Illegal “street takeovers” have happened at Peachtree Parkway, Spalding Drive, and Peachtree Corners Circle. How can a city address this? How will the new House, State and Congressional district lines impact Peachtree Corners? That and more discussed by Rico Figliolini and the City Manager, Brian Johnson.
[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:02:31] – Car Club Intersection Takeovers
[00:08:29] – Challenges of Dealing with The Takeovers
[00:18:08] – Peachtree Corners Circle Development
[00:24:05] – Traffic Changes with the Development
[00:32:45] – New District Lines
[00:41:43] – Closing
“Potholes don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat. Zoning doesn’t matter. Traffic, managing traffic doesn’t matter. What matters to us are relationships. We often times, invest in these representatives. They learn Peachtree Corners, we learn them. And over time you have this relationship. And you’ve got to relearn these people, they’ve got to relearn you. And it is not easy sometimes because these things are built on relationships. It doesn’t make it right or wrong. It just makes it different. And it just takes time.”brian johnson
Here is a youtube video that explains a bit about Atlanta’s Street Takeover culture:
[00:00:30] Rico: Hi everyone, this is Rico Figliolini, host of Peachtree Corners Life, and today’s Prime Lunchtime with The City Manager. We’re going to be discussing quite a few things today. Even though this is before Thanksgiving, you’d think it’s a quiet week, it’s never quiet around the city. There’s always something going on. Good and bad sometimes. We’re going to be discussing intersection takeovers by car clubs and not in a good way. So this is not one of those car aficionado type things. It’s something that has been rampant throughout the city it seems and other parts of Atlanta and such. And we’re beginning to see some of it now happening at the intersections, like Spalding Drive and Peachtree Parkway and Peachtree Corner Circle and Peachtree Parkway and Spalding rather. And we’ll be discussing a bit of that. We’ll be discussing also what it means for traffic implications of a new development that was just tabled at City Council. And also we’ll be discussing the new political lines that have been drawn in heading towards the Governor’s desk for the House Senate Seat and the US House of Representatives and how that may affect the city of Peachtree Corners. So let’s bring on Brian Johnson. Hey, Brian, how’re you doing?
[00:01:38] Brian: Good Rico, how about you?
[00:01:40] Rico: Pretty good. It’s always a good day in the city, and actually today’s a nice day. Sunny, and all. And it’s Thanksgiving week. So a lot of things to be hopefully thankful for this week. Some people have families coming in. We’ve been fortunate that I don’t think we’ve had bad COVID situations here in the city. We have had unemployment issues, people getting hired and not showing up sometimes. Or even not enough people to work jobs that are available in the city. God, I think I saw the State of The City and Mayor Mason said that our unemployment rate in the city is just about 3% which is unbelievable. And there’s still businesses wanting for employees. And sometimes I was at one place at a drive-through, and the lines were wrapped around the building because two people didn’t show up to work. So I mean, they might get jobs and then not even show up anyway. So that’s happening.
[00:02:30] Brian: Yeah, it is. It’s sad.
[00:02:31] Rico: Yeah. But there are good things in the city, I think our property values have risen almost 24% since 2014. 26% since 2014. So if you’re a property owner, certainly that gotta make you happy. So there’s things like that going on. But let’s hit our first thing and that’s something that really is like, I didn’t realize was a big problem at this point in the city. It’s almost similar to what’s going on with the flash mobs in San Francisco of robbing retail stores where eighty people show up, gang rob the place and then leave. So we’re seeing cars, actually car clubs, if you will. Quote car clubs, showing up at intersections, blocking it, and then doing a donut wheels and filming it and fireworks. So tell us what’s going on and where are we? Where is the city seeing that? And how can we even combat that?
[00:03:23] Brian: So the phenomenon you’re talking about is, it’s often called intersection takeovers. Which is kind of a, I guess another activity that some of these car clubs do beyond just street racing. And so this is a phenomenon we’re seeing in all over Metro Atlanta. We’re not the only ones struggling with it. But of course, the city has a responsibility for our community, which is why we’re dealing with it and talking about it. But what’s happening here is you have car clubs that have been created and these clubs, of course, are about generating revenue for their cars. To improve their cars, make them faster, better, more, whatever. Almost like a Fast and the Furious movie franchise type of deal. And the way they make money is on a lot of times on their YouTube channels and the amount of views that they get. And, you know, for those of you that know YouTube, one of the ways to generate revenue is by views and likes. And it can become a rather lucrative money-making proposition if you get enough of it. So these car clubs are using YouTube as a way to generate revenue. And the way they get hits is they will do what’s called an intersection takeover. And that is they will time it, and there’s some coordination involved, but they will time it to where all of the people a part of this intersection takeover will come up to an intersection. Usually a four way intersection. And they will come up at the same time. And then in a coordinated fashion, the lead cars at each of the intersections will stop and hold in place at the stop bars underneath, usually what are traffic signals. So all of a sudden the entire intersection is blocked because the first car in each lane is there blocking it. And then they will let a car or a couple of cars into the middle of this intersection. And this car, or these cars, will end up doing rather what you would consider outrageous things with their car. Squealing the tires while it’s in place, doing donuts, trying to do things that they ultimately think are unique enough that people will want to view it on YouTube. And oftentimes the people who are blocking the intersections are doing things to help. And by help I mean, to make this entire act more outrageous and more worthy of people watching it. So they’ll be shooting off fireworks. And it’s actually escalated to where they’re oftentimes shooting off hand guns into the air, as a way to make it more outrageous. And they will do it for a period of time and then they will then break it up and they will leave. And they do that for one of two reasons, they either break it up on their own or they’re done with it and they move on. Or of course, law enforcement shows up and they break it up because of that. And so that has happened, is happening in Metro Atlanta. Quite a bit. We have had our share of it of late. And it’s hard, and we can talk about the challenges here with how to deal with it, prevent it, prosecute if you catch anybody. But the big thing here is these are impromptu events. They’re almost like pop-up intersection takeovers because these car clubs while they have a following, Gwinnette PD and other law enforcement agencies are monitoring a lot of their traffic. But there’s not a lot of heads up for us to know. In some cases it’s not, it’s done in communication channels that people are not monitoring. And so it just happens and we have to deal with it. But yeah, unfortunately that is going on right now. And the challenge is the well, we can talk about a lot of the challenges, but right now, the challenge is getting communication out there to our residents about what has been done. The challenges of what to do if we even know or catch somebody and how we prevent this thing from happening in the future.
[00:07:37] Rico: It’s interesting because even the gunplay. I mean, these things are happening near neighborhoods. And I think that people don’t realize that because of the way things are prosecuted, they’re misdemeanors. It’s not easy when a police car shows up anyway and there are 20 cars there, I mean, who are they going to go after when they’re all split up? And even if they don’t show up, some of these things that we discussed before the show would last 10, 15, 20 minutes, and the police didn’t show up. For a variety of reasons, maybe. Because other things were more important at the time being investigated. So, do we need more cameras? I know the city is putting up 25 cameras throughout the city. But even like a place like Spalding Drive and Peachtree Corners Circle is not a major intersection. We’ve discussed that before that, you would think that’s the least likely place to do this type of thing. Versus let’s say Spalding and Peachtree Parkway where it happened also.
[00:08:29] Brian: So you know Rico, you’re hitting on some of the challenges here. So, you know, first and foremost, you end up having the laws that are in application here are written such that, unless it’s the third instance in which somebody has been convicted of doing this. Short of it, there being three convictions of this, it’s considered a traffic violation.
[00:08:57] Rico: Violation.
[00:08:58] Brian: Yeah. And which are all misdemeanors. So unless somebody has had three convictions and now police are showing up on their fourth and will, of course they would have to know that this person had three other convictions. But unless that has happened, it’s a misdemeanor. So the first is, there’s not a lot of deterrent from, that the law allows. Police, even if they catch somebody, it takes those multiple instances before it becomes a felony or before the car can be seized. So there are some things within the law that are not particularly helpful. And some of those things, I will be working with Council on here shortly. And it may become a legislative priority for us on the upcoming legislative session is to maybe do some things, to strengthen the law, to give police department a little bit more teeth when they do catch somebody. So that’s how the law is currently written. Although it looks like you wanted to say something about that?
[00:10:08] Rico: No, no. I mean, what teeth would you, could you possibly do there? I mean, short of making it past a misdemeanor. What else can you do?
[00:10:16] Brian: Alright, well let’s start with that one. That’s actually a big deal, making it beyond a misdemeanor, because by matter of policy Gwinnett County police officers cannot pursue somebody in any kind of a high speed chase capacity for a misdemeanor. So on these intersection takeovers, let’s say Gwinnett PD was right there a minute after it starts and they show up and then everybody scatters. Even if they chose to be like, look, we can’t get all of them, but we’re going to get one. By matter of policy, they cannot pursue because it’s a misdemeanor. And so if it was not a misdemeanor, that might help. That would be one thing that the law. Two is, the seizure of these vehicles that are in the commission of this type of thing. It also takes multiple instances before you can seize an asset that is the very thing that’s creating a risk to public safety. And we certainly should consider maybe if there are hand guns and the discharging of firearms involved in these kinds of things that that could immediately ramp it up beyond just the traffic. So there are some things within the law that I think are worth serious consideration. As a corporate subdivision of the State of Georgia, you know, the City of Peachtree Corners is certainly in a position that maybe we could advocate for state law to be changed in Georgia. To make it to where maybe some of those things can be made a little bit more tough and be a little bit more of a deterrent than they currently are. So that’s kind of one thing that we’re considering. But let’s get past that, even get into the enforcement of it. So when Gwinnett PD gets called on this, there of course are considerations of moving assets to a location in which there’s cars doing donuts and blocking the intersection. Now while, especially with the handgun part. That’s not particularly a safe thing, but depending on what they’re working on, they could be working a, some evolving situation that is significantly more important if you will.
