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Prime Lunchtime with the City Manager: Micro-mobility Hubs, License Plate Recognition Cameras [Podcast]

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Prime Lunchtime with the City Manager

City Manager Brian Johnson joins Rico Figliolini to discuss a possible Micro mobility Transit Hub, e-scooters, LG – MRI, Special Service Districts and updates on the pedestrian bridge, the Indigo Hotel, license plate recognition cameras and more. Recorded at Atlanta Tech Park in the City of Peachtree Corners, Georgia

“A lot of what that is driving that lately tends to be around Curiosity Lab as we know it’s serving the very purpose that it was created to serve, which is to become a magnet for companies… But a lot of what we’re doing in the economic development arena is taking the Curiosity Labs environment that we’ve created and talked to companies about how they can use it”

Brian Johnson

Related Links:
https://www.curiositylabptc.com/
https://www.hargrayfiber.com/

Timestamp:
[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:02:42] – LG Tele-scooters
[00:16:39] – LG MRI
[00:23:19] – License Plate Recognition Cameras
[00:40:22] – Redevelopment Authority
[00:44:03] – Pedestrian Bridge
[00:46:22] – Indigo Hotel
[00:47:17] – Fiserv Property
[00:47:31] – Peachtree Corners Festival
[00:48:44] – Workforce Housing
[00:51:40] – Closing

Rico: [00:00:30] Hi everyone. This is Rico Figliolini, host of Peachtree Corners Life and this show once a month with Brian Johnson, the City Manager. It’s Prime Lunchtime with the City Manager. Hey, Brian.

Brian: [00:00:39] How are you?

Rico: [00:00:40] Good. Good. It’s been awhile. We’re going to go through, let me, let me talk about my friends though. Our lead sponsor. So my friends had Hargray Fiber. They just became a lead sponsor, and I want to tell you a little bit about them. They are a company that is not unique in the space, but provides unique solutions. So they are a fiber company business to business. Just moved into Peachtree Corners that based out of Savannah and Hilton. They craft customized solutions for hundreds of businesses throughout the Southeast. They are working with small businesses to provide affordable bundled services and enterprise level businesses that are looking for a full suite of managed IT services. So Hargray Fiber can customize those solutions to work best depending on what your company and your industry needs. So an amount of that industry, Internet, high quality TV, phone solutions. They’re the ones to do it. They have a local presence. You don’t have to worry about the cable guy. They will be there and they are community friendly and they are doing lots of outreach to the city of Peachtree Corners.

Brian: [00:01:46] I’ll just say, let me add one more thing. Hargray not only has their office in Tech Park. But they are the fiber provider, the official fiber provider of Curiosity Lab. So if you think of all the technology that we have, or we’ll be talking about and Curiosity Lab, be it 5G. Which, you know, people are like, wait a second, 5G is wireless. Well, the wireless, the 5G antennas that spit the wireless signal out have to be powered by something and they’re powered by a fiber line and it’s Hargray, the backbone of Curiosity Lab. All the technology, the backbone of it is the fiber line that Hargray provided. So it would, it literally, none of it could work without a fiber optic cable that Hargray provided is, wouldn’t be working. So they’re a key part of Curiosity Lab.

Rico: [00:02:42] Excellent. And if you want to find out more about Hargray, just go to HargrayFiber.com. That’s HargrayFiber.com. And we’re on, we’re in Atlanta Tech Park and this podcast studio is here at, which is in Tech Park, Atlanta on the road of Curiosity Lab that went on the test track. So this is cool. In the midst of this, we’re going to be talking about a lot of things going on, high tech and and also keep an eye out for Peachtree Corners Magazine. Our next, this should be out in another week or so. And we have a cover story on companies here on Peachtree Corners, innovative technology driven, and a big part of this community. So, we’ve been, I think, it’s been about a month maybe that we have, haven’t spoken since. I mean, you’re on the show on the podcast. So there’s lots going on. And guess what, we were talking ahead of the show about something going on there. Reminds me of Bladerunner, for some reason. It’s just the technology to be able to see the big images of things on, in the public realm and public streets and stuff. Tell us what’s going on with the Tele-scooters with LG specifically that you met with, that’s going to be out there that people can see.

Brian: [00:03:58] Well, you know, part of any city’s operation is economic development. You’re always wanting to make sure that, you know, the businesses you have are healthy or attract new business. And so you, you know, cities do that. We do that. A lot of what that is driving that lately tends to be around Curiosity Lab as we know it’s serving the very purpose that it was created to serve, which is to become a magnet for companies to either come to Peachtree Corners on a temporary basis, you know, even for the day to use or, or tour or whatever. And you know, we at least know that if they’re here for one day, they got to eat lunch and they’re going to eat in our restaurants. And you know, just a couple of days in our, our, hotels, we’ll get, you know, the indirect benefit of revenue from them. But a lot of what we’re doing in the economic development arena is taking the Curiosity Labs environment that we’ve created and talking to companies about how they can use it. And we’re getting ready to unveil the next very unique user of Curiosity Lab, which is the tele-operated E-Scooter. And so…

Rico: [00:05:14] Which is available now, actually even, right?

Brian: [00:05:16] No, not quite. Not quite. You may have seen them out there, the company getting ready to, to task, but the way it’ll work is we all know what an E-scooter is. A lot of controversy lately about E-scooters in cities. Especially in Atlanta, where you’ve had two things that have created problems. One, of course, is the users of the scooters, not obeying traffic laws or being cavalier. Too fast on sidewalks when they shouldn’t have been on sidewalks at all. Or I’m trying to zip in between automobiles and they get hit by, you know, so the, unfortunately, unlike the drivers of automobiles, irresponsible drivers, you can’t. You can never overcome. But the other aspect of E-scooters that are frustrating is the fact that people will leave them wherever they want. And the difficulty and the overhead costs of the company that owns a scooter, repositioning them for more people makes it difficult. And it frustrates people when you’re walking down the sidewalk and there’s, you know, 12 E-scooters all over the. Well, the company and it’s two companies that joined forces for this that are going to be testing a way to maybe address that issue is. We’re going to have tele operated E-scooters. And those are E-scooters, like you could buy from, you know, whatever, you know, sporting goods store or whatever. And they have been retrofitted with a kit that adds two little training wheels to the back so that they can stand on their own. Because most of them are just, you know, two wheels so they can stand on their own and a camera on the front stem and when necessary, the E-scooter can be driven by a human from a remote location via the camera that the, that they’re viewing through the, so in this case, the company has a tele operation center in Mexico city, and so they’re going to have, it’s almost like a call center. Where you got people sitting at stations and when it’s time for the E-scooter to be activated, you know, from a distance, they can then have the screen go live. The consumer takeover and drive the East scooter and how that’s gonna work is they’re going to look at the scalability of doing this for two reasons. One, you can summon the scooter, like an Uber or Lyft. And so they’re going to have an app that if you want to do it for, if you work in Tech Park or you want to do it just for novelty sake, you can have the scooter come to you. And then you jump on it and you drive it like any other scooter. That’s one. And the other one is, is they’re going to, the companies go into look into whether or not on a
large scale by large scale, they’ll get up to about a hundred E-scooters, but no more than that. They’ll see if they can reposition the E-scooters from that Mexico city location using tele operation and not have to get up truck and two guys driving all these locations.

Rico: [00:08:52] Which is a big economy in Atlanta cause that’s what they’re doing in Atlanta.

Brian: [00:08:55] That’s correct. That’s what they have to do everywhere because what other way would they reposition them?

Rico: [00:09:00] So 5G actually helps it because there’s no latency, really, or very minimal?

Brian: [00:09:06] I think so. Yeah. For all intents and purposes, none for that. So that’ll help. And then they’re also testing, because you know, 5G will take a while for it to get their testing. The ability to transition from 4G LTE to 5G and back and forth. And then, so they get to test that out. And then what you refer to at the beginning is this got back from talking with a local company called LG MRI, which makes LG exterior televisions screens, whether in, it could be touch-screens or, or what, but they make it specifically for the outdoors. And we are talking about maybe partnering or, or having a collaborative effort between a number of companies. In the case of LG MRI, they would provide touch-screen televisions at the bus stop and we would also integrate this kind of micro mobility transit hub. It would be a bus stop, a real world bus stop that Gwinnett Transit…

Rico: [00:10:12] That already exists.

Brian: [00:10:13] Gwinnett County transit has, exists. Who would have the, you know, the bus stop shelter cover would have solar panels and those solar panels would provide the electricity for the LG screens and we’re going to integrate a docking station for the E-scooters into this. And so you could invariably ride the bus to this spot and then jump on the E-scooter to do that last couple hundred yards or whatever to your office, or vice versa. When it’s time to go home, if you’re going to go home via bus, and this is like real world buses isn’t like a, you know, coming to people testing, this is a, yeah, but, and these scooters are going to be available to the public.

Rico: [00:11:05] Anyone that’s within technology park?

Brian: [00:11:07] Well, no, you can come over here and just use it for novelty if you want, but I’m just saying, you know, you can actually get on and so, but let’s say you work in Tech Park. I mean, you could some in the E-scooter to your office through an app, through an app. It gets there. You jump on it, you ride it to the bus stop. You put it in the docking station and then when the bus comes, you get on the bus while you’re waiting, you can either see at, you can use the interactive kiosk, you could find out how far away the bus is, you can do all sorts of things.

Rico: [00:11:40] That might be cool to be able to see real live, 10 minutes away. And then also it’s going to be able to play probably commercials or all the things in big huge screens and stuff. That’s the part that reminded me about Bladerunner for some reason.

Brian: [00:11:56] And you know, this kind of stuff, these companies want to, you know, be involved in creating, you know, call it the bus stop in the future. We have all these things together, you know, inside these screens and these television, exterior television screens, the LG MRI, people call it their chassis, but it’s got a container basically. That houses all the components inside and it’s completely watertight and it also cools the interior components.

Rico: [00:12:30] So even if it’s a hundred degrees outside.

