years, you know, you understand.

Rico: [00:15:50] And we were part of, I mean, we were considered Norcross. We had a

Norcross address.

Brian: [00:15:55] I mean, that was the other, even though this area has never been in Norcross, it’s just. Yeah. And you know, people also don’t realize mailing addresses and zip codes have nothing to do with the city limits. And, but that being said, you know, it’s been a struggle for the city. And I know my communications director, G Putnam has worked very hard to try to get traction on people recognizing that we’re a city and it’s just not. But within the last 12 months that Google has actually put the, Oh, what is it called? The knowledge panel, which is that box. If you Google something, it’s kind of on the right top right there, and it’s only been within the last 12 months. We finally got them to do that for the city. I mean, we’re almost, you know, we’re seven and a half years old. Yeah.

Rico: [00:16:45] But, but, and it took a while for even like a, there’s, I think there’s only three companies, you know, the dropdowns where the city dropped down when you’re doing an order on Amazon or other companies.

Brian: [00:16:55] It’s still, there’s some company agency still does not recognize Peachtree Corners.

Rico: [00:16:59] Right? Isn’t that crazy?

Brian: [00:17:00] Some of it may or may require the next census in maybe next year, the 2020 census to actually get there. But I will say that Curiosity Lab has put, Peachtree has done more in the last year to put Peachtree Corners name out there. Then all of the other efforts, just because it’s unique enough that people pay attention versus, you know, some of the other great things that we’ve done, but there are things that all cities are, a lot of cities do. And so people are like, okay, great. You know, they’re doing a you know, a new town green. Okay. Lots of cities have got trails, or whatever. Again, great stuff that we, you know, want to do for our, for our residents, it’s helped. Don’t think so.

Rico: [00:17:47] Cool. Yeah, for sure. If there’s lots of, when you do Google Peachtree Corners and smart city. I mean, there’s lots of stuff that pops up, so that’s a good thing. So let’s catch up a little bit about, you know, what’s going on here now, in, in, in further in the city. Some other things, pedestrian bridge and hear the banging for my house every once in a while with echoes, depending on how helping farm, you can hear the bing-bing-bing, but it’s, it’s getting, it started, right? So it’s getting to be put up. 

Brian: [00:18:15] How far has, so they’re driving the pilings and you know, for the foundation to, to, you know, to anchor the foundation right there about done with that. So we don’t have to, but, you know, we’re still looking at, you know, maybe February, March, laying the span in and, you know, of course this is all, you know, all go weather permitting and all that kind of stuff. And then maybe mid to late summer of next year being done. 

Rico: [00:18:46] So that’s not bad. It’s getting finally there.

Brian: [00:18:49] It is. It’s happening.

Rico: [00:18:52] There’s also supposed to be a new building going into town center at some point, I guess. Have they gone past the renderings? Where are we with that? That’s the Uncle Jack’s Meat House.

Brian: [00:19:02] And Xfinity. 

Rico: [00:19:04] And Xfinity. That’s right.

Brian: [00:19:05] So yes. The final unconstructed building on the only commercial building, cause you still got the townhomes that are going in the final undeveloped parcel is literally at the corner of town center Boulevard and fishery Parkway.

Rico: [00:19:25] It’s right before, like when you make your right too. You see First Watch there. 

Brian: [00:19:30] It’s in front of First Watch and it’s between First Watch in 141. And it’s right next to, it’s in between…

Rico: [00:19:36] That’s going to be right on the same level up there.

Brian: [00:19:36] …lazy dog. It’s going to be equal to lazy dog. It’s going to be as close to 141 as lazy dog.

Rico: [00:19:43] Oh, okay. Okay. I was imagining and trying to figure out where that was going to actually sit. 

Brian: [00:19:48] If you looked at a map, lazy dog as a parcel, and then as you’re heading North, looking north the next parcel…

Rico: [00:19:55] Right immediate.

Brian: [00:19:56] …is, is the one that Jack’s Meat House and Xfinity will be.

Rico: [00:20:01] And that’s going to start properly, have they filed for stuff with that.

Brian: [00:20:05] They have. So that’s really started. 

Rico: [00:20:08] Oh, okay. Cool. There’s no other construction besides the townhouses going up?

Brian: [00:20:13] Right now no. 

Rico: [00:20:14] And the 75, I think, there, once that’s up, that that’s the rest of it is pertaining to maybe that six, seven acres on the other side. And we’re still looking. There’s still generally…

Brian: [00:20:28] No definitive, you know, the council has, there have been some suggestions about some things that could be. That could go in there. Council’s kind of, you know, just smoking it over right now. We definitely are watching how the town green is being activated, and used and we want it whatever we put there, we want it to be a value add to the town green to public events. So I think that there will be some component that is a value add to public events. And then I know that there’s some interest in some kind of a performing arts venue of some sort.

Rico: [00:21:08] God knows I would love to see that.

Brian: [00:21:08] I don’t think it would be big like Sandy Springs, but it would be a formal. But I do think that there’s interest from council on there being some, some performing arts component to it, so we can make all of that work right there. I think thats…

Rico: [00:21:26] I mean, you even, you have the height there to be able to take it up. It doesn’t have to sprawl wide. I mean, Sandy Springs is a sprawling place, but if you take it up a little bit. And he’s still doing nice 500 seat theater and event space for banquet hall and stuff like that. Art gallery and stuff. Cool. That’s good. Earth Fair is moving along a little bit. I understand. We published something in Peachtree corners magazine that’s coming out the end of this week. Actually I should be getting that today at some point. The magazines delivered, I believe, but the Lidl, I keep doing that. Boutique, it’s a boutique supermarket that’ll be coming in.

Brian: [00:22:10] It is, I mean, it’s the, I guess you could call it literally the brother of Aldi. 

Rico: [00:22:16] Yes, that’s right. 

Brian: [00:22:17] It actually came out of that family. And it was two brothers that actually have splintered over time into three. They all are from the same. All the Lidl and Trader Joe’s are all from the same. It’s rare. So yes, it does appear that that is what’s going in there is, but I think it’s fair to say it’s a boutique grocery store. 

Rico: [00:22:42] Yeah. The Racetrack down down the road on one 41 on that right hand side going North. I think they finally flattened enough land. How close are they to actually, getting pretty close?

Brian: [00:22:55] I mean, you know, that was an extremely complicated and costly site work to get that thing ready to go vertical with a building. Cause you not only had, you know, a large hill that you had to excavate into, but then there’s also a stream.

Rico: [00:23:14] That’s right.

Brian: [00:23:14] And the stream buffer that had to be dealt with. And so it was an expensive one. But I think Racetrack’s pro-forma probably showed them that, you know, you’ve got so much traffic going North at the end of the day, up 141 because so many people work down into Atlanta, but they live in Peachtree Corners, Johns Creek, you know, Forsyth County. And you know, we’ve got what about 55,000 cars that pass that location every day.

Rico: [00:23:49] As of today, right?

Brian: [00:23:51] Today. And so I think when they were looking at, you know, when you consider that getting gas or swinging into a convenience store, right? If people want to do it, they want to go right in, right out on their way home. Because you know, going in on their way to work, people usually are leaving their house at the last possible second to get to work. So they don’t want to, they don’t oftentimes have time to do it on the way into work, but on the way home, they’re not having to be home at a certain time for, you know, the boss won’t get mad at them.

Rico: [00:24:25] Yes just like me. An eighth of a  tank of gas and I’m running to.

Brian: [00:24:31] Yeah. And so you’re wanting a convenient way to get in and get out. And right now, if you think about it, if you get onto Peachtree Parkway at 285 and you’re not wanting, and you’re wanting to stay on the limited access portion, there is no right in, right out. Between 285 and I think we talked about Abbott’s bridge…

Rico: [00:24:56] Abbott’s bridge right.

Brian: [00:24:58] Up in John’s Creek.

Rico: [00:24:59] That’s the only one on the one on the right side. Right. 