[00:12:38] Rico: Sure.
[00:12:39] Brian: We recently had, this past weekend an incident in which we had an intersection that was not a significantly large intersection in which they were doing this. And there were calls to 911, and they were aware of it. But why Gwinnett PD was unable to show up in time to do anything in this intersection takeover, broke up on its own accord before Gwinnett PD got there was because they were all hands looking for an evolving situation involving a missing young autistic girl and a missing person. And, you know, that just took priority. And that was right after it had gotten out that she was missing and so they just threw all of their assets there. And they were like, look, unless it’s another case in which there’s violence involved or whatever, we are concentrating on this. And so that’s another one. Then we get into let’s say that they do catch and they do sometimes catch some of them. A lot of times it’s in by tracking some of the communication and having a good idea of where they might want to be doing this. And then they lay in wait, if you will. So they have caught them, they have done sting operations. They have some footage or some surveillance footage video of these things happening that then they’re able to add to an individual who was apprehended for a different reason and they’re able to expand. So there are things going on to help with this. But there’s a lot of constraints even on the cameras. You mentioned the city has 25 license plate recognition cameras, and we’re putting 25 more out there, so there will be 50 in the city. But the deployment of that, of those cameras, because we can’t have one at every intersection. These cameras are not free. We have to store the data for PD to use and it does come with technology. So we have to pay for it. So what we’ve tended to do is put them on either major intersections or oftentimes roadways coming in or leaving our jurisdiction. And so it’s almost like you’re setting up a camera perimeter so that if somebody does come into the city, if you really have their license plate, you can kind of know when they came in and when they leave. But you have to have that beforehand for you to be able to use it. And in this case, a lot of these car clubs know that there are cameras and so they will actually put something over their license plate while they’re doing this. So there’s tape over their license plate or something. And so that doesn’t help us. And then you run into the other conventional stuff. Police departments nationally are down. Staffing wise, there’s just not as many and Gwinnett PD is no different. And so they’re understaffed and you combine all of those things together and we have this phenomenon that we have. But we are exploring some other things. There’s some technology that we’re looking at that maybe allows police, the officers to I guess the lack of a better term, is shoot some sort of a transponder onto the back of a vehicle that then you can use it to track its location when it leaves. Which will allow police to follow these vehicles without getting into a high speed chase component.
[00:16:08] Rico: Okay.
[00:16:08] Brian: And so there are some technologies that Peachtree Corners is exploring. We’re also exploring, using some additional artificial intelligence within the Flock camera system, the license plate recognition system. Which allows there to be the tracking of vehicles if there are unique, what I call it marks on the vehicle. Almost like say a tattoo on an individual might make it to where it’s not just, Hey, a white man at 6’3″, 215 pounds. There’ll be like other marks and you know that, and that would be like, it’s not just a Honda Accord.
[00:16:52] Rico: It could be dents, be dents on a car. It could be age marks. Could be a lot of these car clubs also deck out their cars, pimp out their cars if you will. So there could be other variations of things on the car that might be unique in that way.
[00:17:06] Brian: But Rico I do want to close with this saying that, none of that as an excuse. This is unacceptable. No community should have to deal with it. It’s still is unsafe, even if there weren’t firearms involved shooting into the air. And so I don’t want it to sound like there’s, you know, oh, there’s nothing we can do. No, we are looking to do more. Maybe deploying cameras at interior intersections that we normally wouldn’t have. Again, some of this technology I talked about. So the city’s doing what it can, Gwinnett County PD is certainly in a position where they know it’s serious. And so it’s just hot off the press, if you will, that you and I were talking about it before the show. Just because it happened this weekend. And it’s a big deal. And the mayor and city council are very interested in trying to ensure we’re doing everything we can to help our police officers stop this. But we are not alone. They move around and other jurisdictions are dealing with it as well. But we’re going to try and do what we can here.
[00:18:08] Rico: Brian, it’s a difficult, these types of situations, like the flash mob stealing at retail stores in San Francisco that seems to also be spreading across the country to some degree. They’re difficult to handle because, these are fads you hope and that they will go away at some point. So do we overreact to something like you said, yes, it’s a dangerous situation. Do we put out all the cameras? Do we do the transponder thing? You know what I mean? The other thought I’m sure that there are some people that would even think, do we do like Norcross and we create our own police department that can police our area. I mean, I think Gwinnett police has done a great job. In fact, that missing autistic was in Peachtree Corners. I mean, that was Holcomb Bridge I think and Jimmy Carter. So that was around this area. We can go overboard on some of these things or not. You know, if we look at safety and what that means, I’m sure as some people would say, do we need another 25 cameras? Why not? Maybe we do. As long as things are handled in the proper way, I think adding to safety, I don’t think anyone would, there may maybe some people that would be concerned about additional cameras, but how else can you combat some of these things? Like you said, these are misdemeanor crimes. They’re not going to be prosecuted for the most part that way. Because this takes too long to prosecute. And by the time you finish it anyway, people don’t go to jail. They handle with maybe a fine or something like that. This is part of that change that we’ve had over the past decade to make sure that we don’t overcrowd stations, you know, jails that we don’t give too much to our police to do. Because they already have a lot to do. I don’t envy you and the city leaders and what you have to do. Even the legislation will take time. By the time it gets passed, then it has to go through a department that has to actually figure out how to implement it. It’s not just all of a sudden shows up. Yeah, difficult problems. Hopefully it won’t get worse. Let’s move on to, there was a small development actually about almost seven acres, that’s a multi-use development that’s coming up. That’s the Peachtree Corners Circle Lofts. That was tabled this past City Council meeting. And it’s one of the Cowart developments. And I think we talked about this before, too. And we talked about the traffic implications. Because this is the property at the, I believe that it would have bumped the Intuitive Robotics Campus. That’s behind, runs behind QT and some of the, I think the Creme De La Creme that’s there. And that might affect, that certainly would affect the in and out at the QT station whether left turns are allowed or not. So explain to us then how some of this traffic implications would be effected by this development.
[00:20:49] Brian: So you’re referring to a parcel that is essentially directly across the road if you were exiting the Forum property right there at Trader Joe’s. And you’re coming down that little hill there and you’re stopped right at Peachtree Corners Circle. And you look straight ahead, there’s a wooded parcel. That would be the parcel in question here that the development would be going on. Why it’s difficult, speaking of not being envious of some of the things the city’s working on, this is another one that unfortunately it has second and third order effects beyond just the parcel in question. It’s always preferred, if you have some sort of a development that is being considered, that when you start talking about traffic, and other things with traffic, that it’s isolated to just that parcel. Like it doesn’t really have much, as far as ingress, egress implications for up and downstream developments. It’s kind of like, look, yeah it’ll be more traffic, but people coming in and out are not going to interfere with other people coming in and out. This one is not one of those. We have some problems here and some of them are a little bit of an inherited one. By that, I mean this. When the city became a city almost 10 years ago, the developments that are out there were already in place. The developments affected here. By that I would mean, QT, the Quick Trip right there at the corner. And then heading, what would that be? Essentially, west down Peachtree Corners Circle away from Peachtree Parkway. You would have Creme De La Creme behind them. Those are the two that have curb cuts for cars to get onto Peachtree Corners Circle. And then directly across Peachtree Corners Circle from those curb cuts, those entrances to the QT and Creme De La Creme, you would have two entrances or exits as the case may be to the Forum. You have one near Redlands and then you have the main one, if you will, that’s coming out right by Trader Joe’s. The one that it’s kind of the main thoroughfare through the Forum. So on each side of the Peachtree Corner Circle, you have two entrances, exits to developments on each side of, if you include the turn lanes or deceleration acceleration lanes, you have seven lanes of traffic right there. And so what we have in some cases is, and a lot of it is people leaving the Quick Trip, want to turn left out of the Quick Trip onto Peachtree Corners Circle. Heading say towards Spalding and Holcomb Bridge Road that way. So they’re turning left across, it could be as much as six lanes of traffic to get onto the seventh lane because some people turn left out of Quick Trip and they immediately want to turn right into the Forum.
[00:23:59] Rico: Yeah, I’ve seen that. And there’s been accidents there. Probably part of it because of that.
[00:24:05] Brian: Yes. So look, we get it. I will plead the fifth if I was under oath as to whether I had ever tried any of those facing movements myself. But they are not safe movements, vehicular movements. And those accidents you just brought up are a testament to that. But that situation was inherited by the city. That existed when we were a city that had been permitted, we had nothing to do with it. Meaning our fingerprints were not on it. Now we are being asked to permit, rezone and ultimately permit a development that is going to exacerbate the traffic in the area. Not just for their particular development, but it’s going to have, again, a little bit of a domino effect mainly towards Peachtree Parkway. So their entrance to this development will probably line up directly across from the Forum’s entrance exit by Trader Joe’s. Which is also where the Creme De La Creme’s entrance already is. It’s directly across.
[00:25:16] Rico: Let me ask you something, that’s a long piece of property that butts up to Technology Park. Is there going to be an exit entrance from that side? No.