Brian: [00:12:31] Even if it’s a hundred degrees, it’s good, but it also has the capability of adding third party devices inside the box. To provide lots of things outside of this one box, including like DSRC roadside units, 5G small cell antennas, wireless access points. All inside of this box and the television that it will, the entire, you know, kind of all in one module also has edge computing. So it actually can compute certain things. It has a degree of artificial intelligence and computation ability at that location versus having to go, you know, somewhere to some brain somewhere else and come back. And so it could, so these companies are loving this sandbox we’ve created. For them to come play. And so we’re kind of like being a, to a degree, a, a matchmaker, you know, we’re, we’re talking to, Hey, they’re doing this and what about you doing this? And we’re kind of like the matchmaker that owns the house and we’re like, you know, or owns a restaurant. We’re like, why don’t you two get together and you can come to our restaurant and have your date where we’re telling them we got some property here. No, he’s saying to come here, we’ll kind of facilitate. We’ll let you tie into certain things.

Rico: [00:13:51] And you know, it’s a cool, it’s almost like I could almost see at some point, you know, asking Gianna, or Emma, what’s the temperature now and how far is that bus? It’ll answer that.

Brian: [00:14:00] Yes, yes, they have that. So, you know, here’s some interesting stuff. So these units, when we were talking to them, they have deployed these units recently at the entry points. To Taylor Swift concerts. And what they’ve done is the screens have been displaying imagery that’s of some interest to people going there. And inside the box is facial recognition software. And when people are looking at the image, it will take and get us a snapshot of their face. And it scrubs that against databases that I guess the Taylor Swift security team has for people who are on, kind of call it a watch list for her like that. Then there’s a restraining order against them because they’ve been stalking her. They’ve made comments on social media sites about her. They’ve been, and so these celebrities have people that do that, and so they’ve been able to identify people who have posed or have a high potential, suppose a threat to her. So that helps them. Sure. It’s being done on a private, private venues. So there’s not this whole, you don’t have any, you know, they voluntarily went to this for.

Rico: [00:15:30] Sure. It’s not a public thing.

Brian: [00:15:31] No, it is not a public, they buy a ticket. And they know. Right. And so I’m at a private, you know, concert venue. But then the security team knows, and I actually don’t know what was done about it. It could have been, they just kept an eye on him. It could’ve been that they were asked to leave because of, you know, I know that the team, you know, the, the, the company that provided this housing, this chassis for all this technology did say that, you know. They, it identified some people who there was a restraining order against, because they had been convicted of stalking. So maybe there’s those rests leave. But anyway, the other interesting thing is the concert venue insurance requirement.

Rico: [00:16:15] Did that go down?

Brian: [00:16:16] Went down because the insurance company was like, you know what? You are minimizing risks for things, so you don’t have to have as many. But the unique part of this is this, is technology that’s housed in one water tight, secure unit, and it’s using multiple things at the same time to further.

Rico: I mean, just interested in the, you know, at home, if you have an alarm system, of course your home insurance will be discounted. So similar. And it also introduces, I mean, this is great. I mean, I’m, I’m all for this, certain people are like afraid of the technology to a degree. And there is even talk, I don’t know if this is, I think this is in England, Europe at this point. But you may come across the ocean to us to talk about moratorium and facial recognition, recognition videos because of in the public realm, in the public space. Because of privacy concerns and stuff. And I know, you know, so our next and next thing, and this is cool, so that was the LG MRI?

Brian: [00:17:20] Yup.

Rico: [00:17:20] So people can Google that and find out more.

Brian: [00:17:23] Yeah. I mean their, their manufacturing plant. Fascinating. They had just asked us to come over and meet and they wanted us to show the, show us their site too, but they are going to have, they also are interested in hanging digital, digital screens on the side of light poles like you see out here now that are the banners, they make, ones that you can have digital. So you can have all sorts of messaging on that and it’s not the same thing. So yes, it is. So they’re going to do that stuff. So today was, they were like, we’re going to do something where can we put things as we told them, here are the areas of our sandbox. You can do things. And so we’re going to have another meeting in a week or two where they’re going to come back and say, we would like to do things here, here.

Rico: [00:18:15] That’s amazing, I bet you didn’t even think about that. This and that at this point.

Brian: [00:18:18] There’s so much of this that I didn’t even know. I mean, some of it’s really cool, like, wow, you know, I didn’t realize that technology is here. Some of it is in technology that I thought was farther along than it is. It’s represented that it is, but when you get into it, it’s not quite as, so I’ve had both, but yes, I mean, so just unique things that can be done in a, in a, you know, using technology, especially when you pair a bunch of them together.

Rico: [00:18:47] The, so let’s, let’s go into, because. This past Tuesday, city council meeting, a few things went on that LG MRI that was really all support allowed because of what you passed just recently. The micro mobility, a piece of it.

Brian: [00:19:02] Yes. So for us to have E-scooters operated on, because currently E-scooters, haven’t really been addressed by the city much. It was addressed in our entertainment district ordinance in it for it prohibited E-scooters, essentially in our entertainment district, which is our town center and kind of that area. Other than that it’s not addressed. So theoretically, you know, somebody could go buy one and go out there, but we had to address it in some way. But because this is a pilot program, it’s testing or whatever. What we did is we created the programs similar to kind of how we regulate other activity within our right of way. Like if a telecommunications company wanted to come in and do work in our rideaway, like very cable, we have to give them a permit to do that. We did the same with the E-scooter, created one for a scooter so that they can have, that can be the activity that they are involved in in our right of way.

Rico: [00:20:09] Is that a sunset rule also?

Brian: [00:20:11] It is. So it set a couple of things. One is initially it’s just a curiosity lab. Two, it is a year long pilot program. Three, it has to be geo-fenced. So there has to be, the technological capability of having the E-scooter shutdown if it gets outside of a previously defined area. So if you tried to drive it up to the town center, at a certain point it was shut down. Similar for the golfers out there, sometimes you get on a golf cart has GPS and you’re supposed to be cart path only and you get off the car path, often times it’ll shut down or it’ll go real, real slow until you go back. And so similar. And then we also require this permit. Requires the E-scooter operator to have tele operation capability. And because E-scooters in general don’t need to be tested, I mean they work, right? This is the test part. The reason there’s a lab that’s needed is because of that tele operation. So we’ll start on that and if it works out, we can always expand the boundaries a little bit. Would love to create a scenario in which you could have E-scooters go from the thousand plus hotel rooms we have at the south end of Curiosity Lab between the Hilton, the Marriott was a Homewood suites in Hampton and the town center for that. I mean that’s, there’s a, that’s a need base between the two, especially Sunday or Thursday night,

Rico: [00:21:48] 141 because those sidewalks.

Brian: [00:21:50] Potentially, I mean, state law, there are some, there’s a lot of in the, in the Georgia General Assembly. Is currently considering legislation on defining certain aspects of
E-scooters. So we’re keeping an eye on that and made reference to our permit, would permit it would have to adhere to all state and local laws on E- scooter. So if that tweaks things, you know here soon because the General Assembly did something. But anyway, that’s kind of how it will operate. But they’ll get ultimately up to a hundred scooters and they are available to the public as just like any other e-scooter. Well, I don’t know if it’s free. They may end up having a slight, okay. They might, we’ve encouraged it not to since it’s a pilot, but that’s not our decision. So we don’t know that yet. But yeah, but. If you do get on it, you know it. It’s, it’s an off the shelf E-scooter that they’ve nearly outfitted with a camera on the front stem, training wheels on the back, which as an operator of it, you don’t deploy, they deploy it remotely. So it’s just like any other ones. If somebody’s been on a bird or a lime or do the same thing, it’s just that when you’re off of it, the company may on its own decide to move it somewhere else.

Rico: [00:23:19] So we were talking a little bit about the micro movability part and stuff like that too. So there’s gonna, you also discussed the, license recognition, facial recognition. cameras that are going to be deployed. So did that come to fruition did the city council decide on a plan on how that’s going to happen?

Brian: [00:23:39] So at the council meeting, we had the first read of the final bill. Final vote will be at the February council meeting, but the council had the first read of an ordinance creating the, or it’s really activating the city’s ability to create what are called special service districts. What that is, is, home rule municipalities in Georgia have the authority to create a special service district and they can define the district how they essentially see fit. And inside this district, there can be unique things that happen inside this, just this district for a specific service. An example of that would be you could create a special service district for public safety, and you could do things inside of this special district that were specifically aimed at improving public safety. So doing things like installing video and license plate recognition cameras, installing streetlights, those are things that improve public safety. That special district can have unique things about it. For instance, it could, council could say, install a bunch of streetlights on a street that was dark, that was not a connector street, one that did not serve a true public purpose. So a neighborhood street that maybe was a residential street that had houses on it, and a dead end. But the mayor, if it had problems there, the city could install streetlights on the street and then take the pro rata share of the cost of the streetlight and equally distribute it amongst all the homes that benefit from the surface or all the apartments, as the case may be the apartment units.

Rico: [00:25:47] So now volunteering to be part of that if someone wants to, if a subdivision wants to be part of that and volunteer, you guys have set up percentages or ways to do that?

Brian: [00:25:58] Yes. So, and you know, you’re referring to the fact we’ve talked about before, that this ability to create a special service district gives counsel the ability to determine what threshold that would be required before they did it. We can start with kind of the fact that council can impose it.

Rico: [00:26:19] Wow. Okay.

Brian: [00:26:20] If it against, in other words, that it doesn’t have to be a threshold. They have that authority. I’m not saying they will, but they can’t. And then I will give you examples of that where they may one day. Yes. An apartment complex that has a crime problem. That has been, you know, there’s been some issues or whatever. They can decide, you know what, you don’t have enough street lighting, so we’re going to put street lights in there.

Rico: [00:26:47] Even though it’s internal, internal to that apartment complex.

Brian: [00:26:52] Well, as long as the city streets are public, you know, you could do it in there. If they’re private, private streets, internal to that could, but the council could put it at the entrance.

Rico: [00:27:02] Okay. But with them, because apartment complexes have their own streets and driveways.

Brian: [00:27:07] If it’s truly private. Some of them are public still. There’s a lot of neighborhoods and having, you can look at them as interior streets, but they’re really the city.