Brian: [00:25:00] It’s on the right side. Right. And you know, we’ve got a big quick trip at the corner of 141 and Peachtree Corner circle. Yeah. But that is an extremely difficult left in left out when you have rush hour traffic.

Rico: [00:25:16] And you know, the interesting part is, I don’t think. It will impact them too much because they get so much traffic coming out from Peachtree Corners from that, that I think the Racetrack will just get there. This stuff really from that John’s Creek foresight. I would agree.

Brian: [00:25:33] Yeah. And so, you know, I, but I think that’s their due diligence probably identified that, look, we’re in such a unique position right now that it’s worth us spending the amount of money to get the site.

Rico: [00:25:47] Yeah, because it was a lot of money. It had a couple of million maybe.

Brian: [00:25:51] Oh yeah. I would imagine to that.

Rico: [00:25:52] I kept, I kept thinking, wow, just to move all that dirt to put our gas station. But yeah, that Racetrack’s going to have, I don’t know how many pumps probably on it.

Brian: [00:26:00] It’s going to be a big…

Rico: [00:26:02] Yeah, it’s a, they’re not doing it for a little, it’ll be bigger than QT, I think, as far as pumps….

Brian: [00:26:08] Probably it’s going to be profitable to that. You know?

Rico: [00:26:12] Wow. Lots of stuff there. we’ve talked a little bit also about, a little bit about redevelopment, maybe land, what may be coming up on that. Did you want to share a little bit more on that?

Brian: [00:26:21] Yeah. So looks like in the beginning of the year, council is going to be a minimal to at least considering a recommendation I’m prepared to make to them. And that is for us to go ahead and stand up a statutory authority. And by that I mean it’s an authority that is granted to cities and counties, similar to our downtown development authority, but it’s a redevelopment authority. And it’s…

Rico: [00:26:51] So, so what’s the difference between…

Brian: [00:26:53] Well, so each one has some unique tools at their disposal that oftentimes city government itself cannot, cannot, partake in. But each authority is a standalone authority in its own right. It has a level of independence that allows it to, you know, float bonds and Cordet, own property, executed agreements, you know, would be involved in construction projects and the downtown development authority. It’s scope is in an area that we define as our downtown.

Rico: [00:27:35] Which for most people that may not realize, what is that?

Brian: [00:27:39] I mean, it’s hard without a map you’ve got to look into, but it’s kind of like our central, it’s kind of like our central business district. It’s like tech park. It’s, you know, the forum and the town center, it’s down into where, you know, Dick’s sporting goods and Publix and Target…

Rico: [00:27:57] 141 right in and out.

Brian: [00:28:01] And you know, there’s some Holcomb bridge road area out, where Holcomb bridge and PIB. And so that’s kind of our downtown. And so the downtown development authority has the tools that, it has at its disposal can be utilized in what we determined was our downtown redevelopment authority has oftentimes similar tools, but it can use it in areas that are either defined as a redevelopment zone or it’s a parcel that has been developed once and now there’s interest in redeveloping it into something else. In some cases, just, just something newer of the same thing, but it’s redevelopment. So it’s not, you know, undeveloped. Property that’s never been developed. And now the redevelopment authority is there to…

Rico: [00:28:57] It doesn’t have to be an area that’s predefined necessarily.

Brian: [00:29:00] It could be.

Rico: [00:29:01] Could be, but doesn’t have to be.

Brian: [00:29:02] No, it doesn’t have to be. And so it’s purpose is to, again, redevelop for certain things. And so, you know, some of the advantages they have on, one of the big advantages that they have that cities don’t, is they can sole source contracts with organizations for, you know, the execution of their primary mission. So for instance, our redevelopment authorities, mission would be to redevelop property and they could end up, you know, in kind of looking into an in and exploring different opportunities for redevelopment and could come across the company that’s interested in doing something and they start talking and they kind of hammer out the terms of the deal, right? They can just straight up say, we want to do this deal with you. If the city was doing that, at a certain point, we would then have to publicly bid it and open it up to everybody 

Rico: [00:30:04] In RFP.

Brian: [00:30:06] RFP. And then we have certain constraints like the city has to go with the low bidder. Even if that’s not the best one.

Rico: [00:30:12] Not necessarily the best one.

Brian: [00:30:14] And so there are just some things that authorities have at their disposal that the city does not, which is the benefit of having…

Rico: [00:30:23] And to be able to move faster.

Brian: [00:30:25] To be able to move faster. Sometimes. Being able to think outside the box a little bit more. gives an opportunity to have some fresh eyes on certain things. And so I’m prepared to present to council the details of a redevelopment authority. Cause I think that it may be a tool we have not, you know, brought to bear on some areas of the city that could certainly stand to have, some redevelopment and make what’s probably a slightly underperforming right now.

Rico: [00:30:59] And we can kind of turn it around and maybe just a few places in the city that I’m sure everyone would agree could help, could be helped by something like this. So that’s a good thing. And those are political appointees or appointed by the city council to?

Brian: [00:31:12] Yeah. So the state generally lays out because they’re, again, set up by state statute, and so they’re generally laid out how those board members, those boards are populated and so it will come through council. It really will be a vote by council. How the name gets presented to council for a vote is still can be. You know, some cities have it to where each council member…

Rico: [00:31:47] Can nominate someone, 

Brian: [00:31:48] … Nominate somebody. It could be any of them nominated. It could be a

committee that’s set up to come up with some names. It could, I mean, there’s lots of, it gets up. Sometimes the city manager nominates, and then they, confirm there’s a number of ways it could be done that hasn’t been decided yet. But, at the end of the day, council does have to vote to approve these appointees. And they do, because. Once that board is populated, again, they have the authority to operate in a rather pendant. Yeah. 

Rico: [00:32:22] So something like this could take, could get into effect by the first quarter of next year. We could. All right, cool.

Brian: [00:32:28] And I know mayor and council have been very interested in doing some things, you know, in some of the areas of the city that, you know, they feel like they’ve maybe not. Had the bandwidth, you know, to get into and now they feel like they, they can, okay. I’ve gotten internet, they’ve been in office long enough. We’ve got some of these big tickets, other things like the town center that’s run occupying their time, everything. And now it’s time for them to turn and concentrate in some other areas that I think this is a, a tool in their tool bag that can be used to the benefit of the city.

Rico: [00:33:04] People will welcome that. Actually. So one, there was something else. Also the, let’s cut into the nuisance regulation that the city council passed also. 

Brian: [00:33:15] So, yeah, so, you know, all cities, unfortunately, every now and then struggle with, oftentimes a property owner or some cases, it’s just a parcel in which ownership is either not been identified or it’s your, if there’s difficulty in establishing ownership of something and the parcel finds itself being in a state of disrepair or being utilized by squatters or whatever in a way that is negatively affecting other parcels or in other businesses or homes. And sometimes that these examples becomes so egregious and so extreme that the city feels like it has to step in and do something because the natural course of things are not moving fast enough. We have a parcel in an area of the city. I think it’s a Mechanicsville area that is creating a problem that we don’t feel like we can wait. It’s a parcel that’s been owned by somebody passed away and then ownership of that. I don’t think there was a will. And it’s being probated in court and it’s finding who the owner is, is being real difficult. Yeah, the property taxes are not being paid on it anymore, and there’s just a lot of problems. Well, this parcel also has heavy foliage on the edge of the property, including some a stand of bamboo that’s really thick. And as a result, it allows the interior of the parcel. To be really out of sight, and we’ve had a homeless guy or homeless people that have squatted on there and have really pulled a lot of trash and debris and junk and just, I mean, in, in a way that’s. You know, it’s shocking almost how much, and then you’ve got animals in there and everything. And so there have been some efforts to get, well, there have been successful efforts to have some of the homeless removed and placed in, you know, other programs and everything and the animals removed. But it keeps coming back. And in one case, it’s the same guy who keeps coming back. And so the, the, the debris and trash have spilled over into it being visible from the road. And so we just don’t think that we can wait. And so the process is such that the city for the city to get involved. The first thing the city has to do is declare the property to be a nuisance. And once it does that, it kind of opens the door for the city to be involved in some things, including we can go in and clean the property up and then take the costs that was born by the city to get it to get the nuisance well abated. We can put a lien on the property and the collected later point when it’s sold. And sometimes it could be, I mean, I’ve been in, I’ve managed other cities like especially the last city I was at, which is a very old city. We would get lean dollars coming in for properties that had a lien on it 50 years earlier. Really, it had never been sold, so there was no need to clear the title. So that lien sat on that property for a long time. So putting a lien on, it doesn’t guarantee the city you’ll get anything anytime soon, but at some point.