[00:25:26] Brian: And here’s why. Really, topography. Terrain. So there are two reasons why you’re probably never going to see another entrance onto Peachtree Parkway, is because there are multiple creeks running through the parcel. As it leaves almost like from the Peachtree Corners Circle down towards its other connection to another roadway in this case, Peachtree Parkway. And this parcel is a long parcel. That’s really connecting Peachtree Parkway and Peachtree Corner Circle at a diagonal behind, what is it? Northside Gwinnett Urgent Care, and then the little mini strip mall, which has Sports Clips and the shoe store.
[00:26:12] Rico: The bagel store.
[00:26:13] Brian: Right. The bagel shop and then Quick Trips and then Creme De La Creme. So it kind of is at an angle. It connects the two roadways, cuts behind. The problem is the reason it exists and it’s a long linear one is it’s really a creek. And so the creek would need to be piped if you wanted to do anything. And then the terrain is significantly steep. It is a hole down in there. And if you ever like drove, say Peachtree Parkway and you looked at the parcel right next to the Northside Gwinnett it’s just a hole down in.
[00:26:49] Rico: So let me ask you then, basically, when that property was left the way it was, I don’t know if that was an easement, a water place for another property. If that was split off some years back or not may have been. Maybe it’s just undevelopable? Obviously a city option could be, no, we can’t. You can’t do that there. Because right now it’s zoned, what? Its zoned commercial
[00:27:12] Brian: It’s commercial, it’s an M1.
[00:27:14] Rico: So it’s an M1. So I don’t know what the setbacks are and how wide that is, and I don’t even know if it’s really develop-able as an M1, even if you wanted to. So maybe it’s just a denial. Because otherwise what you’re saying essentially is, and I don’t know if you can, you’d have to force the QT to say they can only do right turns on exit.
[00:27:34] Brian: That’s correct.
[00:27:35] Rico: Can you force them to do that because they’ve been in development. They’re already there. Should they be penalized because another the property wants to come out? I mean, is that reasonable?
[00:27:45] Brian: That’s a great question. One, the city certainly could close left outs at the second location that QT has. Because even right now, without a new development, it is not a safe option for you to allow cars to turn left out of there. Now people do it. And again, I’ll plead the fifth if ever asked if I have done it. But when you look at, if you’re a traffic engineer and you’re needing to put your stamp on this, you would not because it’s seven lanes near an intersection. So you’ve got a lot of car. So it could be done. Now the Peachtree Parkway section right there does take into account this. Many people don’t realize this, but if you left QT on Peachtree Parkway and you wanted to head north, you do not have to head north by turning onto Peachtree Corners Circle and trying to immediately get across three lanes into the two left lanes to turn left. What you could do is turn right on Peachtree Parkway, and shortly after you turn right, there is a dedicated U-turn aisle in the median for you to do a U-turn and then start heading back north. And so there would be accommodations made for cars to do that on Peachtree Corners Circle as well, if this was the case. But my only point to all that is this development, while everybody has a legal right to develop their property. If it can be in some regard, that doesn’t mean it needs to be as dense as they want. It doesn’t mean that it needs to have the use that they want, but we are considering this.
[00:29:31] Rico: And it is an M1. So it’s not like they don’t have a use for it. It was zoned for use when they purchased it. It is an M one. So that is the zoning that they purchased into. And no one can say well, I was expecting, I could rezone it. There shouldn’t be any expectations of that, right? I’m just saying.
[00:29:49] Brian: There shouldn’t be. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t. But there shouldn’t be. But, look, so the owner submitted something for the city to consider. The use itself is not something that it appears is problematic. Which is an equity, residential product. The issue with it is the traffic and us to figure it out. And unlike before, when the city didn’t have any involvement in having permitted the situation that we find ourselves with. Now, we are being forced to put our fingerprint on this. And we have to be careful that we either don’t create a scenario that’s unsafe for vehicular movement or give tacit approval for something like that by permitting ingress egress that makes the current situation even more unsafe. Because nobody would claim that the current situation turning left out of QT is a safe vehicular movement. Nobody would. Doesn’t mean people don’t do it, but nobody would say oh yeah, that’s safe. There’s no problem there.
[00:30:56] Rico: Yeah, no, for sure. And quite frankly, even though it’s not safe, and I think we all do that when you’ve got to make a left turn. I mean.
[00:31:05] Brian: I don’t know what you’re talking about, Rico. I don’t know what you’re talking about.
[00:31:08] Rico: It’s not illegal to do that, but yes. But I’ve never seen an accident at that curb cut. I’ve seen it in front of the Forum on that side and it could be for a variety of reasons. Usually it seems like someone coming out of the Forum or trying to get in from the other side.
[00:31:28] Brian: And that really is not a particularly safe one either. You’re coming down a hill, you’re turning across at that point I think it’s only four lanes of traffic. But turning left and then you’ve got cars accelerating onto Peachtree Corner Circle off Peachtree Parkway, or turning out of Redlands and Creme De La creme, even. None of that is a particularly if, if traffic engineers design things from scratch, nobody would ever have allowed that to happen. But it did and you know, it’s, doesn’t matter how we got here, we’re here. But in this case, that’s why it was tabled. So it was a long way of saying it was tabled, Rico, just because we needed to take extra special care in looking at the traffic patterns and the vehicular movements, if we permitted this and what would happen? Is there a safer way to do things? And so that’s why it was tabled.
[00:32:22] Rico: Cool. So this is going to come back up, I guess, in December?
[00:32:26] Brian: No, we pushed it to the January one because the December ones, because of Christmas and everything had to be moved up earlier. So there would have only been three weeks between the November council meeting and the December one with Thanksgiving in between. So for us to make sure we had enough time, we just pushed it to January.
[00:32:45] Rico: Sounds good. So in the little time we have left, I’d like to see if we could talk about this whole thing about new district lines that’s going to the governor’s desk. The new Senate line, the new House Seat lines, and the US House of Representative lines. Seems like Peachtree Corners where we were being, I think for the most part represented by one house, state house rep now maybe two. There’s lots of things going on. Is that good or bad that we have two reps there versus one? I don’t know. How does that affect the city? How will the city be affected by all this? I know some of these people are going to be running in other seats, it seems. It’s an interesting quagmire. It’s almost like they’ve been pushed to run against each other in some of these seats. And we’re talking about Democrats that have won those seats for the most part.
[00:33:35] Brian: Yeah. So it looks like the city map or excuse me, the district map, as it applies to the State House, State Senate, and the US House has been changed significantly for us. And in that, which seats touch a part of Peachtree Corners, and which seats don’t, and what representatives and so on and so forth. So yes, there has been as is always the case with whichever party is in power at the state. These district maps were drawn in a way to give the party that is in control of the general assembly and the governor’s office, the, I guess in their mind, the potential for them to gain representation by having grown in a certain way. Now, how it affects us, and I won’t get into some of the, I mean, some of it is just on the periphery. You know, we, before we had people like representative Pedro Marin and Scott Holcomb that touched a little bit of Peachtree Corners. So technically you could say that they represented us. And then they did, don’t get me wrong, but we weren’t the core. Now probably what most people would think of from the State House would be the seat that Tom Rice held for a long time. And then Scott Hilton. When Tom retired, Scott ran for that seat and won. Was in it for one term. And then Beth Moore was elected recently. Now that seat represented almost all the Peachtree Corner Circle, though, all those individuals resided in Peachtree Corners. And that one significantly changed. That house seat was drawn out. And so, as a result, I know Beth Moore has announced her intention to run for a new Senate district. Actually it’s Senate District Seven, which actually existed in South Georgia. And it’s kind of indicative of how more influential Metro Atlanta is becoming. Because with population growing in Metro Atlanta, and in some cases decreasing in rural Georgia. You are seeing them do this. And so they just took a Senate district that had that existed in South Georgia and moved it up to Metro Atlanta and dropped it in a place in which Beth Moore, current state house rep is in a position to run for a State Senate seat on one that doesn’t have an incumbent, if you will. Because the incumbent is in South Georgia. And so.
[00:36:17] Rico: It’s amazing how they can do that, just take someone’s Senate seat away from there, move it somewhere else versus redrawing lines. And I just, it’s unbelievable how they can do that.
[00:36:30] Brian: Well, so here’s another one though, is US House. We are represented by Carolyn Bordeaux. And it was also just as part of this map, a neighboring US district, which was currently represented by Lucy McBath. She was drawn out of well, excuse me, her district was redrawn in such a way that it is now, at least from the registered voter standpoint, a clear Republican leaning district. So in other words, she is now finds herself residing and representing a district that at the next election is going to be significantly Republican. So she had a decision to make I guess, and that is either try to win her seat anyway, even though it’s going to be leaning towards Republican. Or she could run against a or run for a seat in a district that is not so Republican. And she has, my understanding is she has announced that she will then run for the seat that Carolyn Bordeaux currently holds, which is the one that represents us. And so why these matter to us is less about party affiliation. You and I have talked about this before. Potholes don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat. Zoning doesn’t matter. Traffic, managing traffic doesn’t matter. What matters to us are relationships. And so what makes it hard sometimes is, and I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, and I’m not saying that it has nothing to do with the people. But we often times invest in these representatives. We get to know them, they get to know us. We have meetings, we communicate, we develop a relationship. They learn Peachtree Corners, we learn them. And over time you have this relationship. And when these things happen and there’s turnover you know, it’s a relationship. It’s almost like a marriage. And every so often you’re forced to have a new spouse. You’re like assigned a new spouse, like, alright Rico, you’ve got a new spouse. You know, in this case, Peachtree Corners is like, alright Peachtree Corners you may have a new spouse at the US level. Or you may have a new spouse at the State Senator, State House level. And you’ve got to relearn these people, they’ve got to relearn you. And it is not easy sometimes because these things are built on relationships. I mean, that’s what makes these things go around, is them knowing us and what our needs are and liking us and sometimes living here. And that’s where we’re at is, we’re going to be forced to potentially learn some new people, maybe not. I don’t know how some of these races may go. I mean, Carolyn Bordeaux may still retain the seat. And then there’s no loss in that. And Lucy McBath could be just fine. She just doesn’t know us right now and we don’t know her.