Rico: [00:27:13] Well, for sure. If the city’s going to pay them. They’re public streets.

Brian: [00:27:16] Correct. I promise you that we’re not paving streets that are not, most streets in the city are, are public. There are very few that are not in there. Very, very few that are private that are not behind a gate. Very few. There’s only a handful of apartment complexes that have a labyrinth of streets interior that are not public.

Rico: [00:27:37] And they pay for their own.

Brian: [00:27:38] And they pay their own, and most of them, maybe all of them are behind the gate. Then they’re private.

Rico: [00:27:44] But inside that gate on the public street.

Brian: [00:27:47] The city could do a number of things. It could light it up, you know, prior to that. But a good example, you know, but so the streetlight one, say there’s apartment that a city streets and the city didn’t feel like there was enough lights. He could do that and then put it on the property owner. The landlord to pay it. You know? I’m sorry, your crime rate is too high. It’s unacceptable. We think one of the things that would improve public safety is better. Lighting cause there’s been maybe, you know, problems in the parking lot at night or whatever and we’re going to do that. Or another one would be in, this could even apply to an apartment complex that has a gate. And so the interior streets are, but there’s a lot of criminal activity coming and going. The city could decide to put a camera at the entrance so that all the cars coming and going got picked up by that camera. And it could create a special service district around that
area and in that district, they can charge the property owners for that camera because it’s a Public safety.

Rico: [00:28:48] So what’s a threshold to volunteering?

Brian: [00:28:50] All right, so volunteering, that’s where council probably between now and February, make the final decision cause it’s only had the first raise, but they’re really leaning towards probably a 70% threshold. I think, you know, the 50% plus one, they kind of feel like that’s, you know, just too close. And they, most of these, they feel like, look, you ought to have a super majority for us to, for them to feel kind of like, ah, you know, this is good. And so there, there will be an option here for a community to ask the city to do something because it’s unable to do it itself. And that so they could exercise a referendum kind of component.

Rico: [00:29:45] Which is to become a special district?

Brian: [00:29:47] Right? For a particular purpose. And so there’s really three things, three services as we envision it. There could be more in the future, but really three that may be a service that results from these districts. One is the camera, video camera, license plate recognition to a streetlights, and three, your speed bumps or traffic control devices. Speedball bobs or speed humps, as the case may be are usually the one that cities don’t like to just put it in because it affects a lot of people. We tend to want to have a lot of buy in from the community, if, if to put it. So those are ones that we envision being a service that we, the city can provide either voluntarily, where a community comes to the city and says, here’s proof. You know, we did a referendum, and here’s proof that 70% of the property owners want it. Or the city could decide to do it because it’s just, there’s too much problems for whatever reason. There’s too much speeding and, but, but the local, the local residents, and we have this in a couple of places where the local residents can never get enough property owners because they’re renters and the owners live out of state and they don’t want to. So it can be one where the city council just decides, you know what, it needs it. We’re just going to do it.

Rico: [00:31:16] But the city council has to vote.

Brian: [00:31:18] Oh yeah. City council has to vote.

Rico: [00:31:18] It’s not like some regular department decides.

Brian: [00:31:22] No the city, no.

Rico: [00:31:24] Okay. So like a special use permit. Does it go through planning commission or is it straight to say?

Brian: [00:31:27] Oh no, I don’t. I think it’s straight to city council on those because, yeah, I mean, it’s really not a land use really how it operates.

Rico: [00:31:36] So the cameras are really license plate recognition, not facial recognition.

Brian: [00:31:40] Well, no, there won’t be any facial recognition on this.

Rico: [00:31:43] And like we discussed before, this is really stored for a certain period of time. No one can see it or use it unless there’s a crime or something pursuant to it.

Brian: [00:31:53] the, the way that it will work that we envision it a work is, and there’s one other way that you can end up having this happen in that is they’re considering, homeowners associations that uniquely fit a unique, qualification. And that is really, essentially, they have officers that have been elected and they own property that can receive a, that, that receives a property tax bill. Because if that, if they meet that threshold, they could request a camera. Like at the entrance to a subdivision that the HOA owns, and then the city can build that HOA through it’s property tax bill nature way. Then can take a vote and officially ask for the city to install a camera.

Rico: [00:32:47] I’m just curious because can they request the probe one near the swimming tennis, for example? Within the subdivision.

Brian: [00:32:55] If the city owns property. If you could put it in the public right of way, so it’s not a private street. And the HOA gets a property tax bill, then yes. Invariably there could be a yes, put it here. And so all that being said is you are bringing up, so the way that mayor and council are envisioning the way that I ultimately proposed is when these cameras go in. If there’s a request and all the things, the city is not going to end up having access to the data ever. It is going straight to the cloud in Gwinnett County PD. And the cloud access by gonna County PD. And the only way Gwinnett County PD access is it is if there’s a police report filed.

Rico: [00:33:56] Not even for that it recognizes a plate that may be.

Brian: [00:34:00] No, that would be automatic. I’m sorry. So yeah, you’re referring to when Gwinnett County, sometime in 2020 will have that special division that’s stood up. Our license plate recognition cameras will then communicate directly with Gwinnett PD. And if a license plate that it takes a photo of comes up hot. That there’s a warrant for that vehicle. For some reason it was reported stolen. It’s an Amber alert or really invariably, what most of them come up hot for is no insurance or expired tags. But that’ll automatically go to Gwinnett PD. And Gwinnett PD will make a case by case decision on whether the license plate coming up hot is worthy of moving assets around specific to it. But we do know, having talked to other communities who have just put this in place that, you know, with like the insurance and expired tag stuff, it was just to me, is not gonna end up in variably having anybody do anything different. But you could get like an Amber alert would be a good one. They will immediately deploy assets upstream of the direction of travel of that vehicle, at least where the direction of travel, when they got the photos.

Rico: [00:35:19] Because it’s real time, it’s getting out there.

Brian: [00:35:21] It is real time that’ll happen. But when it comes to you, even that photo, well not be accessed by anybody other than Gwinnett County PD. So a photo was taken and they may send a message, but every photo, every license plate photo is taken here and will go to the cloud. And it’ll sit there. I want to say it’s 30 days. It’s written over. So the storage is only for 30 days worth. And then day 31 starts recording over the very first day in that. But the video and the photos of the license plate are going to a PD. The city will never have access to it. And if somebody wants historical imagery or video from that, they’ve got to file a police report. And the reason to do that is just to avoid the, you know. Not to say that I wouldn’t want to do this, but, you know, say my daughter, you know, when she grew up was, you know, snuck out or whatever, and you know, you wanted to find out who, you know, came back, things like that. But it just, it’s so ripe for abuse on those kinds of things. So mayor council, and that’s his staff’s decision. It was just like, you know what? We’re not in it. It goes directly to the cloud. And it stored for that period of time before turret. And if somebody files a police report, they get through good PD access, and then Gwinnett PD can come in and they can use it to investigate. But we’re not in it.

Rico: [00:36:49] And I think the way you set it up, you know, no one can really argue too much about that as far as privacy goes, because the only access point would be if there was a crime. And that’s…

Brian: [00:36:59] Well, it’s gotta be something worthy of a current, a police report.

Rico: [00:37:02] Correct. And that’s reasonable. I don’t see anything wrong with that. You know, facial recognition in a variety of ways could be an issue at some point. But, but not that.

Brian: [00:37:11] And these do not have that. None of these have nothing capabilities of those, we’re not getting any cameras that have facial recognition.

Rico: [00:37:18] So there’s not even a capability to upgrade.

Brian: [00:37:21] Not the cameras that at the camp we’re getting. These are Georgia power. These are cameras do a Georgia power program called site view. So this isn’t like fly by night or this isn’t, this is a program they have created and they hang these cameras. And the reason they did this is because they can generate money. They hang these cameras on their light poles or trap or their utility poles. So there’s already power there, right? And we don’t buy the cameras. We actually lease the cameras monthly. And so monthly we pay it. But what we get for the monthly cost is it’s an all inclusive. We don’t have to do anything. We never had to pay up front for the camera. We don’t pay for the cloud storage. We don’t pay for the electricity. And if it breaks, we don’t pay to have it repaired.

Rico: [00:38:14] You’re just paying a leasing fee.

Brian: [00:38:16] Right. And it’s how our streetlights currently exist. And so it’s a pretty common, but so this isn’t like self love, but this is Georgia power, a public service commission, regulated utility. But no, it doesn’t do facial recognition. And I will tell you, if it did, the amount of storage that you would have to have and the amount of edge computing you would have to have for there to be. Analysis done, and a database to pull facial imagery to enter the store is, is not even.

Rico: [00:38:52] It’s different from being able to use an assistant like that to count bodies.

Brian: [00:38:57] That’s correct. So it’s not, we have that capability at the town green. They just count. All it can do is differentiate between a human and a vehicle. So it’s counting people. That’s why when you know, I say there’s a, there’s any, and even then there’s a little bit, because it doesn’t know enough to not count you twice over really, right. I mean, but on a concert, we can kind of take snapshots of how many are there at a time.

Rico: [00:39:23] Non moving. Okay.

Brian: [00:39:25] So the, we can kind of get a pretty good idea of how many people in there, but if we had it like say at the, I don’t know, a door of a restaurant or the restrooms or whatever. You know, if you’re in and out, in and out, it would count you all the time. So you have to still, but no, we don’t have, again, it takes a lot of, takes a lot of juice. To make that to where it’s really working cause you got to be pulling from a database because to recognize your face, it has to have your face somewhere. Then it’s got to have the ability to take a photo and then pull distinct marks like a fingerprint, and then it’s got to be constantly scrubbing the face image that you just came on there against, God only knows how many images out there and oh by the way, it’s taking photos, all these new ones doing it. It’s just that a lot, it’s out there. The technology is out there. But we don’t have anything close to that, at all.

Rico: [00:40:22] Okay, cool. Let’s, let’s move on a little bit to, cause we’re getting towards our time a little bit, but I want to touch on a few other things. The redevelopment authority, you’re doing a plan for that, right? But you said would take about 12 weeks, you’d think three months we have to pull it together.