Rico: [00:37:07] And that’s vacant land for, to a degree, that particular piece of property, or it’s a house, but there’s?…

Brian: [00:37:12] There used to be a, some kind of a shed house type of thing that’s been, I

mean, it’s been uninhabitable.

Rico: [00:37:18] But the idea of the, and I read through the nuisance regulation a little. The, if there was, drug issues going on, if it was a house, for example, and there was an abandoned house and there were drug issues going on, that also gives you the ability to go in and clean that out, condemn the property. Maybe even…

Brian: [00:37:34] That’s correct. I mean, there are lots of things that qualify for a parcel to be, you know, declared a nuisance. You know, it can be health, you know, it could be overgrown weeds, it could be derelict structures or vehicles. It could be a public health hazard, like vermin, snakes, rats. It could also be criminal activity where there’s, you know, just enough, you know, loitering or drug or whatever kind of, you know, activity could, you know, prostitution, whatever. And that could be used as evidence that the property is a nuisance to the greater community, and then the city can move in and take steps to abate that, that nuisance.

Rico: [00:38:18] Cool. That’s good. I mean, I know the County had something similar or maybe not as strong because we did take over some of the County regulations when we became a city. So was that fine tuning it?

Brian: [00:38:28] Well, we’ve expanded since mayor council had been on, you know, and since the city’s been created, we have added criminal activity as a qualifying nuisance that the County did not have. Or, maybe still does not have. Well but see how, aggressive or not, cities use this kind of thing. It’s really up to the local body, and so you know, most of the nuisance, you know, abatement laws are, you know, that they’re available to local governments. Then some just either decide not to implement them or they don’t. They don’t use, they’re not as aggressive in their use of them. And you know, it’s still kind of a big, you know, you don’t necessarily want to have government come in and take over new, I mean, you’d like to think that property owners are responsible with their parcels, but at a certain point, the city cannot allow one parcel to drag down all the surrounding parcels around. In this case, we have some businesses around it. That this does not look good. And it cannot be benefiting them in any way, shape, or form. So we just can’t let, sit back and let the properties ownership and all the getting probated in court. It’s just taking too long. We’ve got to move in and do something.

Rico: [00:39:52] That I totally agree. The city should be able to, for its citizens to be able to do the right thing and you have to have the right tools. So that makes sense to me. We’re at the end of our time. I appreciate Brian for being with us, to be able to do this on a monthly basis, to be able to go through all this. We’re here at Atlanta tech park. I should have mentioned that before. Our podcast studios here in, Tech Park, Atlanta, and along, the Curiosity lab, at

Peachtree Corners, the road that we were talking about at the beginning of the, 40, 45 minutes to an hour. And, so I appreciate, in the middle of the city of Peachtree Corners. So I appreciate the city manager, Brian Johnson being with me and talking to bring us up to them.

Brian: [00:40:32] Thanks for giving the city the, you know, the venue to hopefully, you know, help our residents and stakeholders here be a little bit more educated about what their city government is doing.

Rico: [00:40:46] Well, the fact that Brian, that you keep answering all my questions is a good thing. So, and, and sharing with all the new stuff that’s going on

Brian: [00:40:53] My pleasure

Rico: [00:40:55] Don’t miss Peachtree Corners magazine. It is, today’s Friday, and it’s coming out this way. It’s hitting the post office this Friday today. So it’ll be out in the mail this weekend. And over the, this coming week before Thanksgiving, check out our new giveaway that’s starting on Monday. It’s the Weekend Staycation giveaway, in Peachtree corners. So you can sort of get away from, if you have kids, get away from the kids for a little bit as an overnight, have dinner, breakfast at the Hilton suite. There’s a lot of this, thousand dollars in prizes. So participate. That opens on, that starts on Monday, and if we don’t see you or if you don’t see us, have a great Thanksgiving. Thanks Brian. 

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City Government

City takes first steps towards Planned Roundabout at Peachtree Corners Circle



Peachtree Corners Roundabout

The City of Peachtree Corners on Friday issued a Request For Qualifications-based Proposals for the Peachtree Corners Circle Roundabout. This traffic-calming device was first envisioned in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan in 2018. It comes a few years after the first traffic circle was installed at Peachtree Corners Circle and Medlock Bridge Road.

The purposed project starts with a traffic study analyzing the feasibility of a roundabout at the intersection of Peachtree Corners Circle and the driveway of the Forum shopping plaza and Crème De La Crème daycare. If the feasibility study approves of a roundabout, construction plans and bid documents will then be developed by the awarded consultant.

The city has already put forth a concept plan for what the roundabout should look like and how it should function.

An operational analysis of the proposed project has already been completed. It was performed during the peak hours of 7 to 8 a.m. and 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. It concluded that the eastbound approach of Peachtree Corners Circle is operating at an unacceptable level-of-service during the morning and evening peak hours with left lane turns impacted the most.

An operational analysis of The Forum Entrance at Peachtree Corners Circle was performed at the peak hours 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. They indicate that the intersection would be anticipated to operate at an overall level-of-service “A” or better during both the peak hours. The westbound approach of Peachtree Corners Circle would be impacted the most.

Additional analysis of that intersection will:

▪ Determine the feasible configuration for roundabout construction at The Forum driveway related to topography, right-of-way, and property impacts.

▪ Study the effect of traffic platoons (a method for driving a group of vehicles together to increase the capacity of the road with an automated highway system).

▪ Estimate potential weaving/lane change concerns in the short block between The Forum and Peachtree Parkway.

Proposals are due by 4 p.m. Feb. 21. The city anticipates awarding the contract by March 4.

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City Government

Alex Wright on The Forum Sale, New Town Center Playground and More [Podcast]



City Councilman Alex Wright and Rico Figliolini talk about the Forum on Peachtree Parkway sale and what may happen there, the new playground at the Town Green, extending the Autonomous Vehicle route from Tech Park to the Town Center, and more.


Alex’s Email: AWright@PeachtreeCornersGA.gov
City Council Website: https://www.peachtreecornersga.gov/government/mayor-and-council/meet-the-mayor-and-council
Playground Creations


[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:00:45] – New Planned Playground
[00:11:52] – Peachtree Corners Decathlon
[00:17:07] – Reupdating the Forum
[00:28:10] – Intuitive Campus
[00:31:29] – Autonomous Vehicles and Curiosity Labs
[00:41:25] – Mixed Use Development Ordinance
[00:46:36] – Closing

“But one of the purposes of (the decathlon) was to say, Hey, there’s this fitness trail there. I can’t tell you the number of times I talked to someone and they’re like, I didn’t even know that was there. You know, it’s kind of off in the woods and we want to encourage its use. To encourage people to be active.”

Alex Wright

Podcast Transcript

[00:00:30] Rico: Hi, this is Rico Figliolini, host of the Peachtree Corners Life. A podcast that centers around the city of Peachtree Corners. And today we have a special guest, Alex Wright, City Councilman district three. Hey Alex, thanks for joining us.

[00:00:42] Alex: Glad to be here. Good afternoon to you.

[00:00:45] Rico: Yeah, thank you. And this is a great time to be able to go through a lot of the things that are going on. I know that getting your regular newsletter sent out to your constituents really does explain a lot to people about not only currently what’s going on, but what’s coming forward in the next few months. Great that you’re sending that out. In fact, we’re going to go through that newsletter a little bit. We’re going to go item by item to discuss some of the things. Like the planned new playground that been worked on and actually, I believe is out for a bid at this point. This is separate from the small slide playground that’s at Town Center already. And separate from the fitness trail too. So tell us as I go through this, tell us a little bit about where this playground is actually situated. And as you’re doing that, I’m going to put some slides up from the Town Center. The first one is going to be actually with the Cinebistro behind me. I took these shots this morning and with me standing at the front, if you will, by the stage.