[00:39:44] Rico: And these districts have changed a bit also. So they include other, they’ve been redrawn. Even though it is Carolyn Bordeaux’s district, I guess. But it’s been redrawn enough, so then it doesn’t look the same to a degree. And so it’s not, like I agree with you. It’s a relationship that you’re building, but also now that district also represents may be competing aspect. So if there was a road plan, if there was technology money, if there was EV charging station. If there were grants, now we may be competing with other cities that are newly drawn into that district that maybe would get better benefits than we would out of that. So I, I see, it is the relationships, but also it’s the dynamic of what that district now is made up of. What other cities are in there and who’s going to be wanting to pull a little bit more towards them. Which is what you know, which is normal. But yeah, so yeah.
[00:40:39] Brian: Look Rico, I mean, even at the micro level. I mean, we have a new council member now. Joe Sawyer is a, a new council member and it’s about relationships. So, as the individual who works for the seven members of council, there had been a relationship with the previous incumbent Jeanne Aulbach that I had. And you learn what that individual likes and how they communicate or whatever. And what their pressure points are, what’s important to them. And now there’s a new one. It doesn’t make it right or wrong. It just makes it different. And it just takes time. And, you know, that’s already started. I mean, you know, Joe’s drinking out of the fire hose of a new elected official. And we’ve already run him through some of the orientation. But you know, all of these elected officials, as things change, they’ve got to learn new communities, learn new people, create and foster new relationships. And it’s a constantly evolving thing. That’s our government. I don’t know if there’s a way around it, but it doesn’t happen without there being extra time that you’ve got to spend into it.
[00:41:43] Rico: For sure. And I don’t think people, day to day realize that when the, these changes happen, it is more complicated. It’s not just me voting for my house rep, but it’s the city now having to deal with maybe two house reps, two Senate seats, maybe a new Congressman, newly drawn district that has different dynamics. So it’s yeah, I can see, there’s going to be a lot of learning even for Joe Sawyer. Who’s going to be sworn in, I think, in January into his seat. He knows all the city council people to a degree, but now he’s going to have to know them as city council people within that relationship. And then the department heads that are there. So yeah, a lot of dynamics, a lot of things that have to be learned. I appreciate our time together, Brian. It’s always good to talk about these things. I’m sure we’re going to talk a bit more about these districts as we get closer towards election time maybe and what that may mean. And certainly after the elections, what that means to the city. We have a bunch of things coming up. I think in March or April? It’s the Live2X or the V2X Live conference.
[00:42:47] Brian: Yes, V2X Live. The first city sponsoring its first conference. We’re hosting, not just sponsoring hosting here in Peachtree Corners an actual conference, on connected vehicles. So yeah, we’re pretty excited about that.
[00:43:00] Rico: Can’t wait to see that, I can’t wait to be there. Cool. So listen everybody, I appreciate you hanging in there with us and learning about all these things that are happening in the city. If you have any questions, certainly put them into the comments below this post or on YouTube or wherever you’re finding this. And then when we get back together again, maybe next month, we’ll be able to answer some of those questions as well. So thank you, Brian. Appreciate you being with me.
[00:43:25] Brian: Thanks Rico, take care. Have a good Thanksgiving.
Mayor Mike Mason and the City of Peachtree Corners Join the Mayor’s Reading Club
At the July 25, 2023, Council Meeting, Mayor Mike Mason and the Councilmembers issued a Proclamation supporting the Mayor’s Reading Club.
Georgia City Solutions launched the Mayor’s Reading Club program in August 2022 to encourage, support and lead city mayors in improving literacy skills and early reading success for children and youth in Georgia cities.
Designed to foster partnerships and collaborations between the city, county, local nonprofits, schools, libraries and business community, the program can be delivered virtually, in person, on-demand, year-round or at specific times.
In addition to the Mayor, other elected officials, city staff, youth and community members can participate in the program as guest readers.
To learn more about the Mayor’s Reading Club, visit gacitysolutions.org/Programs/Mayor-s-Reading-Club.
A copy of the full proclamation is below.
A PROCLAMATION OF THE CITY OF PEACHTREE CORNERS, GEORGIA SUPPORTING THE MAYOR’S READING CLUB
WHEREAS, literacy is not just an education issue. It is an economic, workforce, and quality of life issue; and
WHEREAS, research shows that children who can’t read proficiently by the end of third grade are more likely to experience poor health, have discipline problems, and drop out of high school; and
WHEREAS, each year in the United States, low literacy levels are linked to hundreds of billions of dollars in non-productivity, healthcare, and judicial costs; and
WHEREAS, 68% of Georgia fourth graders do not read proficiently; and
WHEREAS, collaborative efforts and strategic partnerships must be undertaken to address literacy issues; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor’s Reading Club program is offered through Georgia City Solutions, a Georgia Municipal Association nonprofit; and
WHEREAS, the goal of the program is to improve literacy skills and overall success with early reading among children and youth in Georgia cities through encouragement, support, and leadership from city mayors; and
WHEREAS, Georgia City Solutions has commissioned a children’s book series to use as part of the program to teach young readers about local government and a copy of the first book in the series titled, Georgia Caroline Visits City Hall, is provided in the program starter-kit; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor’s Reading Club is flexible and can be delivered in person or virtually and promotes partnerships and collaboration between the city, county, schools, public libraries, local nonprofits, and business community.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED by the Mayor and Council of the City of Peachtree Corners, do hereby join the Mayor’s Reading Club program and proclaim July 25, 2023 as:
“MAYOR’S READING CLUB DAY”
In Peachtree Corners, Georgia and encourage all residents, businesses, and community partners to help promote and elevate literacy as a community priority and support the Mayor’s Reading Club to improve Georgia’s economic vitality one book at a time.
SO PROCLAIMED AND EFFECTIVE, this day, July 25, 2023.
Peachtree Corners Awarded GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Fifth Straight Year
The City of Peachtree Corners’ Finance Department has been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its 2022 financial year-end comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).
The GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. It is the city’s fifth year of receiving the award and represents a significant accomplishment by the City’s Finance Department and its leadership.
According to a GFOA release, “The report has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive ‘spirit of full disclosure’ to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.
“We are pleased to again receive this honor,” said City Manager Brian Johnson. “Our finance department, and Finance Director Cory Salley, are to be commended for this achievement as it is the highest form of recognition GOFA presents.”
The city’s Finance Department produces the CAFR each year and works with independent auditors to verify the city’s financial situation and standing. The CAFR is judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.
“This is an important award that validates Peachtree Corners’ commitment to go beyond the minimum requirements to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports in the spirit of transparency and full disclosure,” said Assistant City Manager Brandon Branham.
The Government Finance Officers Association, based in Chicago, is a non-profit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals. With offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C., it serves the member organization by advancing uniform standards and procedures in financial management for governments and assisting with professional development for public finance managers.
On topic with Alex Wright: Ingles Shopping Center, Tech Park Acquisition, Public Safety and More
City Councilman Alex Wright and I discuss a proposal from the owners of the Ingles Shopping Center for redevelopment and other housing developments in Peachtree Corners. Plus, we discuss a new Tech Park acquisition for the city, public safety, the new City Marshal system, a possible Pickleball Complex and its economic impact, and more.
[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:04:06] – Closure of Anderby Brewing
[00:05:56] – The Pickleball Complex and its Economic Impact
[00:09:13] – Ingles Shopping Center and Housing Developments
[00:26:07] – More on Zoning and Developments
[00:31:24] – City Marshal System and the Hiring Process
[00:45:30] – October Decathlon Event
[00:48:37] – Closing
Rico Figliolini 0:00:00
Hi everyone. This is Rico Figliolini, host of Peachtree Corners Life, a monthly podcast with different people, different individuals that influence the things that go on in this city. And today we have a special guest, City Councilman post three, Alex Wright. Hey Alex, thanks for joining us.
Alex Wright 0:00:17
Thanks for having me. It’s good to be back.
Rico Figliolini 0:00:19
Yes, it’s always good to be able to talk to people that know what’s going on because I don’t know everything and to get it from those that are plugged in would be fantastic. But before we get into today’s question and answer and things that are going on I’d like to ask you about, I just want to say thank you to our sponsors. We have two. EV Remodeling Inc. and Eli, who owns that company, and lives here in Peachtree Corners. They are a terrific company that does design and build from ground up remodeling, whether it’s your bathroom or your whole house. EV Remodeling does a great job and they’re local to Peachtree Corners and they’ve been a great sponsor of ours. If you go to their website, EvRemodelingInc.com, you’ll see some great work that he’s done, some videos. You’ll get to know a little bit more about Eli and the work they do and check them out because remodeling is their business. Second is a new sponsor of our corporate sponsor and that’s Clearwave Fiber. They’ve joined us over the last month or two becoming a good supporter of ours, our journalism, our podcast, they are here in Peachtree Corners throughout the state of Georgia, really, and the Southeast. But they’re really big here in the city of Peachtree Corners with more than 5000 businesses that they do work with right here in the city of Peachtree Corners, providing services, launching the fiber optic setup that they have. And they’ve been a clear supporter of the City, of Curiosity Lab, of the recent Criterion Road race that was happening here and they’ve been a good strong supporter of what goes on in the city and a good sponsor. So I want to welcome them. You can find the link in our profile to Clearwave Fiber for the Peachtree Corners Life. So check them out and see what they can do for you, whether you’re a business or even a resident. So check that out. So let’s get right onto it. It’s amazing the things going on in this city and the stuff that I don’t always know about because I don’t know everything. Even though we publish Peachtree Corners magazine, we do these podcasts. But Alex is on here because specifically because I subscribe to his newsletter that he puts out every so often and there’s things in there that Alex has brought up and I just want to know more about. So thank you Alex, for putting out that newsletter to your list of residents and people that follow you. I want to say thanks for doing it.