Brian: [00:40:40] So the State statute that allows cities to create redevelopment authorities, has some requirements in it. And mayor and council have made the decision that we’re going to create a redevelopment authority. I’m going to start concentrating on some of the redevelopment needs and opportunities in the city. You know, by redevelopment. It’s really, you know, taking a parcel that has been developed in one way, shape, or form at one point in time, we don’t have a lot of vacant stuff, so most of it’s still operating, but sometimes it’s just not quite as great of a use as we would like or whatever. And so redevelopment opportunities and redevelopment authorities have certain tools at their disposal that the city government itself
does not. Very similar to ride downtown development authority, which we have and has own property, has entered into an agreement, has incurred debt, and so it has a lot of the same powers. Although you know most of this stuff as anything in life goes, you know, the oil that makes activity work as money. You know, so these authorities need money. It’s usually the city having to appropriate money to them, but the redevelopment authority does have certain tools like access to grants that the city doesn’t have. It does it directly, and it can, it can negotiate a sole source without having to bid it out in something. By law having to go to the low bidder. Sometimes a little bidder is not the best one.

Rico: [00:42:18] For sure though.

Brian: [00:42:19] But the city doesn’t have a choice. They do. But anyway, this state statute laying out all of the requirements for redevelopment authority exists require that there be a redevelopment plan that is in place before you create the redevelopment authority, because redevelopment authority will be created to execute the redevelopment plan. And maybe amend it, but that’s the original plan is and so we have to start with doing a redevelopment plan. So council is, you know, we set the wheels in motion. We have, we interviewed firms and we selected a firm and they’re going to start on the redevelopment plan. Given the history of us collecting and organizing, compiling data in certain things that are necessary for a redevelopment plan. We’re actually a lot farther along than we thought, so it’ll only be about 12 weeks or a full blown one to be done, including some public meetings. That will be advertising to come in and hear about, you know, where the plan is, and you know, the plan will have everything from areas that should be part of the redevelopment effort. It doesn’t have to be, it probably doesn’t. It probably won’t be all of the city. It’ll be targeted areas for targeted reasons, and so there’ll be some public opportunities for people to weigh in. And I’m at a certain point, council will approve that plan and then turn around and immediately start populating the redevelopment authority and get it populated, and then they’ll adopt their bylaws and a way they go.

Rico: [00:44:03] Right. A lot going on there. So I wanna also hit on a few things quickly because we don’t have that much time but I want to be able to sort of get an update, let’s say. Pedestrian bridge. I see the pillars going up. How far along are we really?

Brian: [00:44:18] I mean, you know, we have issued the order to start fabricating the span, which is being done off site. And of course you see the two, you know, ends going up. A lot of concrete, you know, and it’s intricate cause there are elevator shafts in there. But that’s being formed and poured. We’re still hoping to have the span dropped on site sometime maybe in May and dropped on site. So they’ll have the span, but then we’ve got to start attaching the sides because you know, it can’t be just like a, a little railing. This is over a very heavily traveled roadway. Georgia DOT has to permit this whole thing. Because it not only is over their roadway, but the two towers are in their right of way. So it has to be permitted by them. And so they’ve got to inspect this to certain points. And so the span will come out. We’ve got attach sides that are, have small enough openings that you can’t throw things out into traffic.

Rico: [00:45:33] Right. And then assignments to essentials.

Brian: [00:45:35] Well, there’ll be, there’ll be letters spelling out Peachtree Corners right. But, and then you’ve got to pour the floor cause it’s steel fabric, and then they’ll set it in place. Everything. So, I mean, you’re still, you know, sometime in the summer we, it should be done, but it’s moving along. You know, well, I mean, of course, you know, it’s got to get State approval at various places. So, and weather’s always a factor in everything, and it’s a little bit slower because we’re not wanting to close lanes to do any of this. So, you know, there are certain things that it would move faster if you could, but we’re not going to. So anyway, but you know, some or some time this summer is not bad.

Rico: [00:46:22] All right. And what about, we were talking about the Indigo hotel, possibly the apartment complex there, the 12 town center. Is that moving along any, any more than what we discussed last time?

Brian: [00:46:35] I mean, the owner and the ownership group raised over $23 million, something like that for the effort. That’s official fact. They’re already starting to issue quarterly reports to all of the investors. So they’re holding their money that much. I do know. So if they weren’t serious, I don’t know why they would go out and raise that much money only to have to give it back.

Rico: [00:46:59] So the $23 million will actually fund both those buildings, the whole thing.

Brian: [00:47:05] And so I, yeah. It looks like it’s moving. I mean, you know, they haven’t submitted for any permits or anything yet, but then there’s, you know, there’s a lot of work behind the scenes that go on some of these things.

Rico: [00:47:17] The old Fiserv property, I understand earth is moving or things are being done there?

Brian: [00:47:22] Demolition of existing buildings is, is happening. It is moving forward, phase one at least.

Rico: [00:47:31] All right. And then, I hear this, the Peachtree Corners festival is going to be at town center this year?

Brian: [00:47:37] It is.

Rico: [00:47:38] And there’s plenty of space. Good, good, good. Is it going to be, are we going to be closing off the street? I guess Peachtree Corners circle?

Brian: [00:47:50] Yeah. So it looks like for it to be, for it to have enough property, we’re going to have to bring into play the section of Peachtree Corners Circle in between Medlocke and
Peachtree Parkway. And close off some of it. There’s the, you know, I don’t know if it will be for Medlocke, just to the entrance to DaVinci court. Probably that’s probably what it will be done then DaVinci court’s parking lots might come into play, but you know, like the car show and the vendors setting up, you gotta have a lot of space. And then we use the town green as the concert space. And so I think the link between the two will be, well, I think it’ll be good. You know, and I know the businesses want it.

Rico: [00:48:44] Oh, I’m, I’m sure. I mean, you know, the businesses are, you know what I’m seeing more you know, everyone’s doing their bit to gather more business. You know, it’s just the zone. You can’t even hire enough people it seems with some of the businesses, especially the restaurants it seems to be that there’s just not enough people to hire to do the work.

Brian: [00:49:08] Well, I mean, that’s a whole different, you know, it’s a whole different conversation about workforce housing. You know, communities love having lots of service related, you know, amenities, restaurants. Good stores, you know, boutique stores, entertainment, but they have to have people working in them that are in the service sector. And service sector doesn’t necessarily make a lot of money. And so sometimes it’s hard if you’re in that, you know, if you’re like working in a restaurant in an affluent area. You can’t live close to that because you can’t afford to.

Rico: [00:49:47] So is the city looking at solutions for that?

Brian: [00:49:49] Well, I mean, yes, we’re always looking to have as diverse of a housing stock as we can. Just like we want a diverse local economy. The trick there is to find the right locations for all of that stuff. And so, but, but we are, but yeah, I mean, the other thing though is we’re kind of in that unique point in time, we just added a bunch of new stuff, which means the, what existed prior to that is kind of sharing. Then you’ve got this extra, this extra, you know. Fight for finite resources. And we’re not in that final stage of all of the local rooftops. You’ve got 75ish townhomes that still have to be built. They’re starting. You can see some of them coming out, but you know, that’s, that’s people that are right there. And then you’ve got 250ish shower, many units that were in the pedestal. Apartment complex on the Robert’s property. They haven’t started yet, so that’s a lot of rooftops. We’re calling residential units that are right there in town center. That’ll help. And then we also haven’t connected the form and town center yet. So right now I felt that there had been times where I may have walked to the other side for something, but because I can’t easily, I just got by, I said, screw it. I’m not gonna do that right now. Whereas if you could’ve just walked across, that probably would have. So linking it all together. So we’re hoping to just get through this transitionary period and everything is relatively, you know, the same. And then at that point, I think we’ll have a good base for customers.

Rico: [00:51:40] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. When there’s, especially these shorts bridge road, the old Fiserv property, more, more stuff going on there. This has been Prime Lunchtime with City Manager, Brian Johnson. I appreciate the time you’ve given us.

Brian: [00:51:52] Thanks for having me.

Rico: [00:51:53] We’ve been at the Atlanta Tech Park here in the city of Peachtree Corners doing this podcast, talking about all sorts of things from mobility to development and retail and business. I want to say thank you again to our friends at Hargray Fiber. Who has been, not only is a lead sponsor of this podcast and the family of podcasts, but also a big part of Curiosity lab and Peachtree Corners. So thank you for that. And you can find more information about Hargray at HargrayFiber.com so appreciate it. Thanks everyone. Take care.

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City Government

City Receives ARC Green Communities Certification

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Pictured: Doug Hooker, ARC's executive director, Peachtree Corners' Economic Development Manager, Jennifer Howard, Mayor Mike Mason, ARC's Sustainability Coordinator Kelsey Waidhas and Kerry Armstrong, ARC's chairman of the board.

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) announced that the city of Peachtree Corners and three other metro Atlanta cities (Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Woodstock), have been certified through the agency’s Green Communities Program.

The program recognizes these cities’ efforts in demonstrating leadership in sustainability practices. Developed in 2009, the ARC Green Communities Program recognizes local governments that invest in programs and policies that lead to a more sustainable region.

Peachtree Corners was recertified at the Bronze level for providing single-stream curbside recycling to all residents and hosting an annual electronic waste disposal event for residents to safely and properly dispose of electronic appliances and devices. All winners earned certification points for sustainable measures implemented in their communities.

“Protecting our environment and recycling responsibly have always been of paramount importance to our city,” said Mayor Mike Mason. “I am very proud that Peachtree Corners has once again been certified by the ARC.”

The nationally-recognized program showcases the many ways that local governments can reduce their environmental footprint. In metro Atlanta, 20 local governments – 13 cities and seven counties – are currently certified under ARC’s Green Communities Program. This is the first program in the country to promote sustainability through a green certification program for local governments.

“These local governments are to be commended for demonstrating an ongoing commitment to conserving energy and protecting our natural resources,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC board chairman. “Their efforts set a positive example for other communities while fostering a sense of regional pride.”

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City Government

Councilmember Sadd Schedules Town Hall Meeting for January 21

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Phil Sadd

Post 1 Councilmember Phil Sadd is hosting a town hall meeting on Tuesday, January 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Winters Chapel United Methodist Church, 5105 Winters Chapel Road.