[00:01:43] Alex: Yeah, so from this vantage point, you can see kind of, off to the right, a wooded area. And the fitness trail is up in there, but there’s an access road further up, other side of the Veterans Monument. So if you were standing on the green, looking at the woods from all the way from the access road, which is beside the Veterans Monument all the way to where the other sidewalk is that runs beside the Cinebistro down the side of it.

[00:02:11] Rico: So I think the picture here has that road on the very left, you can barely see it.

[00:02:17] Alex: Yeah, that’d be the access road, and you could see the entrance to the Fitness Trail there. So basically all that, all the way down to the beginning of the Cinebistro, if you drew a perpendicular line out from the front of the Cinebistro, that entire frontage probably going back, I don’t know, 50 to 60 feet, maybe more is where the playground is going to be. So a lot of the landscaping that’s there right now, that was planted a few years ago that, that’s all going to come out. There’ll be a few trees that will need to get taken down. Several as we went through it, probably should be taken down anyway. They’re not in good condition. But anyway, it’s pretty large. Especially in contrast to the little one we’ve got right now. So this is going to be a major upgrade to the Town Green here for kid activities and there’ll probably be some adults that get on this stuff, cause it’s, some of it’s kind of neat.

[00:03:15] Rico: And I’m going to throw up a rendering. That was one of the original renderings, that was produced for it. That said, sort of give us the elements, not necessarily the positioning of it.

[00:03:25] Alex: Yeah, so if we start left to right, you know, the left is that’s the access road. And to your point, it’s not going to look exactly like this, but it’ll be similar. So the first, it’s kind of a small, it looks like a swing almost. The original designer we had, or he still is the designer. We were kind of brainstorming with him about what we were looking for. Found out that this guy had a background in not just landscape design, but also a passion on the side of helping special needs kids. He used to be a counselor at a camp and does all kinds of different activities with them. Anyway, the point of it is when he gave us the original design, one of the things he had done really without us asking, was incorporate some equipment and other design features that would be very attractive to people with special needs kids. And especially like kids with autism, for example. So that swing, it doesn’t swing, you know, like say this that’s more flat like this. And it’s large enough where you can actually push a wheelchair into the middle of it. And I don’t, I’m not that familiar with all autism, but apparently there’s some sensory aspects to this specific swing that they find very soothing. So, Yeah, that was kind of an added benefit of this guy we picked. Where he introduced some ideas to us that we’d not really even thought about. But after hearing them we like, know, embraced it. That’s probably a segment of the population that doesn’t have a lot of attention given to as far as playground designs. So anyway, so that’s one of the things. Now to the immediate right of that is a very large covered area. And that is called a Quantis and there’s a video link that I had sent out before and it might be something I can share on some of your platforms. That it illustrates a lot more effectively than just this picture. But this thing is really big. You don’t really get a good scope in this, but it’s very large. And so you can see it’s like in a figure eight formation. And it’s got, where you can kind of bounce on it, if you will.

[00:05:40] Rico: I’m going to put the link on there for video in our show notes and people will see you’re absolutely right. This really does not show them the bigness of it, if you will.

[00:05:49] Alex: Yeah. So it looks like different things attached to it underneath, it’s got some different kinds of slides off of it. Some, some grip where you can do activities or whatever. But again, I would encourage people to go once you get the link up to check out the little video, cause it’s a really impressive piece of equipment. One of the things we had said to the designer originally was here’s the piece of property. We want you to go and be as creative as possible, come up with ideas or things that you can’t really find anywhere else. And this Quantis, they make it in, it’s in Minnesota or Canada, I can’t remember. But, he was telling us there’s only one or two in the United States right now, and one of them is in San Francisco and then maybe one other one, but it’s a very unique piece of equipment that I think even adults will find that they’re attracted to. And you can see it’s also covered, which is going to be nice in the summer, obviously when it gets pretty hot. Moving to the right from there, you can see two towers and then a blue, long blue slide coming off of that. Now there are some other things that come off of that. But one of the things that we found in the little playground, kids love that slide that’s there, but it’s metal, which gets pretty hot in the summer, which you buy those little rocks. So what we wanted to do is create a slide that was not gonna get as hot, I guess you could say. But also was higher up. And the, one of the things you can see here, there’s a slight elevation change that’s already there. And then we’ve put the tower up on top of that elevation change. So from where you’d get in that blue tube, down to the bottom is about a 20 foot drop. Which is, I mean you could see it’s covered, so you’re not going to come out of it. But if you’re a little kid, that’s going to be pretty exciting with a 20 foot drop. And there’s a few other slides off of there, but one of the things, and I remember being a kid where you love to climb into things that are enclosed and this has got that aspect to it.

[00:07:42] Rico: And then, was it the Jones bridge park has a playground that has also a tube-like, tube slide like that. But not 20 feet I don’t think.

[00:07:50] Alex: Yeah, it might be six maybe, cause I can stand up and touch the bottom of it. So you’re talking three times as high. Now, to the further right, I don’t know if this one really illustrates it very well, but the third major thing is going to be something called a bamboo jungle. Which is, imagine metal poles into the ground that are six, seven feet tall. And then occasional foot rest, for lack of a better word, where you can climb through this thing. People of all ages would enjoy that. Now, in addition, there’s a few other, you can see this little slope here with some other slides on it and then a cement area that’s covered. And it’s not going to look exactly like that, the covered area will be bigger than that. But one of the ideas was, we wanted an area where the parents could hang out, just kind of relax, watching their kids play. Like on the other side, one of the things that turned out to be a big hit was having a covered area right beside the play area. We wanted to replicate that on this side and you can see where a lot of these things kind of flow into that, that semi-circle area, which was the intent. To bring people to, the smaller kids especially, keep them flowing in to where their parents were sitting. That wall, that’s actually not going to be there. We’re going to have that sloped down. And so one of the things that’ll be kind of a side benefit, of this, is it’s going to create more seating when we have concerts. Sometimes, before the virus, some of the concerts were really well attended, I guess you could say and actually needed some more space. So this will be again, a secondary benefit to the playground, plus some seating area. And then you can see behind the playground is a sidewalk and that’s really for making it more handicap accessible. And there’ll be a stone wall behind that, that you could sit on. And then there’ll be a low fence behind that wall that you can lean back into, which will make it a little more comfortable. But you know, the contract went out for bid a few days ago. And what we’re hoping is to have this thing up and running in May, weather permitting. A lot of the equipment we had already ordered. That the bid for contract was for the land movement. The equipment was, we’ve already ordered that, it takes about three months to build some of these things. And so one of the things I’ve mentioned is that the ground is not going to be the AstroTurf like we’ve got on the other side, which we’ve had some problems with it tearing up. It’s going to be a rubber material. And it’s going to be blue and green, like the city colors and have some of the designs of the city, the tree. So I think it’s going to be, it’ll really add a nice color pop as well. Anytime you’ve got a play area, it just seems more I don’t know, fun if you’ve got some bright colored stuff.

[00:10:42] Rico: For sure. And it probably works, just like a lot of Gwinnett County parks. I mean, a lot of drainage opportunities, to drain faster, dry faster. Like you said the turf won’t be torn up. You won’t have turf to be torn up and then have to be re fixed later. So people looking at this rendering as I understand, this is sort of a representation, but obviously elements will be a little different on this, including the positioning of some of this and the terrain, but the sloping and the general area is correct.

[00:11:12] Alex: Yeah, it’s got the area right. It’s got the major components, but it’ll look a little bit different. It’ll look nicer than this. You know, this was an earlier rendering. But it’s, I think it’s really going to add, there’s always kids at the Town Green already, but I think this is going to give just a whole new level of attraction. Because what we see now is kids like at a certain age, they don’t want to play on the playground we’ve got now because there’s really not much stuff there. And they ended up migrating over into the woods and nothing wrong with that, but we thought well, let’s give them something more than what we’ve got now. Videos I’ve shown to friends of mine that have smaller kids they’ve all been really excited about it.

[00:11:52] Rico: With the video that I saw, this is a huge piece of, just the one, the Quantas is a huge piece to be there so I can imagine the rest of it. So it can’t wait for people to see that. So check out the show notes and you’ll be able to see that video also, I’ll get that link on there as well, when this comes up. Let’s also talk a bit about what you just did. You put together the first official event, which was the Peachtree Corners Decathlon which takes place in the fitness trail that was expanded from seven pieces to ten pieces. So tell us a little bit about how that went, what’s going on there and when will the next one be this year coming?

[00:12:26] Alex: Right. So we had a decathlon, like an obstacle course decathlon, back in early November on the fitness trail. And a decent turnout, about 50 people in one of the things. And it was really designed, it was a rolling start, which meant every five minutes a person would enter into it. And each, every five minutes you would rotate to a new station. So the nature of that kind of, it’s not like a 5k where you can have 500 people start at once. So the number was going to be limited. You know, there’s only a certain number of people that are kind of interested in that thing. So we knew it would be a different type of event. So there was, for me personally was kind of a lot of apprehension at the beginning not knowing, you’re building something from scratch. Like someone’s going to show up, are they going to have fun? And, A, the weather cooperated, the vibe we were looking for was a community event. Family’s come out, cheering people on. And we had all that in spades. A lot of very impressive athletes were there. Very humbling when you get older like I do. It really kind of slaps in your face, I’m really old compared to some of these guys. They were impressive. But I had a great time and an award ceremony a few days later at Anderby. Which got a lot of great feedback on that. And during the event we had, photographers there taking pictures of people, which we would then put up on the big screen.And people really liked that as well. So, I thought it was very successful. And so anyway, yeah, we’re going to do it again next year. A little bit earlier, probably mid to late October around with some of the feedback we got is, Hey, can you move it up just a little bit?

[00:13:59] Rico: Actually, that’ll be this year, so.

[00:14:01] Alex: Yes, October 2022. It’ll be the decathlon again, probably the same obstacles. We’re hoping to get a little more attendance. One of the big things was just trying to describe to people, what is this? People when you tell them hey, you’ve got to climb a 20 foot rope, they you know, some people get scared off by that. But one of the purposes of this was to, Hey, there’s this fitness trail there. I can’t tell you the number of times I talked to someone and they’re like, I didn’t even know that was there. You know, it’s kind of off in the woods and we want to encourage its use. To encourage people to just be active

[00:14:30] Rico: No matter how many times you put out things, where the city puts out the information through a variety of channels, including Peachtree Corners Magazine, these podcasts, the website, your website, social media. There will always be people that miss any of that because it’s not on their radar. They’re not thinking about it. You know, unless you’re at Town Center and even sometimes if you’re at Town Center, you might not walk all the way there. Or you might, and then try to figure out what it is. The cool part is that, really that fitness trail started because of you, I think. Because you started it out with seven, you know your idea was to put a fitness stations there. Because during, at the beginning of COVID, YMCA closed, there was really no way to do any work like that with your friends. And it’s cool that it started out that way, and now it’s expanding even further. So it’s kind of neat that you were able to do that.

[00:15:21] Alex: Yeah, you know, I’ve said this to people before where, this virus obviously has been very disruptive, continues to be disruptive. But often good things can come out of bad things. And this was a perfect example of where, this probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise because there was no impetus for it because, Hey, we’re going to the Y or whatever. And so yeah, this turned out to be, we created a something for the whole community to use. You know, some of the obstacles are very specific for people that do like Spartan races and that kind of thing. And I’ve bumped into people there who had driven from other parts of the Metro area that, you know, they’ve heard word of mouth, Hey, that you’ve got this and this. I can’t practice anywhere else on this. And if you think about it in terms of just on a very micro scale, you know, the economic development. Like, hey, we’ve got people coming into town just to use this and it gets our name out there. Again it’s, we’re talking to micro scale, but it’s creating something unique.

[00:16:18] Rico: And you know, something that’s a one-time investment. Granted there’s maintenance upkeep on it. But a one time investment that provides that type of economic impact, even on a micro scale, over a period of time, over several years, you know, the more that’s added. The same way, like this playground as unique as it will be, it’ll be a different thing. So it’s not just pulling in maybe from people from, normal retail pulls them for maybe three, four mile area, sometimes two mile area. This will draw maybe a little wider. You know, the more things we have. Like the concert, like you said, the extra seating that will be there. The first original concert had close to 5,000 or over 5,000 people on that green.

[00:16:57] Alex: Yeah. There’ve been some that were, yeah. At a Queen concert, I think back in 2019. And it was just a madhouse. It was a lot of fun. I looked forward to one day having that same kind of vibe.

[00:17:07] Rico: Yeah. Going from the Town Center, let’s keep on track a little bit in talking about the Forum. Because there’s a few things going on there at the Forum that ‘s been talked about on Next Door. So you know, one of the things going on is that there’s been some shop closings. I know that I normally, when I go to Dunkin Donuts, get my coffee, I’ll drive through the forum occasionally just to do my count to see how many stores are closed at the Forum. And it’s varied between 14 to 16, I think, closed stores. Small stores, big stores, and then you get a Lemon Lulu that does the pop-up. That pop-up is not a pop-up anymore. It seems like it’s there permanent because they’re doing really well. And if I ask my young kids why they don’t go to the Forum, they’re like, why should I go there when I can go to the Avalon? Or even if I go to the Forum, there’s really no shops for me, except for then maybe that Lemon Lulu or the Barnes and Noble, or those or Ulta. That was the other thing. So those three things for a younger, like we’re talking about twenties, late twenties, maybe early thirties. It’s not doing so well. I mean, you’ve got right now, for example Williams Sonoma is leaving the store. They’re closing up shop. But by the way, you can go to Avalon or the Avenue at East Cobb to go see them. They’re just one store closing. Dress Up just closed, I don’t know how many weeks ago or a month ago. Now there are new stores coming in, but what do we do with the place? What can be done there, Alex? I know the city is trying to do some stuff. But tell us a little bit more about what’s going on.

[00:18:32] Alex: Yeah, so we, you know, if you remember the Forum was sold it was 2015 or 2018, I can’t remember to a company it’s a REIT out of Boston, you know, real estate. And I think Behr was the managing company, doing the leases and all that kind of thing. And just not very interested in some of the, cause we approached them about, Hey, we think you need some type of activation on the property. Like there was a company that contacted the city a few, I don’t know, probably last year that does Pickleball. Something Pickleball and Waffles or something like that. I can’t remember the name of the company, but it’s trendy. And they actually wanted to, that wooded area we were just talking about beside the Town Green, they wanted to buy that and take all the trees down and build Pickleball courts. And obviously that didn’t go anywhere luckily. But we have suggested, hey, why don’t you go across the street to the Forum? You can take some of that parking in the back that’s never used and right near the bridge. And we’re just trying to be creative, something where people want to go and hang out. And they had no interest in that. We talked to them about taking the middle area and making it, taking the parking out, making it not necessarily grass but an area you could hang out in. No interest.

[00:19:51] Rico: No interest from Behr or the REIT that owns it actually.