Alex Wright 0:02:49
It’s definitely a good way to stay in touch with people. Obviously you can reach out to a lot of people at once versus being on the ground. That’s not always the most efficient way to communicate.
Rico Figliolini 0:03:03
No, but doing that and quite frankly, even have life podcasts like this and articles that we put out. I mean, all this stuff that we put out, the content that we put out comes from knowing what’s going on in the city, whether it’s from Brian Johnson, the city manager, or Mike Mason, the mayor, or you or Eric Chris or any of the other councilmen, the great people that work for the city Peachtree Corners as well. So got to say that. So there’s a lot of things going on, and I know you plugged into quite a bit of it because of your position. So I guess let’s start right off. Well, first things first. I hadn’t acknowledged this before as far as and to Be brewing, unfortunately, they’re closing their doors. Actually. They’ve closed their doors as of the weekend of July 4, set to see them go and close up shop like that. I think they may be doing things in the business and the industry still, but and to Be brewing is is no longer a place, I understand. How do you feel about when things like that happen? They were one of two brewers in the city.
Alex Wright 0:04:06
Yes. I’m kind of a risk averse person to a certain extent myself, so I’m always impressed when people are willing to kind of follow their dream like that and put so much at risk to do that. It’s kind of inspiring in a way. So you hate to see it when it doesn’t work out, though. I was over there actually the day closed, talking to one of the owners, and she was telling me that they’re going to continue to be in the, I guess the brand business, if you will, where I think outsourcing some of the brewing of their brands. So they’re still going to be around in that regard. And she said that might lead to depending on how successful that is, just to stay in that route. So you alluded they’re not going. It’s just that bricks and mortar location unfortunately won’t be available anymore.
Rico Figliolini 0:04:57
Yeah. Too bad because they’ve been around for, I think it’s been four years.
Alex Wright 0:05:02
Yeah. I think they went in there right before COVID and obviously that wasn’t part of their business plan. I think they were counting on a lot more office workers right there in Tech Park stopping by.
Rico Figliolini 0:05:15
Yeah. And that blew it during COVID But they sounded like they were coming back at a point. But I guess once you go through that, sometimes it’s never coming back. That was a whole year and a half and they thought they were coming back. There was March 2020 when everything looked life. It was coming back. And then all of a sudden things shut down again, like three months later.
Alex Wright 0:05:37
Yeah. Every time I would drive by there. It seemed like they had a good, decent round. So I I don’t know the details, but it’s I’m not a big beer drinker, but I did like going there just for the I was talking about newsletter. Just had kind of a fun vibe. You could bring your dog or kids. It’s just very welcoming place.
Rico Figliolini 0:05:56
Yeah, no, the owner is precedent. His wife and the other people that worked there very passionate about what they do. I mean, he was doing stuff in his kitchen before he got to the brewery, so it wasn’t like he just decided to do it. He was passionate and still is, I think, with what he’s doing. So the other thing that we’re talking about, business is closing, businesses opening. Maybe there’s been a feasibility study that may be finished by this point or not. I don’t know about a potential pickable complex. Private public partnership, possibly maybe 30, 40, 50 courts. So there’s a company that was hard to do that feasibility study. I think I was at one of several meetings, stakeholders or shareholders, I guess, to give feedback or to give their point of view on it. So have you learned anything more or do you have a thing you want to talk about as far as how you feel about it?
Alex Wright 0:06:50
Nothing really new since that meeting that you’re talking about. I think we actually both were that one.
Rico Figliolini 0:06:55
Alex Wright 0:06:57
So still waiting to hear back from that company, though I’m obviously very interested in the money part of it, but I suspect there’s a lot of, whether it be cities or companies or whoever, thinking just like we are, like, hey, this is a huge opportunity. And I’ve used the analogy of 25 years ago, search engines, there’s so many of them. And Google basically won that. Now it’s a verb, but you got to get there first and kind of establish your dominance, if you will. It’s the kind of way I’m thinking about this, where if we wait a couple of years to see what happens, someone else is going to. When I say get in there, I think what we’re looking at is not just say, let’s have ten public pickleball courts. I guess that’s an option. It’s more of an economic redevelopment opportunity in maybe an area that I mentioned my newsletter, like down Holcomb Bridge, where because it’s got a good if you think about that intersection, Holcomb Bridge, and say, 141, that’s only four, actually, probably about 4 miles to 285. So good access to the interstate. Wright but if you built a complex there, I think Brian’s probably mentioned this on one of your podcasts, where the ability to host big tournaments, you can bring a lot of people into town for that. I don’t think we’re just envisioning just pickleball ball courts, but something where it’s a destination unto itself, almost, where you’ve got locals going there, whether they’re playing or not, just to hang out. So you’ve got your local crowd that be there all the time and then layer on top of that the tournament aspect, that could bring in a lot of activity for the city, hotel rooms and restaurants and things like that. So my thought is if the numbers look good, you got to move quick because someone else is going to move quick as well. So the quick you get in there, you’ll get the word out, hey, we’re almost like a dog mark in this territory. Like, hey, we’re here, and other people will say maybe just move on. We don’t want to cannibalize.
Rico Figliolini 0:09:13
I think you have to if you’re going to go in, go in big the expression, I guess, yeah. I think part of that discussion was obviously private public partnership versus the city running it. City doesn’t want to have a parks department or anything where they’re going to do ten pickable courts and have to maintain it. Right. And if it’s going to be a pickable complex or center, it’s really maybe an entertainment complex that has pickleball restaurants, maybe playgrounds, maybe certain other amenities that draw besides the pickleball. I would think Wright or something along those lines.
Alex Wright 0:09:51
Yeah, that whole Holcomb Bridge corridor, if you will. Literally almost from day one, the city has tried all kind of different things to get, I say redevelopment, some kind of I always use the example of over. I used to work, I still work over in Cobb County, but worked near Franklin Road, which street of kind of dilapidated apartments. Marietta came in, bought several of those up, tore them down and they said, hey, here’s some dirt, come in, try to attract come in. They got landing. United’s Training Facility there. Home Depot did a big data center there. The reason I mentioned that is you really just need say one thing to come in, make a big splash and it can create redevelopment. I mean we’re already seeing that, like with the town center where areas around that they want to be near that. I use the analogy or the metaphor of an anchor, people want to be near it. And we’ve had several different things that just didn’t come to fruition, unfortunately in that area. But kind of the way I look at this is we inject some of the money deal, but to your point, we’re not owning it, we’re not running it, but if it’s enough to make the numbers work for a private company, then ultimately the ripple effect more than pays for the money we would inject into it.
Rico Figliolini 0:11:15
It’s similar to, I guess, the town center when that first happened. I mean the city bought property there and then eventually sold it to the developer that developed the property there. And I guess we own certain portions like the parking deck and the town center, but the surrounding part of that town center versus the green and the veterans monument probably.
Alex Wright 0:11:35
Yeah. So that land originally was 21 acres, we ultimately ended up with eight. And the reason that kind of worked out that way was the developer to kind of make their numbers work, they wanted to build apartments. And for that particular piece of land, we had just bought it to stop apartments. It was like, okay, that doesn’t really make any sense. So to make the numbers work, we said, well, we’ll keep these eight acres and do these other things with it. So that’s an example of they need to show a return on their investment. The city doesn’t have to do that. So those eight acres, we can say, well, three years, we’re going to have an ROI that pays for that. But I would argue that by basically putting that money out there to hold that property, to build the green, which the developer didn’t even want to build because he couldn’t monetize it without the green, that was just another kind of almost a shopping center. The Green is really the difference maker there. And so that’s the difference what government can do. They can invest money and they don’t have to have a private equity firm that’s breathing down their neck to pay. Where’s our 22% annual return, right?
Rico Figliolini 0:12:40
Especially when it’s a developer that’s just a retail developer that has no interest in managing really the place. I mean, I understand Fuqua Development probably wants to sell most of what they have already. It’s just they don’t want to be a mold developer, right. Or retail developer like that. They want to flip it. So that worked out great. I mean, we get we there are concerts there with 5000 people showing up. There’s all sorts of events that go on. I know that at the beginning, some people were vocal about why is the city doing it? Why are they spending money, why are they buying that land? But to me it was similar to life. The Simpson Wood Park. Why did the city put up a million dollars to help that purchase or get involved in it? Well, that was also going to be sold to apartment developers, or to developers, I should say, because I don’t know if apartments would ever have been able to be zoned there. But it’s still a park because the county came in and bought it and is managing it versus the city being having a parks department and doing it. So there’s potential out there. And then you have North American properties right, that bought the Forum and they’re committed to it. They’re willing to put green space. They’re willing to put a stage in there. They’re willing to do things similar to Avalon. And I know there’s always another side to that. People don’t want that type of density coming or that type of traffic coming. But you know as well as I do, the Forum was heading south with almost 17 vacant storefronts. At one point, you were part of the group that decided that that made sense North American Properties being there. Right.