Issues to be discussed include:

  • Spalding Drive Widening and Holcomb Bridge intersection improvements
  • Crime Prevention Initiatives
  • Town Center Upcoming Projects
  • Curiosity Lab Autonomous Vehicle Test Track
  • Re-development Efforts

“If you’ve ever driven on Spalding Drive between Winters Chapel Road and Holcomb Bridge Road during rush hour, you’ve probably experienced significant delays and extended wait times, said Councilmember Sadd. “At the town hall meeting, we will provide an overview of the Spalding Drive project and explain how it will help improve traffic flow and increase pedestrian safety.

“This project will bring incredible improvements to our city, and we want to provide our citizens with an opportunity to understand the plans and ask questions.  In addition, we will provide updates on other key activities taking place throughout our city.” 

The Peachtree Corners mayor and council members, as well as other elected officials with common jurisdiction, will be in attendance to inform citizens of key matters impacting the community.  The town hall meeting will include an open Q&A session, giving citizens an opportunity to voice concerns and ask questions of their local representatives.

The town hall meeting will be held in Peachtree Corners District 1, and is open to all citizens.

Source City of Peachtree Corners

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City Government

Prime Lunchtime with the City Manager: CyberSecurity, Redevelopment, Performing Arts Center and more [Podcast]

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Peachtree Corners City Manager

Join Rico Figliolini as he sits down with Brian Johnson, City Manager of Peachtree Corners and listen in as they discuss the challenges of protecting the city from online attacks, the use of surveillance cameras through the city right of ways, growing international interest in Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, how a planned redevelopment authority will work, what a performance art center may look like, news about the Indigo Hotel and Innovation Lofts and more.

I appreciate my staff. I mean, I’ve got bosses that support me, no doubt they have a lot of innovative foresight when it comes to their governance… I know one thing well and that is that I don’t know everything. So I just try to surround myself with people that are smarter than me and ask them what they need to get the job done and do my best to provide it to them and then get out of their way. So I’ve got some great staff that does it and it’s exciting to be a part of the city.”

Brian Johnson

Timestamp:
[00:00:30] Intro
[00:00:41] Cyber Security
[00:10:02] License Plate Cameras
[00:17:06] Redevelopment Athority
[00:35:50] International Interest in Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners
[00:42:58] Arts Council / Performing Arts Center
[00:46:07] Fiserv, Indigo Hotel and Innovation Lofts
[00:49:10] Closing

Podcast Transcript

Rico: [00:00:30] Hi everyone. This is Rico Figliolini host of Peachtree Corners Life and this episode of Prime Lunchtime with City Manager, Brian Johnson. Brian, welcome.

Brian: [00:00:38] Thank you.

Rico: [00:00:41] It’s funny, we were talking just off camera, a little bit about what we had to talk about close to the holidays. How much is going on and is it quiet because there’s less traffic out there. I’m thinking it’s also quiet, but now there’s so much going on. That I’m excited. I’m excited to hear about all the stuff that’s going on here that’s going to be happening in 2020. Hopefully we’ll be getting even in there. So let’s just run, start right into it, because one of the major things that just recently happened was another city got hit with cyber attack. New Orleans and cyber security is a real big thing. So tell us, because now the city’s looking at what they should be doing, right? Atlanta happened. Louisiana, all the cities. There’s another small city that got hit like that recently. So tell us what our city is doing to plan for that.

Brian: [00:01:30] Well, you know, we have had some things in place before, so it’s not like, you know, we just, you know, a couple of days ago woke up or like, Ooh, we have to do something. But, you know, with some of the attacks that we’ve seen recently, we realized that we need to really take a hard look at it. So we, so I took somebody who’s currently on staff who’s really well versed in this, has been his entire career and sent to him to some extra schooling. And it’s Brandon, Brandon, the assistant city manager, who I gave him the collateral duty of being the chief technology officer for the city and sending him to some extra training and things like cybersecurity. And he has come, you know, he came back from some of that and some of his research and we, we upgraded some of the, there’s kind of like four legs to the cybersecurity stool. And you have certain aspects of information coming in and out that you’ve got to make sure are hardened, you know, whether it’s your firewall or you know, how you store it, whether it’s cloud or server or, and your access points. And you know, there’s just different things that you’ve got to look at. And so we’ve upgraded three of the four already, and we’re getting ready to do the fourth leg. So we, we’ve already hardened some of our stuff. Second thing though, is as we’re looking at this, you realize that one of the byproducts of having a city be more known out there in the, you know, internet universe, it puts us into a position where more people tend to probe our defenses the day of our grand opening of curiosity lab. We had, I believe it’s a 2000% increase in attack attempts penetrate down or penetration attempts at our firewall from the day before. Just because we had, we were out there. We’re talking about it and you know, all this good stuff. And so people out there like, well, who’s this? You know, what’s the city of Peachtree corners? And let’s see if we can’t get here. So it’s, you know, it’s an unfortunate byproduct of that. And then, so, you know, you recognizing the risk, doing things that, you know, that preventative things from an equipment standpoint to set yourself up the best way for success. Having redundancy and you know, things like if something happened, we can fall back and we didn’t lose all the information, we’ll pull back. And then the last thing, the most important, most people don’t realize this, but the biggest, greatest risk for hacking or the greatest. Well, I guess, well, it’s the greatest, the most significant risk for there being an opportunity for hacker to come in is created in the 18 or so inches between where somebody sits at their desk and their
computer or USB drive. Most of these things happen because somebody clicked on something and opened a way for a hacker to get in. New Orleans was that way. Somebody clicked on something and invited. I think it’s ransomware. Yeah. Into the system. And so we have, we have initiated an internal training program. We have done things like sending out internal to our IT team. We send out. Phishing, fake phishing emails to see who’s clicking on these things and then educating them on. But I mean, we do an internal, but you know, so when you do it, it doesn’t do anything other than tell us who clicked on it. And then we have training sessions on, here’s what happened. Here’s, here are some ways that when you see something that is unique that you can determine whether it’s legit or not, or it, a lot of it comes down to, you know, if you see something, say something, right. And we hear that all things like at the airport or whatever, you know, when it comes to terrorism or whatever, but even on here, if you see something in an email that’s weird and they’re asking, you, don’t just ask, so how’s the expert? You know, Hey. Yeah, yeah. Call it in and say, Hey, should I click on this? This is weird. Or, or forward it and say, that’s it. You know? And, and so we’ve, most everybody, including members of city council were very good and sending an email back saying, is this spam or is this whatever. We had a, we have a few. And so it’s just, it’s just, it’s just education.

Rico: [00:06:38] Private companies to do this as well. And they don’t. I don’t think they do it as well in smaller companies. I don’t where I’ve worked. Same thing though, because we’ll get phishing emails all the time and they’ll forward it to me because I’m the default IT guy. But yes, I know. So it’s like never click on anything that looks stupid. Even if Apple, if it looks like an Apple paid receipt and it just wants you to verify that this is, you, do not click on a link, go to Apple itself, sign in. And find out because they’ll let you know there, and most companies don’t send emails out of the wreck tufts of things. It’s just like, but they’re getting better than me. Most phishing emails will be the standard. Here’s the link, and I think you would be interested in this, and it looks like your friend’s email was some on someone else’s email, but it’s not. But some of them are really, they’re getting better at imitating a good legitimate Amazon email. I’ve got one of those where it was an Amazon, looked like it was, Amazon had all the strings to it even, but it was mass, the URL. So you really couldn’t see what was going on there. It’s just like ridiculous. So people will click on those?

Brian: [00:07:48] Yes.

Rico: [00:07:49] Cause if you get thousands of those or hundreds or 20 a week. No one of them you might click on then.

Brian: [00:07:56] That’s right. That’s all it takes. So, yeah, so you know, we’ve really recognized in it, and it’s really not a matter of if, when we get somebody, you know, inside the system, we just are, or we’re feeling more confident all the time that if it does, we can quickly isolate it and we’re not going to be crippled.

Rico: [00:08:18] Yeah. But you’re looking at that. There’s so much software they can figure that stuff out.

Brian: [00:08:22] There is. But you know, one of the big things that helped, you know, kind of motivate us maybe to get ourselves to, you know, kind of the cutting edge of this is his curiosity lab. Just the amount of data that we’re going to have generated. And oftentimes that data could be proprietary. And if it got out, it could harm a company that was doing testing and data. And imagine if like you had a car manufacturer doing some tests on, say, you know, some, some advanced technology on their vehicle and that data got out to their competitor that could hurt them. And we don’t want to be. And so we’ve had to really look at our data management plan and creating one with some help of some experts to make sure that we have as good of, one is really, we want it to be a model. We want it to be best in show, and it’s helped. Since curiosity lab, we’ve had to spend so much time on that. It’s helped us apply it to the city.

Rico: [00:09:25] And your partnerships with like Sprint and other companies probably help with some knowledge base coming in, right?

Brian: [00:09:31] No doubt about it. I mean, we’ve taken, as you know, the stance of, you know, aside from the fact that we have the service delivery model of outsourcing, so we’re very used to pulling in experts in different, but we’ve got experts in these very, you know, specific technical fields and we just pull information from them when need be. And so we have a, a large private network of partners that we pull from when it comes to these areas to say, look, we need to ultimately get here. Help us get there because this is in your area of expertise.

Rico: [00:10:02] Cool. So moving over to cyber secure from cyber security to camera, we talked about camera, plate ID, facial ID, security cameras outside of subdivisions. Where’s up overload in January? Maybe something that’s…

Brian: [00:10:17] Yeah, so January I think I’m going to be presenting counsel with the locations on public streets that we’re going to place them. And then Gwinnett County is almost ready to start receiving that data look in real time. So ultimately how it will be set up is we will have cameras at certain intersections on certain public streets. So just understand that the cameras we’re talking about right now on cameras that are placed in the public right away, and they’re oriented on the public right away, no private, you know, probably not. You know, none of that. I mean, you potentially pick one up depending on the orientation of the camera, but it’s oriented out of public right away and the purpose. And so these are video and surveillance. Oh and license plate recognition cameras together and the data collected from it will go to the cloud and the only one accessing this information is going to a County PD.