[00:19:54] Alex: That’s correct. They’re just very rigid in their thinking. And what I kept thinking about was that scene from Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise is saying, help me help you. You know, we want to invest in your property, even though it’s struggling. Because if it goes down, it’s going to impact the whole area. As you probably know, it went up for sale again, I don’t know, a few months ago. And I believe that it actually, so there was a bidding process where they didn’t just have a deal with one company. They put it out there, hey, best offer and several companies bid. And I guess they needed to get over a certain threshold. And then after they did that, they did it again. They said, okay, we’re going to make your best last offer or last best offer. And so my understanding is a winner, I guess you could say, has been selected during the due diligence period. And assuming nothing weird happens, there’ll be a new owner here very soon. And at least what I’ve heard, through back channels is that of all the companies that were bidding on it, this was the best outcome for us. This is a company that’s willing to have a long-term vision. Hey, maybe we take some short-term hits, we’re in this for the long haul. They’ve been, because several of these companies came and contacted the city and said, hey, would you be interested in doing something with this. It’s almost like what we had already been doing. And this company in particular has been open to all the different ideas that we’ve thrown around. So I’m very cautiously optimistic that we can turn things or help them turn things around. It would include some limited investment from the city, some type of private, public partnership. I think ultimately, we don’t want to see the Forum go down. And now I would say, the future of retail obviously is different than 10 years ago. I mean, it’s going to become more of, I think, of an experience than, hey I’m just going to go roam around and look at stuff in here. Because you can buy it cheaper and easier online. It’s obviously evolving. It’s not just the Forum right, they’re kind of figuring that out. But it’s going to have to involve some things other than just retail.

[00:22:07] Rico: I think you’re, I think you’re right and part of what I understand is that the current owner, if I understand correctly some of their other properties are multi-use properties where they have residential components, office, retail. Like a Halcyon type property, like an Avalon type property. So they’re divesting themselves of properties like this that have less stores, that don’t have multi-use components to it. So now you’re talking about, if I understand correctly, the company you’re talking about that is in that due diligence stage is probably North American Properties who owns Atlantic Station, Colony Square, Avalon. The exact type of places that have a multi-use components, residential, office. Now, granted, even the Forum has an office component. Probably some people don’t even know in some ways, but there’s office components too. But no residential obviously at this point. So it sounds like maybe North American Properties may be looking to be able to do. And I want to put up some illustrations of what possibly, for example, this is one of the renderings I got my hands on that was shown to the companies where, you know, the green space would be that central part, just like you would see at Avalon, just that like you would see at Halcyon. And now granted that would take away some parking spaces, but you can note anyone that looks at this, can see the possible parking decks above and below that would essentially be owned by the city, I guess was one of the pitches. Similar to the parking deck that’s owned by the city at Town Center.

[00:23:37] Alex: That’s correct.

[00:23:38] Rico: So it’s an investment that the city can make to help further what can be done here? There was a couple of other illustrators, let me throw them one at a time up here. I believe this is that Halcyon if I understand correctly. Green space in the middle of retail, right? Which the Forum currently lacks. One of the other places, I think this was maybe I think at Avalon is what that one’s at. Is another one, type of green space or places that would allow people to essentially come to provide. Here’s a new one, this was one that was the beginning of where you see Belk’s and stuff with a small stage over there. These were just suggestions that could add energy if you will, to the surrounding areas. Because there’s no where to hang out. There really is nowhere to hang out there.

[00:24:26] Alex: That’s correct.

[00:24:27] Rico: Do you find that, I believe fervently that density is important too. And we discussed this the other day as we were having some difficulties with the original podcast schedule, which I apologize for. But we talked about density and we talked about how the apartments and the Indigo, planned Indigo hotel, boutique hotel, a Town Center is no longer viable. Because that zoning expired sunset, after five years. And that was what, a few months ago, I guess?

[00:24:54] Alex: Yeah, in December. They had a four year of special use permit and it expired. So it’s reverted back to the earlier zoning, which I think is commercial.

[00:25:04] Rico: So commercial and for retail, I think. Which was the original or maybe just offices?

[00:25:10] Alex: I can’t remember, but I know it’s not any type of residential.

[00:25:14] Rico: No, it’s not. In fact it might be just office. I think it was C1, but heck if I remember now. It was four years ago. But so that’s expired. So those apartments that were planned originally and that boutique hotel is no longer going to happen there. So as far as density goes, unless they sell that property to someone that’s actually you know, willing to do it. Would the city think of rezoning this again? I mean.

[00:25:38] Alex: I think that a boutique hotel is a great idea for that area. And we were talking the other day about Intuitive moving in. And that’s when I heard was about 15 to 16,000 visits a year from surgeons coming into town to learn on their equipment. I mean, I don’t know that many surgeons, but I think they make pretty good money and probably would like to stay in, you know, somewhere nice. Not that we don’t have some nice hotels, but I think that location would be very attractive in the sense that, let’s say you’re staying at the, you’re over at Intuitive, you’re doing some training. You have to come over to the Indigo. I can walk to eat, I could go hang out through Town Green, I could walk over the bridge. It’s like that, all that kind of connectivity we wanted. We’re putting it in place. Now we need people there in a hotel. You know, when some of the, I talked to Mr. Roberts, this was a couple of years ago. I mean, he had some kind of neat ideas. Like he talked about having a rooftop restaurant where you know, you can get to see pretty far away. I loved that idea. I’m not sure why it didn’t work out, but yeah. I’d love to see a nice hotel in there.

[00:26:45] Rico: And it’s amazing to me with the amount of the low interest rate that development could have happened, that it didn’t happen. And now interest rates are going higher. And quite frankly, I wasn’t exactly supportive of an apartment complex, which is how that was zoned actually. The apartment 200 plus units, the Indigo hotel had to be built at the same time. And then otherwise it wouldn’t happen.

[00:27:07] Alex: That’s correct.

[00:27:08] Rico: You know, I would have preferred seeing equity owned, like condominiums.

[00:27:13] Alex: Absolutely. I voted against the project primarily what you’re talking about, like I wanted the hotel and I didn’t mind the residential, but we’ve already got over 20,000 apartment units in the city. So it’s like half our housing stock, something like, do we really need more? So anyway, that doesn’t matter now because it’s reverted back. but You’re talking about housing at the Forum. I do think that’s something that will more than likely be requested. This is obviously not formal because they haven’t even finished buying the property yet. But I wouldn’t be shocked if they didn’t want to put some type of housing component in there. Just like with the green spaces. You know, it’s an activation component. If you’ve got people living there on site, they’re going to be walking around.

[00:27:56] Rico: You’re talking about the Forum now, as far as residential on that side.

[00:28:00] Alex: So yeah, I’m not sure where. But that’s my speculation is we will probably see that request at some point. Probably sooner.

[00:28:10] Rico: And I agree. I think that has to be probably part of what they’re going to be doing. And there are spots to be able to do it on the existing plane, unless they decide to cut out some retail to be able to build something up. But certainly, yeah, I agree. And in fact that whole area zoned so then they can. I think with the special use permit maybe, do a seven like seven story mid-rise condo or apartment. I would love to see more equity owned property. But because there’s already over 300 apartments that are going to come in on the south side, east side on Peachtree Parkway. I think it’s about 320 odd units and that’s apartments right there. So, and also we talked about, you mentioned Intuitive. So there’s a piece of property where there’s about 50 units that wants to be developed that sorta goes behind Creme De La Creme and QT, I guess?

[00:28:58] Alex: Yeah, yeah. Kinda in between that. Well, you know, it’s just dirt right now. If you were looking at Creme that’s to the right. And that’s coming before the council, I believe later this month. And one of the issues, issues not the right word, but concerns was the traffic. Because if you’ve ever tried to take a left out of QT on the Peachtree Corner Circle or left out of the Forum, it’s dangerous. We didn’t want to approve something and then it makes an existing situation worse. So we, you know, have requested a traffic study, slash hey, bring us a traffic solution. Because otherwise, I just don’t think it would be a good decision. Because you’re making something worse. But the idea of you know, an equity right there, right near the Forum, I think it’s probably pretty good. And like your point it’s right near this new, what I’m going to call the Intuitive Campus. There’s talk about a trail connecting up into that. So yeah, that, that whole, again, that whole connectivity we’re talking about. It furthers that walkability, people living there and they could walk to work, walk to the Forum.

[00:30:01] Rico: Right. And that campus, they’re already doing some renovation work on Spalding Drive. They’re talking about a 1200 employee growth there. Over the period of a few years, maybe four or five years, I think as they build out these campuses. As they build out some of the buildings actually. Because I think, right now I have a map in the last issue, I think of Peachtree Corners Magazine that shows the campus of five, six buildings there.

[00:30:24] Alex: Yeah, my understanding of how this is working is there, they move a lot of people into one building, then they’ll move people out of the building, renovate that building. And then they kind of, they’re just kind of moving on from building to building. But I think the goal is to have everything done by 2024. And what I’m hearing and what little I’ve seen is they’re already hard at work doing this. So, it’s a five, $600 million investment. It is a really big deal for the city.

[00:30:53] Rico: Yeah, for sure. I know one company is leaving to reposition themselves in Dunwoody. But I don’t know how many jobs actually is being lost from there, from the city.

[00:31:02] Alex: Yeah, I’m not sure. I think it’s several hundred. But you know, one of the things that we’ve suggested to Intuitive was, hey, you know, Hapag-Lloyd is moving out, maybe you could get that building. Because it’s literally right beside where their campuses are going to be. So who knows what will happen there, but.

[00:31:18] Rico: Right. And for those people that don’t know maybe, isn’t that the building with the anchor?

[00:31:23] Alex: Yes, it’s right at Spalding and 141. It’s got the anchor. Yup.

[00:31:29] Rico: Yup. That’ll be the perfect place for that. For someone to purchase it as a showpiece anyway. So yeah, we’re talking density, we’re talking growth of a city. We’re talking a smart city, right? We’re talking a city. That’s going to be the place. I forget what month it is, I think March or April maybe. Where the V2-X Live Conference is going to be held. We’re talking about a city that has a lot of companies working through the Curiosity Lab. A lot of news stories coming out of there just recently. Was it Brodmann 17, I think was another success story that has used the autonomous vehicle street. But I think you were mentioning to me earlier at some point about extending the autonomous vehicle road up too. So talk a little bit about that. I think that was a mobility park that you were talking about and maybe even the planned autonomous vehicle reach up to Town Center. Not that they’re the same, but tell us a little bit on that.

[00:32:24] Alex: Yeah. So let me, I’ll talk about that part first. So, originally when this whole concept came up, one of the objectives was, this is before the virus, years before the virus. You know, a lot of traffic in Peachtree Corners. A lot of that traffic was people driving through Peachtree Corners, which obviously we could have no ability to really control, but we thought well, how can we make it easier to move around inside Peachtree Corners? And when we started talking about, I brought up the idea about autonomous vehicles since we were kicking that idea around. Kind of the original idea was maybe we could use the autonomous vehicles to you know, move people in between Tech Park and Town Center, you know, take a few cars off the road that was kinda. And then we got some really smart people on staff. Who’ve also worked with consultants and they took this kind of a different direction, which probably ultimately it was the right thing. Well it was the right thing to do because this is still very evolving technology. They’ve taken it in an economic development path, which is really a big success for us. But the reason I bring all that up is, we’ve never really forgotten about that original idea of moving people within Peachtree Corners. Because what happens now is people drive down Technology Parkway, they’ve heard about Curiosity Lab. They’re like well, I don’t see anything going on. They occasionally see the shuttle or I go, what does that doing for you? You know, the visual is there’s no benefit to them that’s tangible. And so what we’d like to do is extend the loop, if you will, where it goes. And I say up 141, not on the road, but we would take the existing sidewalk, expand that. We’d have a dedicated lane for the shuttles and have it run up to Town Center and back. And obviously there’s more than one shuttle now, there’s four shuttles. The analogy I always give is, years ago we went to Disney World and my wife wanted to stay, I call it on campus. But she said, you know we’re closer to everything, it’ll be more fun. You know, even though it’s triple the cost. I’m like, alright. She goes, we can ride the bus. So we found after about two days was, riding the bus was not a good idea because you had to go all these places you didn’t want to go. And I said, let’s just get back in the car and pay the $10 to park. It makes more sense. That’s the story, but the point of the story is to illustrate, you can’t get people to change their behavior unless you present an option that’s as good if not better than what they’re already doing. So recognizing that you could’ve just had one shuttle, that’s coming by every 30 minutes. Someone’s going to use that. Because right now I’ll just hop in my car. So this wouldn’t happen immediately, having the four shuttles, it would make it again it’d still be kind of a novelty thing. I get that, but it’s kind of the beginning of that idea of, hey, this thing’s going to be buying three minutes. I’ll just hop on it and go back to work or wherever. Because I think this is really the beginning of maybe in 20 or 30 years, we’ll look back and say, oh yeah, I remember when I used to own a car. I use the analogy of, everyone used to ride a horse and then around the turn of the century, cars came into the model. And that was decades of transition where you had both of them kind of interacting. And I think you’ll have something like that with autonomous cars and man cars. Who knows how it’s going to evolve? But I do think, you know, if you think about your car as an asset, how often do you use it? Maybe 5% of the day and the rest of the time it’s just sitting there, depreciating. So, it’s a horrific investment. If you’ve got something that you’re just using kind of on demand. I mean, when my kids first started driving, I learned about teenagers insurance. It’s wow, this is really expensive. And I won’t go down that tangent, but this was the beginning. So where we are as far as getting approval. So you have to get, Technology Parkway is a city street, so we totally control it. Unless you get onto a county or state road, you’ve got to work with the other governments. So we’ve been working with Georgia, with GDOT, to get approvals. To have an autonomous vehicle on their side of the road. And we feel pretty good where we are. And the governments tend to be pretty conservative and that’s when it comes to these kinds of new ideas, because it’s always about well who’s going to sue who and that kind of thing. And I get it.

[00:36:51] Rico: Liability, sure.

[00:36:52] Alex: Yeah. I will say that the visit we had recently from the Secretary of Transportation, from the federal government, that at least what I’m hearing has helped as far as, giving credence to, hey, we like these ideas. We want to push these ideas. So what I’m hearing from staff is that, we hope within the next few months, knock on wood, that we’ll get the permission if you will, from the state to run this thing up at the Town Center. And we’ve already got designs, I haven’t seen them yet, but the Public Works people tell me they’ve already got designs for the expanded sidewalks. So they’re thinking ahead. I’d love to see it happen this year sometime. I mean, it might not, but we’re definitely in that direction.

[00:37:35] Rico: Yeah. I’m excited for that because you’re talking about Technology Parkway coming out at 141 near Walgreens on that side, right? Where Curiosity Lab, that road starts, there’s a couple of hotels along that road. And as you come back out and then let’s say you come left onto Spalding Drive, however that’s going to run. Or unless it’s running the other way along Peachtree Parkway, you’re going to come across several more hotels. Offices, density. And then moving that all up past Wesleyan into Town Center. You know, I think autonomous vehicles, I know we’re far from doing autonomous vehicles generally on a road, but I think the faster progression of it will be long distance trucking. Will be these types of things that are a closed road type of thing. Still has to deal with people crossing, still has to deal with driveways and stuff. But less random things going on, then if you took a car driving into a neighborhood and then some kid runs out into the street. That’s a little different, right? So, yeah. I can see that moving along way faster and having, like you said, if you have four of those vehicles. There may be more eventually cause really, how much do they cost?

[00:38:48] Alex: Yeah. You were talking about trucking. I mean, they already can run a semi, they’ve done this from California to Jacksonville on an autonomous trip. And granted, there was a person in it. But they were not driving the truck. So this, it’s already happening. It’s just, normally if you don’t see it with your own eyes you don’t really know what’s going on. You’re busy, you know, living your life and that kind of thing. But it’s, what we’re finding is that, when you’ve got this emerging technology and you’ve got, and I say competition. For us to stay relevant for businesses to come and want to use our test platform, you’ve got to constantly be thinking up new ways to make yourself attractive. Because the barriers to entry, if you think about our barrier to entry is what there’s just a road. And we’ve got some technology on it that they can use, but it’s not super expensive to get into. So you’ve really got to continue to think outside the box. Which leads me, when we’re talking about the mobility part, which is, that’s the term I came up with. I’m not sure what we’re going to call it, but it’s a piece of land at the corner of Technology Parkway. And I think it’s Scientific Drive, but it’s beside the old Honeywell building, which is now Bright Tree. An empty parking lot now. But we’re going to make some of that, I think that some of it will be green space where you can have mini concerts and hanging out for people in the Tech Park area, but maybe some EV stations. But we’re trying to think, how can we incorporate this into the Curiosity Lab? Using this piece of land to further that and one of the things that we’ve been talking about is you’ve got an autonomous vehicles. But you’ve also got drones as a way to transport maybe it’s food or different kinds of things. I mean, these drones aren’t gonna carry huge things, but again, it’s a way to take cars off the road for transportation. With drones, just like with vehicles, they need a place to test. And so we’ve been talking about how do we take our existing platform and make it potentially an area where drones can also test. And taking part of that, you know, mobility parking will and making that somehow incorporating that into a drone test platform. Maybe they’re taking off but, I don’t really know. The idea being, is you can’t just stand back on whatever successes you’ve had. You know, we were talking, or I was talking to someone the other day about using GM as an example. Most people think of GM as a car company, but for them to succeed, they have to think of themselves as a transportation company. Because otherwise you’ll just get left behind eventually if you’re not constantly evolving. And so same idea with Curiosity Lab. How do we constantly evolve to make ourselves relevant to these new evolving technologies.

[00:41:25] Rico: For sure. And you have good leadership there and you have good people like in Brian Johnson and Brandon and others technology companies that are there that are working through the resources that the city’s providing. A city like this needs energy. A city like this has a mission, right? But the mission that the leadership of the city has provided in moving forward on all these things is very strong, I think. And I think that leadership should also extend, this is my personal opinion, into residential. Any new developments like condos or equity owned or apartments should be LED compliant. Should be working with smart technology within those buildings. Controlled access, utility management, EV charging stations within those buildings. There’s so many things that can be done in a smart way in these. And we should be leading that. We talk about ourselves as a smart city. We should really be talking about that within the zoning of an urban center like ours.

[00:42:20] Alex: Yeah. I don’t know, I don’t remember all the details, so don’t quote me on this, but I know we recently passed a mixed use development ordinance. And one of the pieces of that was, how do we incentivize people to do some of the, like what you’re talking about right there with making their buildings carbon neutral or have EV stations or whatnot. And we put in a whole series of incentives. One of the incentives, maybe it’s hey, donate land to the trail system. Again, making mobility a bigger deal. But in exchange, you know, hey, we’ll give you more density. So, using density as a way to get some of these investments. Exactly what you’re talking about. So that again, I can’t remember all the details, but that definitely was one of the things that we urge.

[00:43:08] Rico: Right. And I think one of the changes was actually, and I don’t know the details either, but was the mixture of what we call retail within a multi-use. Because right now, retail in a multi-use prior to that change, could have just been a coffee shop or a breakfast place in a large complex. And still call it multi-use when, in actuality, that’s not really multi-use when there’s only one retail shop. Not that a city should drive someone’s marketing or development.

[00:43:35] Alex: Yeah. We had that discussion at, I guess it was one of our retreats. You know, twice a year, we go off site to set our vision for the next six months. And that very topic came up about, I’m not going to name the development, but there was a mixed use development that was approved recently. And technically, you know, they met the letter of the law, but not really the spirit of the law. So we kicked around trying to define, well what is it that we’re really looking for? And talk about having a range of percentages. Because to your point, like you don’t want 99% residential and then a little coffee shop just because they can placate us.. So that’s definitely on the radar screen. We did not reach a consensus on that because, as one person made the point do you want to have 70% residential with the required 30% retail? And then that retail is just sitting empty, they just kind of plan on it. Not succeeding. It’s kinda tricky. You know, you want to push things a certain direction, but not be so rigid that almost cause people to fail.

[00:44:38] Rico: But it’s exciting to be able to find places, companies like North American Properties that owns like Avalon and those places that may have an incentive and interest to actually develop something a little better than what exists. So we just did, we’re still in the midst of a Reader’s Choice Awards survey that we’re doing. So we’re getting people to come to answer the survey questions. Right now we’re over 1800 respondents on it. 1800 respondents in a short three weeks is a lot of people to do the survey. So one of the things that we asked is what would you like to see in the city of Peachtree Corners? Now, granted I put a ABC choice in there. But they’re giving us other choices in the other section. There’s like a hundred other suggestions. But the top three is, one of the top ones is, they want to see more green and venue space at the Forum. The other thing is that they would like to see more immersive events and programs. Like the Beltline’s Illuminarium. So, we’re getting suggestions about venue, green space at the Forum. We’re getting suggestions about immersive technology and events like the Illuminarium them at the Forum, or the Van Gogh exhibit that you mentioned the other day. People would like to see that here. Those are things that, to speak to what you said earlier, less retail. Yes. But more immersive events or programs or businesses that people would want to visit and come to. And that would be, and they would stay maybe to have food, have drinks, maybe shop a little bit. This is why Avalon, why some of the other places like Atlantic Station. Not just for those reasons, but giving people an experience, giving them a better choice of retail, maybe. But to be able to attract that retail and keep it, needs that type of venue, green space, energy that does not exist at a open air mall that’s been there for 20 years and hasn’t really changed what they’re doing.

[00:46:34] Alex: Absolutely.

[00:46:36] Rico: Alex, we’ve been like going on this for almost an hour. And I appreciate your patience and your being with me on this. For those that are listening, if you’re still hanging in there with us, I appreciate that. And you’re gonna find more information relevant and related links video, probably on our show notes. So check that out, with regard to the podcast, share this with your friends. If you have any questions, certainly post it in the comment section, if you’re on Facebook or on YouTube or email Alex Wright. Alex, where can people email you or get your newsletter or?

[00:47:04] Alex: Right. So I’ve got, you know, multiple emails, like most people do. But my city email address, if you just go to the city website, you can find it under council. But it’s basically, it’s AWright@PeachtreeCornersGA.gov. That’s probably the easiest. You can email me there. If you want to get my newsletter, you can send me your email address and I’ll put it on. We’ve got probably about six between six and 700 email addresses on there. Always love to add people. You know, like I said, it comes out every month or two. And one of the advantages, if you will, over what the city is able to do is, I can sometimes share an opinion or give some insight that the city is not always in a position to do so. Or maybe I’m jumping the gun sometimes and they can’t really stop me, I don’t know. But you get a little different spin on things.

[00:47:55] Rico: Yeah, for sure. People should email you, get on his list. Every time I get it there’s always something new I don’t know. Because I don’t know everything, even though I published Peachtree Corners Magazine, people think, did you know about this? It’s no, that one I didn’t know about. But it’s good that people are hungry for news. Don’t just trust the things that you might see on Next Door or other social media. Be a critical thinker, check out for the facts yourself. Look at what people are saying. If you want to know what’s going on in the city, ask your city council people also. Look at the social media that’s related to city news. If that’s related to our magazine and stuff where we’re validating certain news items and getting information out there as well. So share this. Alex, I appreciate you coming on. Thank you so much.

[00:48:38] Alex: I enjoyed it.

[00:48:39] Rico: So did I. Thank you everyone, and check out our next issue of Peachtree Corners Magazine. We’re going to have several features in there. Hopefully you’ll be interested in including the Reader’s Choice Awards coming out in that issue. As well as a we’re doing a roundup of commercial and residence developments that were approved and ongoing now in 2022. We’ll have a map in there as well. So check it out. Again, leave your comments in the comments, put your questions there or email Alex. Thanks everyone.

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City Government

Waste Management Yard Waste Accounts to be Extended



Waste management

To provide relief and the best service to customers due to the current suspension of yard waste and bulk pickup service, Waste Management will be extending the contract services for those who have paid for the same timeframe as the current suspension may last. 

As an example, if you are a current yard waste customer, and this service suspension lasts for 2 months, two months of service will be added to the end of your contract at no additional cost.  Customers will still receive their full 6-months of service regardless of the period of service suspension. 

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