Alex Wright 0:14:23
The purchase of that, someone definitely needed to buy the forum. The previous owner, I think, was a REIT out of Boston. We had approached them about this green idea in the middle and even said, we’ll help fund that because we were so worried about the Forum and they had no interest, which I found baffling was like, we’re offering to literally almost give you money and you don’t want it. So someone that sat incompetently run it’s good that North American Properties bought the property. There are aspects of vision that I’m not crazy about, but as a whole, one of the things I did like about North American Properties was unlike most of the other developers that we’ve interacted with, mr. Perry definitely had a vision beyond just their little piece of property that this whole downtown Peachtree Corners life idea had. I liked that because I agree that there’s some synergies between the two properties and he got that that these other folks were just looking for that return every quarter. So NetNet it’s definitely good that they ended up with the property.
Rico Figliolini 0:15:34
So talking about also that whole area, Alex, I think that whole area, I think, has an overlay. That’s an entertainment overlay, if I remember correctly, right, that includes the Forum, includes town center, then goes into where Lidl is and also includes the Ingle shopping center, that whole part there, which is what we are calling the downtown area, essentially. Correct. So to that effect, there’s other things going on. For example, ingle shopping center. At one point, Ingles came in, they wanted to see if they can do gas pumps there, similar to, let’s say, Costco’s or Kroger’s. That was denied probably for a variety of reasons. But now the owner of that shopping center, not just Ingles, but everything that’s in it, has approached the city, I guess. Tell me a little bit about what’s going on there, what they’re looking to do.
Alex Wright 0:16:26
Wright so just back up just a second. Sure. They have developers that will approach the city kind of a regular basis, all kind of stuff. For example, a lot of the office parks near the town center, we’ve had people approach and say, hey, we’re interested in doing some kind of mixed use because they want to be near the town so much, the town center as the town green. They want to be near the activity there because people life, I think people naturally like to gather and be part of what’s going on. So it just happened to be that in the case of Ingles, that the council was given a briefing about this. And it’s not so much that the staff is saying, well, we’re not going to tell the council about this and we’re going to tell them about this. It’s just there’s so many that they try to be prudent about, okay, we think this one is serious enough to loop you in on some conversations. And so basically the update was Ingles lease apparently is coming up the next year or so. The owner kind of looked at the situation, said, all right, well, we obviously don’t want to lose Ingles. But Ingles was telling them is we’d like a smaller footprint. Apparently that’s the thing now in new grocery stores is a smaller footprint, more like a sprouts size. So they were looking to not so much leave, but shrink their footprint. So I think the owner looked at this as an opportunity. We’re looking to better monetize this property. We see what’s going on at the forum with the redevelopment. We see the town center. They probably hear about some of the other things behind the scenes that are potentially on the horizon. And they wanted to approach this. What they did, they approached the city and said a lot of times the way this will work is they’ll say, we’ve got this kind of rough idea of what we might want to do. Do you think that the council would be open to that? Obviously the staff has no idea the council is going to vote on anything, but normally have a good pulse of life. I might have a certain view of how I want things to be in five years and some of my colleagues different view and good staff is going to going to know that. And so that helps to be able to tell a potential developer, hey, we don’t know exactly what will happen, but this is kind of the sense we have and it helps them determine whether to move forward with a proposal anyway, kind of the pitch, if you will, that they put out. There was, again, another mixed use development which would include a housing component. But one of the things that made this different than some of the other ones we’ve seen is it included a senior living component. And at least it’s just my opinion, but we are in really short supply of that. I know we’ve got Waterside, which is coming online, but I hear a lot of people say it’s more than I want to pay and I’d rather live near things I could walk to. What a lot of people I know we spend a lot of time trying to attract young professionals. But if you follow demographics, the United States had a below replacement birth rate for almost 50 years. It’s kind of been masked by immigration, but you’re seeing this happen all across the world. So the point, point of my story is that in absolute numbers, there’s less 18 year olds today than there were ten years ago, 20 years ago. But the number of people that are 65 and older continues to go up. So we really need to give that some attention as well. We want places for those folks to stay versus having to leave Peachtree Corners. So when I heard that, I was very interested in that proposal because I think we’ve got a big housing shortage in that area. And I think we’ve got a big housing shortage for people, younger people who want to own versus just rent. Most people, if they’re 28, they’re not going to move into a $500,000 house. That’s just difficult.
Rico Figliolini 0:20:29
I think you had said active living community.
Alex Wright 0:20:33
Yeah. So this isn’t like at least my interpretation of it wasn’t assisted living or memory care. Like what you’re talking about active people, maybe they’re 55 and they want to move out of their 5000 square foot home into something smaller, which I know Waterside has got that as well. But they’ve got more some other stages as well. I don’t think this included that is significant housing piece that was the grocery store would stay but shrink the retail. So all the retail, the grocery store, it would move up closer to 141 and then the housing and maybe some other things could go further back. So you ultimately would take some of that cement that’s unused right now and put it to good use. When I say good use, they’re going to be able to monetize it. So it’s a win for them.
Rico Figliolini 0:21:29
I think they had a rendering you shared in your newsletter.
Alex Wright 0:21:32
Yes, there was actually several renderings. That one was just one of probably like four or five. We saw different kind of combinations of things.
Rico Figliolini 0:21:42
Alex Wright 0:21:43
The other ones were a little more like drawings, more so this one looked more appealing to the eye, I guess to illustrate what is possible.
Rico Figliolini 0:21:52
I was looking to see if I could put that up. What I’ll do is I’ll include that in our notes, show notes, so people can see that what that picture looks like. And actually we have a writer that’s doing some work on this. I think she interviewed you already. Or we’ll be reaching out to you.
Alex Wright 0:22:08
Yeah, I talked to her earlier, either earlier this week or late last week we had spoken. Right.
Rico Figliolini 0:22:14
So we’ll have a bit of an article on that with the picture. Certainly I would think I would hope also with something life that that maybe there’s a possibility at looking actually even looking at the rendering right now is CVS and Dunkin Donuts. Those are not out parcels or are they to that process?
Alex Wright 0:22:34
Those two parcels are not owned by the guy who owns the company that owns the shopping center.
Rico Figliolini 0:22:40
Got you. Okay. So those are ad parcels along with the former McDonald’s property that’s on the other side.
Alex Wright 0:22:46
That’s correct. And also the daycare center is also separate.
Rico Figliolini 0:22:52
So it’s just everything other than that the parking lot and then that strip around Ingles and all the shops along that park. Correct. Is what we’re talking about. Okay. Hoping there might be equity type housing. There life condos, but versus granted it’s active living apartments, but versus another set.
Alex Wright 0:23:15
Of apartments, I got the impression that you never know what someone’s going to propose but that they understood that, hey, there’s been a lot of apartments approved recently that we’re looking for some balance. So I think that was communicated as well, that we prefer at this point an equity product. I’m not retirement age, but if I was, if I was going to downsize maybe I’m an apartment briefly, but probably want to own something or at least have that opportunity. Because I talked to the city manager sometime about this, where if you’re trying to create activity, whether it be at the forum or the town center, I mean, who better to have than an active, retired person who’s got plenty of time on their hands and probably a lot of disposable income to give that kind of all day activity that places want to have where they’re from nine in the morning till ten at night. There’s people moving around. I think the trick with the ingles is how do you transport people around where they’re not having to constantly get in their car? You know, that’s something, I mean, listen.
Rico Figliolini 0:24:29
Lawrenceville is city of Lawrenceville is doing something downtown that they’re looking to be able to provide, like a walkable supermarket in the downtown area versus having to drive to a huge place where there’s a Walmart or a publix. Just having a local neighborhood grocer like you said, life the size of Sprouts or something much smaller.
Alex Wright 0:24:50
Well, those, the people that live in the town homes over at the Town Center, if you think about they can walk to a grocery store. I think there’s a dentist at form. They’re ready to walk across those doctor’s office. They could just about walk to anything they wanted to. So there’s some of that vibe already going on that’s very convenient to just you don’t have to hop in your car, right?
Rico Figliolini 0:25:14
So getting onto that more, of course there’s the flip sides of these things, right? The more density, people don’t want more density, more traffic. There’s already a bunch of traffic going up John’s Creek, never mind trying to get into Peachtree Corners. Life but the next development is what some people call Charlie Roberts property, which is, I think you called it the dirt hole behind Chase. That’s that empty lot that everyone sees if they’ve ever been to Chase or look at HWD Steakhouse that’s looking to hire, by the way, if anyone’s interested. And that’s right near Town Center. I mean, that’s all in the ground. And I think that is definitely zoned for apartments at this point because it’s part of that multi use track now. And they could go up seven stories, I think, or six stories or something like that. So tell us what’s going on there because that sounds like there’s a movement.
Alex Wright 0:26:07
At least going sounds life that property, mr. Roberts has owned it for I guess, 20 plus years and probably about 2016 he approached the city about getting it zoned from, I think it was commercial. He wanted to get it changed to apartments anyway. That was a big discussion, and the compromise was you can have some apartments, but it’s got to be connected to kind of like a boutique hotel. It was all going to be kind of the same building. And the zoning, he had four years to basically start coming out of the ground, and if he didn’t, the zoning would revert back to commercial. And so I think within like a year or so, he had gotten a hotel brand to go in.
Rico Figliolini 0:26:56
Indigo. I think it was the indigo.