Rico: [00:11:17] Okay. How long does it stay in the cloud?

Brian: [00:11:20] 30 days. We will have it 30 days in the cloud and then it’ll be essentially recorded over. Day 31 comes in, day one gets recorded.

Rico: [00:11:30] So police, in case there was a, a robbery or burglary or, shoplift or whatever, they could probably get that data to the heavy enough time. 30 days is enough time.

Brian: [00:11:41] That’s correct. And if it’s not, we can look at what it would cost to go a little bit longer. But, you know, as you know, storage, whether it’s a server in the cloud costs. Yeah. And so we, but we want them to have access to, yeah. Gwinnett County PD would have access two ways. One, the license plate recognition data is real time. And so if a license plate was on a vehicle that had some sort of a warrant out, you know, BOLO be on the lookout associated with that. It automatically sends us a message to Gwinnett County PD. Here’s what license plate, here’s why there’s a, you know, here’s the location, and if it’s serious enough, right? Gwinnett County PD can dispatch officers maybe beyond where they just got it to try to intersect. There’s a lot that they want. Like for instance. Brookhaven’s probably a good example because they have this and you know they’re getting, I want to say they’re getting like eight, 9,000 a month. But like I want to say three quarters of those are failure to appear. Or yes or no insurance, retire, expired tags. And they just don’t have the resources and are not going to do anything. They’re worried about ones that are associated with some violent things or Amber alerts or things that cause stolen vehicles. And so they’ll make a decision on that. So that’s real time when they get that center set up. I think it’s in the first quarter of next year. They can do that. And then the video data is in the cloud and they’ll just pull it. If they need to investigate something that happened, they’ll go back and pull it from a certain period of time. And that’s it. So really the city’s putting it in as a force multiplier for Gwinnett County PD.

Rico: [00:13:34] So does the city, the city pays for it. City maintains them. But the Cornell police…

Brian: [00:13:40] Well, the city pays for it, but it’s a program through Georgia power. And so it’s really a lease program.

Rico: [00:13:46] Oh, okay.

Brian: [00:13:46] And so the reason it’s a lease program is because Georgia power, it’s basically considered like a service.

Rico: [00:13:50] So they do this with streetlights?

Brian: [00:13:52] Yeah. We don’t own the street lights in the city. We leased it from Georgia power and the lease includes, so what we pay per month per light includes the light itself, and it technically included the installation of it. So the city didn’t pay upfront for the light. It includes the electricity. It includes any repair. So if a streetlight is out, we called Georgia power and they go and they repair.

Rico: [00:14:19] They also take care of the trimming with the trees. They do as part of that.

Brian: [00:14:24] Well, that’s not part of it. They don’t want their power lines and you know, in, in, in any of their infrastructure effected by that. So they do that. But, and that’s the same with the camera. So our monthly cost per camera includes the camera itself. It includes the cloud storage.

Rico: [00:14:43] Oh, okay.

Brian: [00:14:44] It includes the electricity to run the camera. And it includes any kind of maintenance or repair that needs to be done on it if it’s not working right.

Rico: [00:14:52] Okay. And so, so we pay that so the city will pay that, but then all that other stuff would be Georgia power if it needs to be so interesting. It’s amazing how they expanded their, their business model to. The electricity is running 24 hours, seven days a week on that. So. All right, cool.

Brian: [00:15:09] Well, you know, just so that you can kind of get the gist of why Georgia power wanted to make curiosity lab, their smart city lab themselves. Cause it’s curiosity lab is Georgia power smart city laboratory. So they’re using it as their own tests. That too, that’s why one of their partners, so they, you know, the city. This program, the city became, we became knowledgeable about this program called site view is what Georgia, through their work with curiosity lab. So their purpose here is to test technology that they can hang on their infrastructure throughout the state, and they think about Georgia power sitting on millions of light poles. Throughout the state of Georgia that are already in public rights at Weiner. And if they can come up with really good technology that they can offer to cities, including like smart city technology, they can go to a city X and say, Hey. You want to be a smart city. We got this technology that can make it smarter, and in this case, let’s say a track, a camera, we got a video and LPR camera. Yeah, we can hang on our pole and you can lease it from us. You don’t have to do anything else. And you’re getting smarter. You can. Yes, you can tap into it. You can. There’s all sorts of other smart cities stuff that you can put out on poles. So that’s what they’re testing. And so they’re trying to monetize. Something in infrastructure, you know, asset that they, that they have millions of around the state.

Rico: [00:16:46] It makes sense.

Brian: [00:16:47] It makes complete sense.

Rico: [00:16:48] Not only for them, but obviously to rent to other people that may have better ideas to be able to use.

Brian: [00:16:52] And really, I mean, you know, lease, you know, rent versus own is an argument you can make. But to a lot of cities that’s a lot better because we pay one sum and then we have no headache.

Rico: [00:17:06] Cool. That’s the same thing like that in intergovernmental agreements. It’s just paying someone else to do it. You don’t have to worry about it. Like, like the police, like the fire. Same thing. Let’s go into, alright, so the next, the next thing that’s coming up that you shared with us last time, but now it’s, we’re going to be talking about a little bit more as the revitalization authority.

Brian: [00:17:30] Redevelopment.

Rico: [00:17:30] Or redevelopment, rather. So right. Revitalization, we’re not there. So redevelopment of an area, versus the other setup that we have for the town center and downtown development authority. So tell us the difference and tell us where we’re going with the other one.

Brian: [00:17:47] So there are a number of authorities that cities can create. That by that, that we’ve been given the, you know, the power to create by virtue of state statute and the state of Georgia has created, the, you know, or given cities and counties the ability to create different authorities for different purposes. These authorities are standalone organizations. That oftentimes have a lot of the same powers that a city has. They can incur debt, they can execute agreements, they can own property, they can construct things, they can own, you know, buildings. And you know, they can do a lot of things that cities can, but they were created to maybe fill some gaps that cities can’t. One of the main ones that people oftentimes talk about is cities have a constitutional requirement for us to bid things out and we want to construct, and so, and then it has to go to the lowest qualified bidder. Right?

Rico: [00:19:06] The best quality for the lowest book.

Brian: [00:19:08] Not necessarily the best, not necessarily the one that you want to work with, but that’s more, you know, creative or whatever, but the lowest, so that handcuffs the city sometimes on negotiating certain deals, because I could, as a city manager. Sit down in a room and negotiate a deal all day long. But I don’t have the city because I would be doing it on behalf of. The city doesn’t oftentimes have the ability to execute that thing because when it came time to do it, we would have to bid it out. And that entity that I was talking to may not be the lowest bidder. So one of the ways to get, you know, to, to give more flexibility for things that need more flexibility was the creation of these authorities. And the city had one initially early on it was a downtown development authority and it has all those powers that I just told you about. The downtown component means there. Their area of operation was limited to what we had term to be our downtown. So we created, drew, an official line that we consider our downtown, and their authority was limited to inside of that. Redevelopment authority and very similar, but its scope is for into redevelop property that’s been developed already.

Rico: [00:20:35] So no geographic boundaries could be anywhere in the city.

Brian: [00:20:37] Or it could be geographically limited. If council wanted to, it could say, we’re going to, our redevelopment zone is going to be here and we’re going to limit it to, but they could also say, the state merely says that it has to be used. A property that’s been previously developed.

Rico: [00:20:55] You can’t go to a property that’s vacant.

Brian: [00:20:56] Well, that’s never been developed. You know, that’s never been, I mean, anything. Most of the property right here. And so we don’t have a lot of that. Most of the property around here has been developed. And so we’re now kind of, I mean, Fiserv is maybe one of the largest ones left, that there was a lot of undeveloped property. Governor’s Lake still has some, but we don’t have a whole lot after that. I mean, Simpsonwood is going to be a park, so that that’s not going to be, that’s a large tract of land. But anyway,

Rico: [00:21:27] But there’s a lot of aging property also.

Brian: [00:21:29] There is, and there are some opportunities for us to take property that’s had something on it, but it’s had its day and maybe it needs to get redeveloped. And so council’s going to kind of shift their orientation and attention from, you know, maybe the town center, which is right now kind of got it. It’s kind of gone. Cruise control right now we’re seeing some things finished, but it’s, you know, as far as construction and everything, you know, the town green, we’ll always, we’ll always be talking about what activities we need to have and what didn’t work last year and all that kind of stuff. But well, you know, it’s time for us to maybe look at some properties that need to be redeveloped and what we want to do, what council wants to do is to bring as many tools as we can to the table. And a redevelopment authority is a way to do that because they have, they have opportunities to do things that the city can’t do direct.

Rico: [00:22:25] So now you’re going to be doing, you’re going to be presenting this as city manager, presenting this to council. And there is maybe to open it up to applications or, right?

Brian: [00:22:33] So for us to, you know, for us to populate the board, right. Cause it is a board. Council will go through a process of vetting of candidates and then they appoint the board. But once that board is appointed, I mean it is an independent board.

Rico: [00:22:50] I mean it was a new city council approval to do its business as an authority. The state establish authority. They could do whatever they want. Even raising bonds.

Brian: [00:23:02] That’s correct. I need to know their limitation is going to be money initially, so that’s where city council’s role comes in, is the redevelopment authority mean legally could go to a bank and say, we want to take out a loan, but the bank would turn around and immediately say, where are you going to get the money to pay the loan? And they wouldn’t have that. The DDA downtown development authority didn’t either until the city appropriated money and gave it to the DDA, and then the DDA bought the land that the town center is on.

Rico: [00:23:36] The city was sort of the guarantor. There was two.

Brian: [00:23:40] Absolutely. And so it may be need to be that way for awhile with the redevelopment authority, but over time, these things start to get. So, you know, the last city I came from was Anniston, Alabama, and it was an old city. And it had, we had an industrial development authority that had deals. That it had done in the past that we’re generating revenue, a bunch of revenue, you know, they would, they would end up building, constructing a, you know, say like a warehouse, and then somebody would come in and lease it from them. And over the years, the lease had paid off the loan, so now the lease amounts were profit. So it’s nothing. So they, at that point, you can get to a point where they didn’t even need city council technically because they had their own revenue stream.