Alex Wright 0:26:59
And shortly thereafter, the world flipped upside down with COVID and no one’s staying in hotels. And that blew his plan up, no fault of his. And by the time the four years came, he wasn’t able to pull that off. So it reverted back to commercial. And I don’t know all the details behind the scenes, but some time goes by, north American comes into the picture as part of their Peachtree Corners Life downtown idea. They also looked at that property as part of that larger development of how do we create activity feet on the ground. So it got rezoned from commercial to apartments. Now, Mr. Roberts company is the one that got the rezoning. Even though that night at the meeting north American if you didn’t really know what was going on, you would have thought that they were the one getting the rezoning, which kind of made sense because their plan was as soon as it got rezoned, they would buy it and it would be part of their plan.
Rico Figliolini 0:28:00
So that rezoning was never done on condition of the purchase. That was rezoned, period.
Alex Wright 0:28:06
Right. There was no time limit. There was no conditions anyway. So get the Rezoning plans to sell it to North American, and then interest rates start to go up on everybody, and it starts to make the financing problematic is my understanding, which I think that’s case for all of us, our own personal finances or stuff’s costing more now, whether it be inflation or interest rates. Anyway, so North American, they basically didn’t have the money lined up or the numbers didn’t make sense at this point because of those two things. And so that deal fell through. So then I suspect at least what we were hearing kind of behind the scenes was Mr. Roberts was floating it around to other potential buyers and kind of heard through the Great Vine recently that he had found a buyer. I don’t have the name in front of me.
Rico Figliolini 0:28:57
I think it’s Tur. Villager Papas.
Alex Wright 0:29:01
Yeah, I’m not familiar with the company, but I heard from various sources that deal would close at the end of July. And if you kind of been paying attention over the last few months that I call it the Dirt hole, it went from having huge mounds of rocks and debris in it to totally cleaned off, ready to build. So obviously there was stuff going. On behind the scenes. And now when it closes, I suspect that will move pretty quick because the zoning is already there. All they have to do now is get building permits from the city.
Rico Figliolini 0:29:37
Alex Wright 0:29:38
Probably I don’t know how long that takes, but suspect that if I bought a piece of property, I’d want to get it to use as quickly as possible. They get the buildings built the quicker the money comes in.
Rico Figliolini 0:29:50
So I think if anyone wants to know what type of properties they do if you go if you search Sola, S-O-L-I-S Suwani, you’ll see the type of apartments they do. They’re all over the southeast. The biggest things is they have probably about 15 communities either planned or in place in Georgia. Swani, Sugar Hill, Decatur, kennesaw, Dumwoody, Dunwood, Gainesville. Bunch of places, I think. Sugar Hill 294 class A apartment with 12,000ft of retail and restaurants. I don’t know if they’re looking to do if that ever came up in that conversation either, but that’s in Sugar Hills Town Center. So they’re doing stuff in these places. All right, so then we’ll find out, I guess towards the end of the month, if they close on that.
Alex Wright 0:30:42
Yeah, like I said, that was all just I think these are pretty good sources that have been talking about this.
Rico Figliolini 0:30:49
And I think that was zoned. Not only was that enveloped or taken into the multi use track of what Town Center is right. I think it was included into that. And they’re zones for similar unit count, probably 200. And if I remember right, 200 and 7280 apartments.
Alex Wright 0:31:06
Yeah, something in the mid upper 200s.
Rico Figliolini 0:31:08
Right. Okay. Either way, that would have been there whether it was North American properties or a new developer.
Alex Wright 0:31:16
Yeah. Once they got that rezoning back in September, there’s going to be apartments eventually with somebody.
Rico Figliolini 0:31:24
Okay, cool. Let’s talk a little bit about I think the city Marshall system is going to be stood up the end of this month or the beginning of August is what I understand.
Alex Wright 0:31:35
So the new fiscal year began July 1, and that’s really the first year we had money budgeted for this. So there’ll be three officers. My understanding is two have already been interviewing. They’ve identified two. I don’t know if they’ve officially been hired, but they’ve got two that are been offered jobs, I guess you could say, got you. And then the third, which would be, I think the head person, will come on a little bit later this year. So then there’ll be three initially, right?
Rico Figliolini 0:32:11
Alex Wright 0:32:13
Rico Figliolini 0:32:13
I mean, they still have to work through. I think some of the original some of the preliminary stuff was done, like type of cars, equipment, some stuff. But there’s a lot going to this. Right. Office spaces.
Alex Wright 0:32:26
Yeah. So we’re going to obviously have to expand the footprint of the government. Some of that will be upstairs. City hall at the top level is private company rents from the city, which actually been a great deal for us because it’s basically been almost like a duplex. Right? They’re paying for the mortgage force. Yeah. And then we’re buying another building over near the old City Hall that’ll give us some additional capacity.
Rico Figliolini 0:32:55
That one’s across from Curiosity Lab. Right. That’s wright on the street side, I guess.
Alex Wright 0:33:01
That’s correct. And then on that whole kind of complex, if you will, those two buildings, a lot of flexibility.
Rico Figliolini 0:33:08
So there’ll be more on that as we get more details to segue into why, to some degree, this wasn’t necessarily why, but conversations I had with city manager information from before makes sense for us to have a city marshal system because they can do things that Gweneck County Police either weren’t able to or really not shouldn’t be tasked to. Like code enforcement maybe, and stuff like that. And to be able to, the city can sort of put their police force where they feel most necessary.
Alex Wright 0:33:42
Wright yeah, that’s all very accurate. The Gwinnett County Police, I think they’re budgeted for 930 officers, and I want to say they’re staffed right now in the upper six hundred s. And I don’t think that’s unique to Gwinnett County. There’s an issue across the nation with we could spend all day speculating on the why of that. But anyway, they’re not able to be fully staffed right now. So if you’re down, say, 30%, you just going to prioritize where you’re sending folks. Sure, we have an intergovernmental agreement with Gwinnett County. They provide our police services, but we don’t have any control over what they do. We can ask, hey, can you do this, can you do that? But they ultimately have to make decisions beyond what’s best for Peachtree Corners life because the west precinct is pretty large area. So it’s been a combination of the things you mentioned. One they’re just understaffed, and then they also have been directed by the legal department of Gwinnett County that if there are any ordinances in a city that are city specific, that they are not to enforce those. And an example of this, several years ago in a neighborhood here in Peachtree Corners, there was apparently a pretty big party going on really loud, and people nearby called when that county showed up and there was, I guess a city specific ordinance regarding I think it was the noise. I don’t know all the details. And basically the police officer said, this is a code enforcement issue I’m not allowed to involve. And so he left and then the party continued unabated. There was a lot of people upset about that. That’s just to illustrate an example of where think about it, if you’re having that party and you know the police aren’t going to do anything, some people it could easily spin out of control. So it’s not something you want to have happen. Again, that’s just anecdotal but it illustrates where those are two issues we’ve got. And I think a third part. We’ve had some things over the last couple of years, some of these intersection takeovers where people would get frustrated and in some instances, the police did a great job. They got there and arrested a ton of people. And then there’s some other instances where because of other commitments in the west precinct, they didn’t show up for quite a while because they just didn’t have the resources, the stuff to go to the residents and say, hey, there’s nothing we can do about it. They expect more. So I think some of what we’re doing is us trying to, in a measured way, respond to, okay, we are doing something, we’re creating resources that we can control. With these three marshals been at a stop at the intersection takeover? No. However, we’re showing that we get it, that people are frustrated. And I just got our crime from Gwinnett County just today, and it only goes through May. So this is an update from my newsletter, but the numbers through May for the first five months type one crimes, which are the more serious kind, up 60% year over year through April is only 39%. So maybe May is anomaly, I don’t know. But that’s not a good trend.
Rico Figliolini 0:37:05
That’s in the city proper and Peachtree Corners. Yes, those types of crimes include felonies, robbery, burglary.
Alex Wright 0:37:18
They could be property crimes as well, you know, breaking into a car or, you know, simple assault. But yeah, they’re definitely the more serious kind, the one that people that’s the stuff you read about on next door where someone’s window got smashed in or it’s the kind that really make people feel unsafe.
Rico Figliolini 0:37:37
Yes. And then obviously we won’t get into it. But then there’s the crimes unreported, like smash and grab, three or four people running into a store, taking what they please.
Alex Wright 0:37:49
Rico Figliolini 0:37:50
We could go through that and spend more time on it, but that’s okay. Yeah. Hopefully I understand we’ll be plugged into to some degree with Fusis maybe even. And we’re adding cameras, led cameras and stuff. Not Led, I mean LPRs, I think.
Alex Wright 0:38:07
We’Ve got to say 50 of the LPRs. Maybe it’s not that many. We’ve also got 82 cameras at the town center. Like literally almost every inch of that is covered. And I think the city manager said the forum is going to get in on the Fusis program. I have mixed feelings about the cameras because you’ve got the kind of the creeping Big Brother aspect, but then on the other hand, there’s a force multiplier. I don’t know if you saw the thing that was on an E a few days ago about there’s a show called 48 Hours. I don’t normally watch it, but it was about the young man who got murdered at the QT, I guess it was last year. And so this is like a national show. Very interesting because it went into the whole gist of the show is for crimes to be solved, you basically have to get on top of things within 48 hours because then things start to go cold. And so they had all of the characters from what happened with all the police officers, the families, they had video of these people being interviewed at the police headquarters. They showed how they tracked them down with the cameras and it was fascinating. So I would encourage we get done. I’ll shoot you the link, but it’s really interesting. But it showed the power of the cameras. That was the key for them tracking these guys down, using cooperating with other municipalities to track these cars down.