Rico: [00:24:25] So it’s funny because some people like me included, probably think, well, you know, the, this, the authority would go back to the city and say, how about we get a tax abatement for this development? And, but I’m not…

Brian: [00:24:35] Which they can do. Correct.

Rico: [00:24:36] But I’m not thinking that they could actually build their own facility and then get this money out of it. So they have that opportunity to, to build something bigger, grander, multi-use transportation based. But whatever. I’m just thinking out loud, of things to do and then bring in those people, those other developers, they released the space.

Brian: [00:24:59] Do what they can do, direct negotiated. You know, maybe public private partnerships without having to bid it out and go to the little bitter. So sometimes you can be more creative that way when you can, you know, negotiate, not have to do that. So, you know, there’s some opportunity and it also brings in a board comprised of people that are looking at these issues with fresh eyes.

Rico: [00:25:23] Right? Sure.

Brian: [00:25:24] You know, sometimes when you’re in the, in the, you know, in the sausage making of providing things, you know, services by the city due to our residents, sometimes it’s hard to get outside of that, you know, these are people who are looking at it with a fresh perspective and they may have some. You know, things that, you know, we should look at that we’ve overlooked internal to the city so far, or they’re going to help, you know, educate the public as to why we’re doing it. I mean, so it’s just, it’s just more stakeholders involved in the process.

Rico: [00:25:58] So, you know, that, that reminded me also that, I think when I count is looking back at, not that this reminded me, but it’s the same sort of long lines of citizen participant, if you will. Cause the people that could apply for that thorny or citizens that can be in business, could
be retired to be anyone that has a, I guess a decent resume or a background that would want to submit the application to see if they could be on that at the guardian. Who picks those people?

Brian: [00:26:24] Council appointment.

Rico: [00:26:27] Okay. Council world point though. So that reminded me, I think it was the ILT five survey that when I count these putting out again and again, it’s another look at transit one more time, or at least the next time, because this is keep going until something happens and water ends up coming into it, into the connect. Kathy, that that survey is going on now. But you encourage people to take that survey.

Brian: [00:26:50] Even the city we’ve had, you know, I’ve taken a survey. Well, both as a resident and has a, you know, a, you know, the city manager of the city. And it’s important, I mean, you know, to let the powers that be know your thoughts on transportation.

Rico: [00:27:07] That was, I think there was a, a vote against getting mater, putting a big billion dollar train, if you will, into the, to the era. Now, it’s funny, I saw something about a light rail, a monorail, a transportation ring. Again, that could be part of that, that mix possibly, but that surveys out there, they’re going to come back again to, sure. Put this on the ballot.

Brian: [00:27:31] There’s talk that it’ll be next. You know, November of 2020, that may be back on the ballot and interesting.

Rico: [00:27:37] All right. So, and that’ll be a different voting time than the March when that was the only thing.

Brian: [00:27:45] I think the talk now is to put it on the, you know, when we’ve got the, the nationals. I mean, they haven’t made a vote, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s back on the ballot then.

Rico: [00:27:58] That, that, yeah, that’s not surprising. We, I was at a grand opening, just recently. It was a, a new place that just opened. Brightree is the company and it, depending on, on the description you get, it’s an either an IT company or it’s a medical company, depending on what website or which did you do that search online. Because it is a software it company, but that deals with medical equipment and…

Brian: [00:28:27] And home health care.

Rico: [00:28:29] Acute home health care. and they, that facility, if anyone drove by on one 25 technology Parkway, what somebody find, maybe it’s on the right side, going towards one 41 from and to be behind you. And, it’s a beautiful facility. They give us a tour. It was excellent. 160 jobs that’s coming from Lawrenceville to Peachtree corners. And it reminded me of industrious, which is sort of a wee workspace on the perimeter. Just beautiful, open wide corridors, open
spaces, areas to, you know, wellness rooms, calm rooms, cause you need to calm yourself down. I saw that there. But high technology and all that. One of many that is being renovated these, but that was down to the wall to one wall, practical in this, totally built out as far as doing ASHRAE, ASHRAE. That’s raise another company that’s going to spend millions on renovate. So we were excited to be at that grand opening.

Brian: [00:29:28] And so, you know, bright tree got bought out by a bigger company and they expanded and they came in. And they started a search in Metro Atlanta as to where they wanted to go in while their search was going on, curiosity lab got onto their radar screen, and the CEO was kind of like, what is this curiosity lab? And he started to look into it and ultimately told their broker that they wanted to be somewhere associated with that. And the exciting part for us was. You know, he announced at the grand opening that curiosity lab was actually why they chose that site. Ultimately, the exciting thing for us was two things about it. One is they took a building that Honeywell had occupied for a long time that had been vacant for longer than the city of Peachtree corners had been in existence. They bought that thing, gutted it, made it, you know, made it. A really innovative, you know, space and, you know, returned it to productive use and then they decided to move to that location because a curiosity lab, something that they don’t have anything to do with it. That to me was really, because if they were like some sort of a, you know, like mobility company or a cybersecurity company and they wanted to be there because of it, but they’re not going to be using it. He said the reason they wanted to move there is because curiosity lab. Has created this innovative ecosystem in tech park that they wanted to just be a part of, even though they’re not directly involved. They wanted to be around, and the synergy that comes from that kind of thing. And that was awesome to hear because curiosity lab now. Can officially say it was responsible for 160 jobs, and in September of 2020 when ASHRAE, which is the American society for refrigeration, air conditioning and something engineers. But it’s the, you know, design professionals for the interior systems of buildings, lighting, HVHC, you know, all that kind of stuff. These are the design professionals for that. The engineers and mechanical engineers, wherever it’s their professional organization, they decided to move their global headquarters to the old recall building to build a big classroom and education space in there to make their building a net zero building and to kind of bring people in to see how they could take a building, gutted out and make it net zero kind of show off the newest one. But they came to that area because of curiosity labs. So that’ll be 120 jobs. So curiosity lab will have been responsible for 280 direct jobs and and in buildings that had been vacant for. In some cases, you know, really long time old buildings. Not to mention we haven’t even gotten into the hotel increase due to the activity and all that kind of stuff. So really excited to have an innovative company like Brightree. That’s still some pretty cool stuff, but for them to just want to be in that ecosystem because of that is pretty cool. I mean, it just shows that. Using curate, creating curiosity lab for the purposes of economic development has absolutely happened. And then there was a big, lastly, a big article in business. Now Siemens corporation is expanding and decided to stay in Peachtree corners and expand here, and they now have 800, 900 jobs in Peachtree corners. Big expansion within here. They could’ve gone anywhere, but they decided to stay because of some things that are going on that’s, you know, international.

Rico: [00:33:30] It’s a big company.

Brian: [00:33:31] You know, and so it’s our, our vacancy rates are going down. We’re really seeing activity picking back up. And it was an exciting time.

Rico: [00:33:40] It’s not that we’re Silicon Valley, but it’s funny how people want to be around. What, starting up as technology and mobility and all that because you’re meeting other people. I mean, that’s the whole idea of we work space. This whole idea of the way bright tree set up their work environment where people can talk to each other, less closed offices and more open spaces, more collaborative spaces. The idea is to be able to be out there. Then in talking to other people, meeting, bumping into other people like it and to be brewery. You know, maybe the people are going there or all the places with the tongue Mark. Cause it’s just that they have synergy with each other through a degree.

Brian: [00:34:21] Right. Well, I mean even curiosity lab, we oftentimes refer to it like the sandbox that we can send technology, these technology toys that we’ve put in the sandbox and we invited people to come play and that interaction is why, you know, Georgia tech is doing, for initiating for research projects at curiosity lab next year in January for different ones. And they were in the sandbox playing, kind of getting ready for that. And Delta clues in the sandbox, kind of looking around at the toys and they look across the same box of like hit Georgia tech. What are you doing here? They tell them and Delta’s like. That’s some cool stuff. Can we be a part of some of it in Georgia? Sure. So they partnered in Georgia. Delta now is part of some of those projects because they’re, and they wouldn’t, they met because of that synergy.

Rico: [00:35:11] And that’s what that’s all about, right? That’s how Silicon Valley got big. That’s our parts of Boston and Brooklyn, New York, and other places that are hubs for the technology of biodiversity and stuff. That’s how they got going. Cause you did that and you get that. Is this like Atlanta tech park? You know that where we’re a, this podcast room is out of here, out of Atlanta tech park. I mean this is a place that also technology companies are talking to each other and learning a bit from each other and stuff

Brian: [00:35:43] Yeah, I mean, that’s the whole purpose of it and it’s working well, so we’re, we’re very pleased with the progress.

Rico: [00:35:50] Now you’ve had seven countries in six weeks, come to Peachtree, seven countries in six weeks. I can’t say that again. That’s one a week. More than one a week that you’ve had come to here because of…

Brian: [00:36:01] They have approached us with official delegations. Yes. Representing the government of a country have been here with the last that we’ve had sea delegations from Israel, Great Britain, France, Taiwan, Canada, Belgium, Australia.

Rico: [00:36:32] Wow. Pretty diverse all over the country. All over the world.

Brian: [00:36:34] Some of them had their console generals actually. Part of the delegation, or in Taiwan’s case, the trade ambassador from Taiwan to the U.S. was part of that. So this isn’t like some underlying, right. And they have approached us on wanting to learn more. And wanting to explore maybe ways for country, companies from those countries to maybe have curiosity lab as used as kind of a landing pad for companies that either want to test some things in our environment or some cases is just demonstrate their product. In the North American market here in, you know, the Metro Atlanta area. And so two of them, Israel and Taiwan, we have executed memorandums of understanding to create that pipeline that hopefully we start seeing some, you know, and it may be temporary, maybe just a couple of days maybe. Yeah. You know longer, but you know, a couple of days of these companies operating here, they’re going to be eating in our restaurants, maybe shopping in our stores, and certainly staying in our hotels.

Rico: [00:37:41] These are the same, same people, same, same countries of becoming again, probably to the 2020 smart city expo that’s going to be happening again.

Brian: [00:37:51] Well, we just got may, isn’t it? As it gets may. But it is, the sooner it is. And we just got off the phone, a RD tan and the CEO, smart city expo, Lana just called me two days ago in wanted to discuss ways that they could include, she could include curiosity lab in the next smart city expos. Again, I need you guys as part of it, so we’re looking at doing something. Maybe we do as part of the conference, kind of like a pitch day or a demonstration day, or where you could have companies come out here and for that day. They get to demonstrate to an audience of people maybe that are comprised of, you know, venture capital money, or maybe it’s representatives from some of the Atlanta headquartered companies, and they can pitch and demonstrate their product. And maybe there’s some of those companies are interested in talking to them about, you know, partnering or buying or using or whatever. And so, you know, we’re going to keep exploring it. But again, we’re at a point where we used to be. At the table pitching curiosity lab, you know, saying, Hey, it’s going to be this really cool thing, and now it’s the other way around where people like. What can we do to partner so that we can do some things.

Rico: [00:39:13] We were talking about this before we started the streaming, about, about that, about getting so many, so much interest. And sometimes you have to put your hand up and slow it down a little bit and say and sort it out because some of it’s legitimate, some of it is serious. And you want to say how you want to take that and, and you’re also yearning to, you’re also realizing, out there in the world is. Well, the city’s doing other things and you bring it back, more knowledge to the city to be able to say, you know what, we could take this also and do this. You know, maybe.

Brian: [00:39:43] And we are trying to figure out, we’re wanting to do everything well, cause all it takes is, you know, is one big mistake. And we could ruin our reputation. You know, people like,
Oh don’t go there. You know, we could have some sort of like data loss or you know, whatever. The don’t go there cause they don’t have their act together. So you’ve gotta be very careful about that. We have some companies that are ready to go right this second. We’d just like, hold on, we’re not quite ready for you to like, you know hook into our system or, you know, whatever. But then we’re also trying to take all this and made sure that we are learning innovative stuff to stay ahead of. We’ve got cities nipping at our heels right now. We have got to continue to stay at the leading edge or else we’re going to get caught and potentially passed.

Rico: [00:40:37] And now this’ll be, you know, yarn, you know, this is not continuing. On the, so that’s a great partnership with even smart city expo Atlanta. It is doing that type of…

Brian: [00:40:43] And other big partners, you know, we have them in Georgia power and sprint, Georgia tech and Delta. They’re all looking for ways to stay at the leading edge and we’re hoping that they’re pulling in. They are pulling some of that back here and we’re learning some things. And then, you know, the mayor council’s credit, I mean, you know, first let’s give him credit for funding and in supporting my staff and I’s effort to do this. This is unique, you know, so this isn’t like something that, you know, cities do a lot. And you could, you could, they could have been really criticized for spending money on something that’s not quite as conventional as just more police officers or potholes being patched. And those are important, but you also have to consider economic development activity. And if all of a sudden we had no potholes, but we also had lots of empty storefronts. You know, we’ve got an, you know, problems ourselves. So they’ve been very. It’d been very, you know, politically, you know, strong in you, you’re supporting this.

Rico: [00:41:44] The city can chew and chew gum and walk at the same time. So there’s so much going on in the city and as the city manager, I know I give you a lot of credit too, because you’re essentially running the city and this so many things that you have to worry about and take care of. And I’m sure it’s, it’s way different than a, and you’ve working, you guys are working on tight staffing and stuff, so everyone’s working really hard to be able to get us down that same road to degree to make sure everything works well. So I commend you for the work that you and your staff.

Brian: [00:42:18] I appreciate my staff. I mean, look, I’ve got bosses that support me, no doubt are very, you know, they have a lot of, you know innovative foresight when it comes to their governance, and then I just would, I know one thing well and that is that I don’t know everything.

Rico: [00:42:37] And so that’s what I liked about you Brian, because you’re willing to, to say that and know that your King’s good.

Brian: [00:42:41] So I just try to surround myself with people that are smarter than me and, and ask them what they need to get the job done and do my best to provide it to them and then get out of their way. So I’ve got some great staff that does it and it’s exciting to be a part of the city.

Rico: [00:42:56] It’s good to count on other people.

Brian: [00:42:57] It is.

Rico: [00:42:58] We’re at the end of our time together here, 45 minutes of learning what the city’s doing, what’s coming up. And 2020 is going to be real big. So I mean, this, the bridge that’s going up, there’s a redevelopment that’s going to be going on, I’m sure. And we didn’t even talk about my, one of my favorite things I gotta ask about this, cause we did talk about it a little bit. I’ve noticed that next door, the app, every, there’s been people talking about, wouldn’t it be great to have a theater company in Peachtree Corners? How would that be? And I, so, so many people respond to that. Both same, but we have high school theater. But what about adults? And we would love to, I’ve seen people that we would love to do the backstage with, like love to be, you know, acting and singing, whatever.

Brian: [00:43:58] There is an arts council. We had a master plan development and there’s really more talk about having possibly a, some sort of theater being built or performance arts center being built on the cheerly property. So at the town center, there’s one more parcel of land that’s undeveloped. It’s the parcel of land that you can see along the will that be the Eastern edge of the town green that’s still wooded. The city owns that. And mayor and counselor are considering options on how to develop that. And, you know, other than telling you that whatever we do there, I know. City council wants it to be a value add to the town center and a draw in and of itself. Performing arts center of some sort has been probably a common theme throughout. The whole thing is maybe we put something in there and our arts master plan identified a couple of, I guess call it size venues that are lacking in the immediate area. So there are some sweet spot that we can hit that seat a certain amount of people that there’s really not that, cause you know, there are some that are really big in the area, some that are really small. There’s some areas that we, that master plan, the consultant that you did, it felt like it was a sweet spot. So council is certainly interested in pursuing something like that. Cause that would be a draw. That they would pull people to the town center. And when you do that and they’re done, they want to do something afterwards. So a reason why when I counties do try to do the revel and everything up at the infinite energy center is the complaint was. You go to something there and when you’re done, you walk outside and there’s nothing around. You got to get in your car and you got to drive somewhere else. And when you, once you get in your car, you’re kind of like screwing up, going home.

Rico: [00:45:41] And wouldn’t it be great to go to fiber and have dinner and then go to a play.

Brian: [00:45:45] Absolutely. And then afterwards you can leave and go back and have drinks somewhere or you know, whatever. And so that’s the theory here. And, and so, you know, mayor and council will continue looking at activating that. And, but that’s certainly one of the highest priorities that they’ve talked about is trying to make that.

Rico: [00:46:07] That would be awesome to be able to have that, their total advocate for that. Well. Okay, so Fiserve, we don’t need to talk about it, but it’s happening and there it is. The first phase is looking, that’s going to break….

Brian: [00:46:23] Early next year about 200 units.

Rico: [00:46:26] Okay. So that’s going to be happening on East Cheryl’s bridge road. But the thing that really, I want to sort of hit off for a few minutes before we end our time together is that the apartments and the Indigo boutique hotel, so the apartment is actually called the innovation…

Brian: [00:46:42] Innovation lofts,

Rico: [00:46:43] lofts. I love that name, but eventually lofts, hopefully, I mean, from what I saw, the renderings should look beautiful, but the Indigo hotel has been financed.

Brian: [00:46:54] Yeah. So both that pedestal, you know, covered parking, apartment, complex innovation lofts, 355 units, and then the hotel Indigo, that has been, the capital has been raised. The adequate capital has been raised to do that. And so, it looks like that’s a, a DOE. And with the capital having been raised, and we’re going to have both of those happen right behind the, you know, where chase bank and the Georgia clinic and black Walnut was that area right there that’s going to be sent.

Rico: [00:47:30] That’s going to be both buildings.

Brian: [00:47:32] It is.

Rico: [00:47:33] It’s amazing that that small, it seems small when you look at it. But both of those seven story towers.

Brian: [00:47:39] Oh, well, means six, yet six stories on the apartment. I think he goes only like four or five, but yeah, so they’re both next to each other kind of candidate. Can’t elite or you know, they’re like with the pool in the main check-in area, kind of in-between for the hotel and everything. So, but you know it’s small, but if you think about parking is all going to be underground. Some that, that, you know, allows you to do some things. So, so that’s exciting.

Rico: [00:48:12] Yeah, that is exciting. I’m sure all the businesses around town center and, and that in that whole area over there is, you know.

Brian: [00:48:19] That’s the whole reason you do mixed use is because you want residential units close to where you have retail and restaurant because that walk up convenient. The shopper or patron is who you want. And you know, the more residential units we have, the more activity, all of that. And those restaurants on both sides, cause the forum too with that
pedestrian bridge, if you live right there, you can just walk right across there as a forum and you know, you don’t have to get in your car. And so we’re, we’re excited about the development that’s happening.

Rico: [00:48:54] In the town, the town hall, a townhouses, I should, they poured some foundations.

Brian: [00:48:58] They have, they love it. Foundations are being poured on the first section of it. So those are going in. That’s 75 I believe, of the five townhome units right there. So the trust is happening.

Rico: [00:49:10] Yeah. Cool. What’s happening out there and appreciate you joining Brian. And I, Brian Johnson, City Manager of City of Peachtree Corners. So for all those that may be listening that are not part of the city, there’s just so much happening. You just need to visit. So it’s just go to LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com. That’s our, my website. I’m publisher of Peachtree Corners magazine. We’re working on the next issue for February, March. Some good stories, a great cover story we’re working on and pick up the last issue or go to LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com to see it online on a digital edition of the 20 under 20 kids.

Brian: [00:49:48] Awesome edition. That was a cool idea that you did.

Rico: [00:49:51] That was so great to see these kids and we had a photo shoot with these guys. They got to know each other and traded numbers and emails and stuff. So it’s good. It’s good to see that collaboration amongst them.

Brian: [00:50:01] It’s also good to see, you know, young kids doing great stuff. It gives me confidence that the future we’re is in good hands.

Rico: [00:50:09] For sure. Thank you everyone. I appreciate you showing up. Bye.

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