Rico Figliolini 0:39:34
Yeah, remember the I mean, I haven’t seen that. I’ll share that in the show notes as well. But I knew that they were able to track them down into Atlanta through cameras and other things and fuses with part of it. But that would be great to see that back behind the scenes stuff.
Alex Wright 0:39:50
It was very interesting because some of it was recreated, but they had all of the police officers that were involved in it kind of acting, if you will, recreating what went down. It was very well done.
Rico Figliolini 0:40:04
Wow, cool. I think within a decade, you can’t hide anymore. At some point, if you’re in the city causing crime, I mean, it’s going to be tough unless you have a bandana on your face or something, a mask. And even then, I think, from what I understand, from what Fusis is doing even, and the technology out there, that they can pretty much fingerprint a car based on dense colors. So you don’t even have to see the license plate anymore almost to be able to ID a car eventually using AI. And the way they track these things, especially the muscle cars and the stuff that the guys that do the spinning of the wheels of the street takeovers, I mean, they’re not doing it with cheap cars. They’re doing with these big cars, these really bulk down, pimped out cars and stuff. I’m sorry, that’s the Brooklyn and me, it just came out on that. But okay, cool. So, I mean, there’s just a lot going on and you hit upon the acquisition of the property in Tech Park for the city that’s going to happen and it’s just other things going on. We still have zero millage rate. Yes, quite a bit of money, unspent money in the bank. Is it $59 million or something?
Alex Wright 0:41:22
That’s correct. Now, to be clear, a lot of that money, it’s not just we can spend on anything there. Some of it is earmarked. When I say earmarked, it’s money specifically has to be spent, say on stormwater or on lost money. It’s got requirements. We’ve created some specific savings funds for different things. So it’s not just all laying around. We can go crazy and it’s unallocated. But we are in a very strong financial position. One of the ratios that I like to mention that apparently in city finances is one of the things they measure is they look at, they call the general fund, which would be things other than Sploss and stormwater and say, well how much money do you have saved versus what they call operating budget. So if our operating budget is let’s say $20 million, well if we had $20 million say, that means basically twelve months of savings. If you think about it in your own personal life, sure. The gold standard in municipal finances is roughly three months. So we on a regular basis are at and beyond twelve months of that. So that’s a good measuring stick that you can kind of compare against cities across the nation. So to think that we’re able to do that with a zero millage rate and I would argue probably the main reason is because we’ve got so many businesses here. If you look at your business to kind of residential balance, we’re about 60 40. If you went up to say, Johns Creek, it’s more like 80 20, which is the reason their property taxes, they’ve got one and we don’t. So we’re a very unique municipality in that regard. So that’s one of the reasons that is so important. The council is so focused on, hey, how do we help revitalize tech part because that’s the golden goose, if you will, that keeps us able to have a zero military. And that’s ultimately where your average person is going to pay attention to what’s going on is when suddenly say, hey, we’re going to start taking money from you. They’ll perk over and say, hey, what the heck is going on? You don’t want to do that.
Rico Figliolini 0:43:41
Spoken to a few people about like just because it’s Technology Park and its offices doesn’t mean it can’t be revamped into something a bit different. I’d love to see this college campuses that have offshoot. GSU has a satellite campus in Dunwoody, I think. And there’s no reason why Georgia Tech for example, can’t have a satellite campus here in Peachtree Corners taken over several buildings. I mean there’s things like that that can happen if it’s attractive enough for certain places, right?
Alex Wright 0:44:14
Yeah, no absolutely. I know the mayor has been a big proponent of trying to get the Gwinnett College or Gwynette Tech I can’t remember to open up a campus Peachtree Corners life that I don’t know the stats of that, but literally from day one, he has been an advocate for getting a local college presence here, which I think would be a great idea.
Rico Figliolini 0:44:33
Yeah, especially if it’s a technology based type of school. So yeah, I can see that. That would be great. The only other thing I would love to see is an art theater center, a complex of some sort.
Alex Wright 0:44:47
Be surprised if that I think that’s probably going to happen. I don’t know the timing but I’m just speculating here that. I would bet you in five years that the city’s got some type of facility. Again, it’d probably be like a private public partnership, something like that, if not sooner, is kind of my speculation.
Rico Figliolini 0:45:07
Good to say. Good to hear. All right, so before we end, I know it’s sold out, I think, so there’s no more places for it. But the Decathlon, the third annual Decathlon that you’re really invested and involved in and actually started was the founder of it, if you will. Can you tell us that’s coming up in October? October 21.
Alex Wright 0:45:30
That’s correct. October 21. So it’s held over at the fitness trail out the town green. And if you’ve never there’s a new playground there. If you ever kind of venture into the woods beyond the playground, that’s where all the fitness trail is. And kind of the origins of that. Not to go into too much detail, but I’m a member of the Y, and they used to have kind of a similar concept at the Y to raise money, and it was meant different things inside the Y. But basically the way it works is you would have ten events at the decathlon, and you had five minutes at each obstacle, if you will, and the quicker you finished it, someone will record your time, and then the rest of the five minutes was your rest, if you will. So it’s almost like capitalism. The harder you go, the more time off you got. So anyway, they would add up all the times, composite. Whoever had the lowest time was the winter. So we took that idea out to the fitness trail, and it’s very much a niche kind of thing, because some of the obstacles, like climbing ropes, most people can’t do that. It’s often kind of difficult to explain to people what it is. But I’m pretty excited because we sold out, like, in a month. And the reason there’s only a certain number of slots, because the capacity to handle a lot of folks is just kind of limited. But the word is spreading to kind of cross the north metro area. We’ve got a waitlist. And my biggest concern always is rain, because nothing I can do about that. The week leading up on just kind of a nervous rate, like, please don’t rain. But yeah, they got some really impressive people that come out and do it. It makes you realize how old you are when you see some of these ladies. I’m pretty excited about it. Definitely have a passion for it. I love going out to the fitness trail. I’ll just be walking through there and you’ll see people of all ages trying to do different things. And if you think about kind of our state of physical fitness, if you will, like in the country where my own kids, they’re on video games or whatever, where you see people out doing something, I love to see that. Especially like the younger kids, even if they can’t necessarily climb a rope, they’re intrigued through stuff, whether the playground, whatever. It’s great seeing that.
Rico Figliolini 0:48:01
Just get out there and do something, right.
Alex Wright 0:48:04
Rico Figliolini 0:48:05
So 72 available slots, all gone. There’s a waiting list now, and we’ll have the Hype video, if you will, on our show notes. This way people can see what it’s all about rather than trying to envision it. So it’s a great video. I think Titan Pictures put that one together.
Alex Wright 0:48:22
Yeah, jim Stone did some videos from last year’s, and most of the people in there are local residents that you might recognize. That’s the other thing that’s kind of neat about it is very much a local kind of a community building activity.
Rico Figliolini 0:48:37
Very cool to see it. We’ve come to the end of our time together. This a little longer than we had planned, so I appreciate you hanging in there with me, Alex, and talking through this. Yeah, no, I think hopefully everyone listening to this or reading the synopsis of this, because we’ll be doing a short piece on this as well. Will know quite a bit more about what’s going on in the city. So appreciate you being with me, Alex. Thank you.
Alex Wright 0:49:03
Yeah, thank you.
Rico Figliolini 0:49:04
Stay with me for a second as I just close out. I just want to say thank you to everyone. If you’re listening to this on Audio Life, Apple podcast or something, like or review us, give us a star rating because this way people can find us. If you’re listening to this on YouTube or our Facebook page, feel free to share it with people or tag people in the comments that may want to find out a little bit more about what’s going on in the city of Peachtree Corners. Again, I want to thank our sponsors, EV Remodeling Inc. You can find them at evremodelinginc.com. And Clearwave Fiber. You can find them also on our link in our profiles as well. Thanks again and hope to see you soon.
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High Museum of Art Presents Exhibition of 19th-Century Black Potter from the American South
Highlights from the 2023 JapanFest [PHOTOS]
New Retail Concepts Join Merchandise Collection at The Forum Peachtree Corners
Israeli Startup Brings Intelligent Traffic Solution to Peachtree Corners
Norcross High School Student Lisa Van Ness named a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist
DW1 Unveils New Peachtree Corners Headquarters and Brand Identity
DW1 Unveils New Peachtree Corners Headquarters and Brand Identity
Israeli Startup Brings Intelligent Traffic Solution to Peachtree Corners
New Retail Concepts Join Merchandise Collection at The Forum Peachtree Corners
Norcross High School Student Lisa Van Ness named a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist
Highlights from the 2023 JapanFest [PHOTOS]
What’s Happening at Pinckneyville Community Center this Month
High Museum of Art Presents Exhibition of 19th-Century Black Potter from the American South
How to Attend Major League Pickleball’s Upcoming Tournament in Peachtree Corners, Sept. 21-24
Light up the Corners [Video]
Capitalist Sage: Business Leadership in Your Community [Podcast]
Cliff Bramble: A Culinary Adventure through Italy
Top 10 Brunch Places in Gwinnett County
A Hunger for Hospitality
THE CORNERS EPISODE 3 – BLAXICAN PART 1
Top 10 Indoor Things To Do This Winter
The ED Hour: What it takes to Remove Barriers from Education
Topics and Categories
Photo Gallery5 days ago
Highlights from the 2023 JapanFest [PHOTOS]
Business3 days ago
New Retail Concepts Join Merchandise Collection at The Forum Peachtree Corners
Smart City and Innovations3 days ago
Israeli Startup Brings Intelligent Traffic Solution to Peachtree Corners
Education3 days ago
Norcross High School Student Lisa Van Ness named a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist