Connect with us

City Government

V2X Mobility, Path to Fitness and Getting Back to Work, with Alex Wright



In this episode of Peachtree Corners Life, Rico talks with Councilmember Alex Wright about new programs coming from Curiosity Lab, economic advancements in the city, plus the October V2X Conference, the expansion of the Path to Fitness trail, and additional improvements to Town Center.


City Website: Alex Wright

[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:01:12] – Coming back to work after COVID
[00:06:38] – Government Work Post COVID
[00:10:20] – V2X Conference
[00:13:22] – Autonomous Vehicle Usage
[00:21:14] – Fitness Trail Updates
[00:26:55] – Creating Anchors
[00:41:48] – Closing

“I think that (companies) realize they’re not going to be going back to what it was with everyone there five days a week, no exceptions. But I also think that, with some exceptions, that being remote, like all the time… maybe that’s not the best model either, because I think you do need the human contact on some level too…So I think there’ll be some kind of mix. Each company will figure out what works for them.”

Alex Wright

Podcast Transcript

Rico: [00:00:30] Hi everyone. This is Rico Figliolini host of Peachtree Corners Life. Glad that you’re able to join us. We have a special guest today. But before we get to Alex, I’m gonna just want to say thank you to our listeners for being out there. This is brought to you by Peachtree Corners Magazine and we are moving on to a full schedule where we should be posting every week a new podcast. Of different interviews with different people of different parts of the city. But today we have the city council member with us. We have Alex Wright of district three. Who’s been a city council member since 2012, actually. So let’s bring Alex on, let’s bring him right in here. Hey, Alex. How are you?

Alex: [00:01:10] I’m good. Good afternoon.

Rico: [00:01:12] Yeah. Good to have you here. So we’re recording this on a Wednesday afternoon. This is going to be simulcast live on Facebook and YouTube in a few days. So I’m glad that you’re going to be with us and we’re going to be talking over the next half hour about things going on in the city, things that are near and dear to your heart, and being able to be able to talk about experiences you’ve had and some new things going on in the city. So I’m glad to have you with us. So the first thing you know, I have to ask you because it’s been a long time since I’ve had you on and we’ve gone through COVID. I know you worked for a major corporation, a consumer corporation out there. You know, how has it been being able to transition now? Being that people are coming back to work to a degree. There’s some hybrid stuff going on. There’s still some remote stuff going on. Quite a bit of that, actually. And if I listened to the recruiters. It sounds like no one wants to go back to work and no one wants to, I should go back into the office to work. They all want to be remote. And so how are you finding it out there? Corporate and government wise working?

Alex: [00:02:18] I think our company, like probably most companies are kind of feeling their way about where they want to end up. I think that they realize they’re not going to be going back to what it was with everyone there five days a week, no exceptions. But I also think that with some exceptions that being remote, like all the time. And there’s exceptions to that that maybe that’s not the best model either, because I think you do need the human contact on some level to, you know, especially for if you’re bringing on new employees. You know, how do you integrate them into the culture of your company? How do you bond with them, which you can do it remotely. It’s just, I don’t think as effective. So I think we’re no different than pretty much any organization. Just trying to figure that out. There was an article recently, in the wall street journal about two of the big investment banks there. That were going back, you know, just like we were before. And the article was talking about how some of their competitors are looking at that as an opportunity to steal some of their workers away.

Rico: [00:03:24] Right.

Alex: [00:03:24] And I do think that I’ve recently hired someone a few months ago and probably like in their late twenties, early thirties, like one I interviewed was about that age. And that was a consistent question I got was what is going to be your new normal. And I do think that that will become something people will look at. When they’re, you know, they got the salary, they got the location and all the different things. That’ll be something that they’ll compare with. And I think if you’re a company that says we’re going be old school, you will probably have to pay some type of premium to get people to do that because it is a, I mean, my office is over in the Braves stadium when I used to have to commute over the top end every day. And that was a quality of life issue. And not having to do that, you get two hours of your day back that you can, maybe you’re not working those full two hours, but you’re definitely working some of that. So the company to a certain extent is getting more production and there’s plenty of evidence that shows that that’s the case. So I think there’ll be some kind of mix. Each company will figure out what works for them.

Rico: [00:04:33] That’s interesting. I was listening to that wall street journal podcast, actually, that article. And they were talking about, I think it was Chase and Morgan Stanley where they said, no, we want people in because even though they learn all this stuff in college, they really are reeducated when they get into that environment of trade investment and all that stuff, investment banking. I guess, because they want to teach them trade secrets you really can’t learn over Zoom. Because you don’t want people to recording those things, maybe, I don’t know. But it’s kind of interesting how they frame it. Like you said, that you have to, some jobs need to be done, I guess, to degree in person. But most jobs I think people are finding out just as easily doing it remotely and actually better. You know, you save two hours of transit. You’re probably more enthusiastic about your job then you would be a few traveled an hour to get and then leaving late or something.

Alex: [00:05:28] Yeah. When I did have to start going back a little bit in April, you know, I sit there. Because when I would go back, there was no one at the office. It was just a handful of people there. And I thought to myself, you know, spent this time getting ready in the morning, driving, you know, and then I’ll sit there in my office by myself to a certain extent. I’m thinking this  really doesn’t make any sense. It kind of brought home like the insanity of, you know, of doing that every day. But like I said, I do think that you need some, you know, some level of, I mean, just think about what we’re like in my job, you know, we go and visit different sites with people at factories and whatnot a few times a year. And one of the main reasons you’re doing it is just to kind of establish that, you know, that human bond with people. So I do think you need that. But like this whole collaboration idea where you’ve had offices, okay, we’re going to have this open concept and everyone’s going to sit together, do one of those offices. And then you find out that the studies say, well, actually people are less collaborative because they’re sitting there at these long desks with earbuds in and because everyone’s getting on each other’s nerves. So I do think there’s a balance there.

Rico: [00:06:38] Yeah, that makes sense. I agree with you. And obviously to come in during COVID that was never. It’s not even a good idea anymore, right? Being everyone out in the open like that. So yeah. And certain jobs like a judge Tracie Cason on my last podcast talked about how, as a judge, they did do video, a lot of video. But she said, really, you want to be able to see that person and interact with them in an in-person fashion because otherwise the other way around, it’s just too cold. And I’m sure the judgment day will be different by doing it that way. But so working with government though, because know, you have the private side and now you have the government side. How has that been, being able to do city council meeting work sessions? How has that worked out?

Alex: [00:07:30] Yeah, I would say in that case, so last night we had a work session and it was the first time we were back in the, I can’t remember the name of the room, but it’s you know, we’re real close together. Prior to that we had been either remote or in this big open space and you know sitting 20 feet apart. And I would say, because think about like with the council, there’s seven people. And especially at work sessions, it’s kind of a free flowing conversation. And I did find when we were remote or even when it was spread out, it’s much more, the conversation would just not go as well. It’s not like people were arguing, but it just didn’t have that natural flow to it because either you couldn’t see the person or maybe someone’s screen wasn’t working and, you know, sometimes it’s just that, you know, just the facial expressions. So I would say when you’ve got a situation where you’ve got to, think about even in a zoom call, normally you’ve got somebody leading the meeting and everyone’s just kind of listening. It’s not a, seven people talking potentially talking at the same time. So I think that for that particular scenario, it helps to be in person and close together. And that was the kind of feedback we were hearing last night that, you know, the mayor made several comments about how happy he was that we were all back together in that more intimate environment. And I would agree with that.

Rico: [00:08:54] Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I’ve been on zoom calls where there’s 12 or 10. 10 to 12 people, and it’s impossible to really get a sense of a room if you will, when you’re all in different rooms. And you can’t even read the room, if you will, of what’s going on and how to interact with people. Yeah. It’s, that’s a tough thing to be able to do that. I don’t know how the Congress has done that when they’ve done  those zoom meetings for like CSPAN meetings and stuff. It’s just, yeah, that’s a tough thing. So are you all glad that you’re back? I guess, are you all you know, I mean everyone’s either vaccinated or masked or whatever? I mean, actually I don’t, I don’t think the city buildings need to, I don’t think you guys need to have masks. That was removed.

Alex: [00:09:42] I believe that the policy is, if you have not been vaccinated that you’re encouraged to wear a mask, but it’s not mandatory. And that’s what I’ve seen. Or like in my regular job, same kind of thing. Like if you, same rules. It’s like, if you haven’t been vaccinated, you know, we’re encouraged to wear a mask, but otherwise you know, it’s kind of back to normal. And that’s what I think everyone on the council has been vaccinated. Maybe one person hasn’t, I can’t remember, we don’t really talk about it. But last night there was nobody, nobody on the council was wearing a mask. There was a few people in the audience but very much kind of back to normal.

Rico: [00:10:20] Cool. So let’s jump into some of the other things going on in the city. I know, you know, obviously Curiosity Lab has been gaining some more momentum now. I think there’s things going on there. So give us a little bit of background,  what’s been happening the last few months.

Alex: [00:10:35] So just to kind of give a little context because I was prepping for this call, you know, cause we got kind of a regular job and that kind of thing. And it was almost like, you know, when we created this thing a few years ago, and then the staff took the idea and breathed life into it and started doing a lot of really amazing things with it. It’s like an analogy might be, you’ve got this kid who lives at your house and then the kid leaves and goes off to college and then goes into their career. You kind of know what’s going on, but you don’t know, you don’t know all the particulars of all the details until they come home and visit you and say, Hey, this is what I’ve been doing. That’s almost like what’s going on. Where, so I’m just going to tell you some of the things I do know, and I suspect there’s a lot more out there that I’m just not tuned into. But a couple of big things and that you’re probably familiar with some of these. You know, there’s a conference coming up in October V2X, which is a really big deal. It’s going to be in three sites across the planet. Silicon valley, I can’t remember the exact city, Frankfurt Germany, and then Peachtree Corners. And it’s going to be, you know, headquartered out of Curiosity Lab, but obviously the two major hotels will be involved. And we’re going to be bringing in some autonomous vehicles actually before the conference. Because that’s kind of what the whole thing is about is you know, integrating vehicles, other types of technology where you’re able to move around autonomously. So obviously having those vehicles there will be a need. But I think as a minimum, the minimum goal, but they’re expecting at a minimum 500 out of town guests, maybe up to a thousand. And that will be the 19th to the 21st of October. So they just told us a few weeks ago about this, but it’s a pretty big deal to get picked. If you think about, you know, who the other two locations are, you know, to be in the same sentence with those two. I don’t know I mean, I’ve been to Frankfurt, Germany. I don’t know how big of a tech center it is in Europe, but it’s obviously a major city in Europe for no doubt, definitely from a financial standpoint. So that’s a really big deal. That’s the first time we’ve had a conference. Because if you  think about Curiosity Lab, we launched it September, 2019. And then four or five months later, bam, you know, the world stops. So the momentum we had going, you know, we had the Olli out there. Had to pull that because who’s gonna ride it?

Rico: [00:13:13] Right. And that was after I think the Smart City Expo also in September, I think, or June of that year.

Alex: [00:13:22] Yeah. So that’s the big thing on the horizon in three months. And I’ve made a couple of notes here. And one of the things that I think is going to be interesting about this conference is that, and some of this is kind of inside baseball, but, you know, normally you go to these things and you’ll have an initial big meeting and then they’ll have the breakout sessions. And then the breakout session ends and everyone just kind of trickles away. So we’re going to turn that model on its head, where they’re going to start out the day in these breakout sessions. And then they’re going to end the day at the Town Green, like with a big kind of get together. Which I think will be very conducive for, not lobbying, but just networking. And that’s a great venue for that. Because part of this is an economic development play, I mean Curiosity Lab was. And so to take it to, what I would argue is probably one of our two biggest achievements since we’ve become a city. You know, Curiosity Lab, and then the Town Center. You know, taking that, all those people are from out of town. They were just going to drop you off here, you know, 500, 1000 people. I thought that was a pretty good idea to switch, which set up. So you’ve already got them there and they’re just gonna hopefully stay and spend some money.

Rico: [00:14:39] Yeah. I mean that, that’s the whole idea of having conferences and conventions, right? Drawing economic, drawing money to the towns that are doing it. Yeah it makes a lot of sense.

Alex: [00:14:49] So yeah, last night at the work session. So we were talking a little bit about this, but they’re going to have two companies that are going to be coming in. And I think this is going to happen before the conference. Three different autonomous vehicles, similar to Olli, but two different companies that are going to be coming and testing. And then I think even during the conference, there’s going to be more than just three vehicles because you know what I had said all along was for people to be willing to get on one of these things and travel, it’s gotta be a viable option to getting in your car. Which means it’s gotta come by more often, every 10 minutes. Otherwise people would say, well, what’s the point? So I do think they’re going to try to have, I’ve heard as many as 8 to 10 running on the track. You know, so think about you get out of a breakout session at Curiosity Lab, Hey, let’s go to Andrew B or let’s go back to our hotel. And everything’s kind of right there, or Kettle Rock, which is on the other end. So that was some of the announcement last night. And another interesting announcement, and this is the part I’m really excited about was so we’re in the process or the staff’s in the process of negotiating an IGA. An Intergovernmental Agreement with the state DOT. Which would allow the autonomous vehicles to travel up to the Town Center from Curiosity Lab. Because the reason we’re able to do what we’re able to do now is the city controls that road. So we didn’t have to negotiate with anyone about rights to do that. But as soon as…

Rico: [00:16:28] Technology Parkway road?

Alex: [00:16:31] Yes, Technology that’s right. But you know, the minute you drive off the Technology Parkway, say out to Spalding, or 141, you’ve got to get permission. So what they’re talking about doing is using that very wide sidewalk along the 141 as a conduit to get down to the town center. Which, what a lot of people don’t know is the origins of the whole project. When we were initially this whole thing came up, it was really about a mobility initiative of, this was before the virus of course, we can’t control people driving through Peachtree Corners, but we can potentially make it easier to get around Peachtree Corners. And so that was kind of the initial idea is, you know, how do we, you know, do that? And I’m glad that they went the direction they did. Because one of the things I’d have been worried about is this thing would have turned into like the shuttle down in Atlanta where no one rides it and it’s like, okay, you’re wasting your money. So this turned out to be a much, you know, the staff made a much better decision to go this route. But you know, the goal, well one of the goals remains, you know, how do we make it easier to get around Peachtree Corners? How do we take people out of their cars if they want to of course and give them this other option to get around?

Rico: [00:17:53] So are you saying the DOT. So what Peachtree Parkway I think most people know it’s a state highway, state parkway. So it’s the state handles all that, the DOT. So you’re, the city is looking to get permission, not to drive on Peachtree Parkway but to have a mobility vehicle riding along that wide asphalt path. That’s like almost a wide sidewalk that goes along 141.

Alex: [00:18:18] That’s correct. So that’s still falls within the states right of way. So they ultimately control that as well. But I think, I’m just speculating here, but if I’m the DOT I’m thinking, okay, this was a good way to kind of test this concept out without getting an action on the road where something bad could happen.

Rico: [00:18:38] So does that, now I’m trying to figure out, trying to remember about, if that goes straight. I know that that goes past Wesleyan and continues on past  where Lidl is? The shopping center over there.

Alex: [00:18:50] You’re talking about the really wide sidewalk? I mean, it goes up you know, cause they just, they just finished connecting it and after they built the bridge. That was the, initially there was no sidewalk there. Well that now finished that out and then it’s just as wide. So you could, I mean, you, if this became more permanent, obviously you’d need to do something other than just have the sidewalk. I don’t know what that looks like. But just the fact that the DOT is willing to talk to us now. Like it’s that’s a really big deal.

Rico: [00:19:19] Wow. Okay. That would be, I mean, that would certainly extend the use of vehicles like that outside that, that area, that 1.4 mile track.

Alex: [00:19:30] Yeah. I mean, because ultimately, if you’re just, you know, you’re just going about your day to day, you know life people say, well, you spent all this money on  Curiosity Lab, what’s it doing for me? Or you know, I don’t see anything going on there. I mean, the reality is there’s a lot of testing going on that, none of us see. But I think it is important that we have vehicles out there. Because ultimately what people are interested in is, well, how am I benefiting from this? My, you know, my day-to-day existence. That’s just human nature. So when you, when you can put something out there where people are like, well, I might actually be able to use this and improve my day somehow. They get more supportive of it.

Rico: [00:20:11] Now I can see us getting to the point where we have 5g throughout the city. And having that throughout the city because we’re small enough that I think the city can do it as an infrastructure plan, right? To be able to build 5g technology. So then that’s what autonomous vehicles need right? The 5g to be able to speak to everything. To be able to do that means that these vehicles don’t have to be, then they could just be right on the road with the rest of us eventually. You know, maybe that’s 10 years from now, but I can see that happening. Yeah, that’s cool. I can’t wait for that.

Alex: [00:20:45] Like I said, that was news that we just got last night. And like I said, I’m particularly excited because that is part of the, like I said the origin story of the whole project. So to see that that’s still, we’re still pursuing that. Because I think ultimately the public would probably be more interested in that than all the kind of cool research that’s coming out because they’re like, well, that’s not, that’s not doing anything for me there. At least that’s tangible.

Rico: [00:21:14] Right. No, and I get that. Although, you know, part of that builds on, everything builds on itself. So, but I do get that. And I do, you know, as someone that lives here in the city and is active in the city also, I can’t wait for that part to be a daily part of people’s lives. You know where, you know, maybe there is a,  where we have our own transportation system within the city that people can just loop through to get to different areas of the city. To get to different retail parts, hotel, to retail, to restaurants. That’d be cool, right? Yeah. So now, if we’re talking about town center and getting there, there’s all sorts of things going on. Let’s touch upon that a little bit about town center. You know, there’s quite a few things coming there. Peachtree Corners Festival is going to be there this summer for the first time. Do you want to share, is there, you know, I know you’ve been active in the fitness trail. I think that we call it right. Getting that built out and I was there just the other day and I noticed a few, I think, one new. I don’t know, there’s a couple of new things. I hadn’t been there in a while. So then I saw that it expanded a little bit. It looked like. So maybe you want to tell us a little bit about that.

Alex: [00:22:22] Yeah. So I think the official name they came up with is a Path to Fitness, which is kind of a neat, you know, play on words. But for the people who are, I’m always kind of interested when. People email me or I’ll bump into them. Like, I didn’t even know it was there. You know, there was the Town Green, cause it’s kind of in the woods and you don’t necessarily notice it. But you know, for the listeners who aren’t that familiar, coming into the Town Green, you know, there’s a series of woods there. There’s actually a path through the woods that they had cut for the first few concerts for people to get from another parking lot. And then we you know, put some obstacles on there. It’s kinda like an obstacle course, really. So there’s 10 different obstacles on there. There’s monkey bars, wall climb, rope climb, all kind of stuff. And one of the things that I found interesting is a lot of times when I’m over there, you know, just kind of out for a walk, that when I say young people, I’m not talking just teenagers. But you’ll have like kids 8, 10. It’s like, they want to go play where the big people are. Like, it’s kind of got a cool factor to it if you will. So to your question about what’s coming next. So a couple of things. One, you know, there is a playground on the Green, not a full playground, but there’s a couple of things you can do. They’ve got the hill with a slide and they’ve got a couple of climbing devices. And what we’ve seen is that those are often just over swarming with kids, which is great. That’s what we want. But they need some more things to do. And so we’re actually going to build another playground kind of catty-corner to that. So if you’re facing the Cinebistro where the stage is, and you look to the left. We’re going to take some of that area in the woods and put some new things in there that’s still TBD. And actually the city manager and I are actually meeting Friday morning with a, I guess, a consultant for lack of better word, to help. I mean we kind of have an idea of what we want, but this person kind of helps you envision it. But what we’re hoping is that will start after the concerts in this fall and that maybe we’ll have it done by year end. So that will be an additional  playground area. In addition to that, on the actual, on the Path to Fitness, we’re going to be adding four new obstacles that hopefully will be in by September. So that’s going to be…

Rico: [00:24:52] So the fit, so the other part, the kids part though, I understood, that maybe it’s slightly older kids? Like middle school age. So it won’t be like small scale stuff it’ll be a little bit more challenging for like middle-schoolers.

Alex: [00:25:08] Yeah. So you’re not going to have like a two or three-year-old on it. But you know, I sit there and I was just telling you by the kind of the fitness trail, which is really designed for adults and how like little kids are going to get on it. So I suspect that you’ll have kids from, you know, six up. You know, but we want it to be kind of challenging enough where. You know, maybe some of the kids that are out on the fitness trail will also use that. Cause it really almost gets too crowded sometimes, there’s so many people. Which is a good, you know, that’s a good problem to have. So that’s why we wanted to put even more amenities in there. You know, cause you’ve always got, I mean, I have four kids. I don’t know how many times my wife tells me, you know, get off the computer, you know, go do something. So when you see all those kids out there, that’s a great thing, they’re running around exercising. We want to encourage that and add more things. So hopefully all that will be done later this year.

Rico: [00:25:58] Cool. And the four things that, because I interrupted you, sorry. The four things that you were saying to the Path of Fitness trail, what are the four other items you’re adding there?

Alex: [00:26:07] So one of them will be like think about like rings, you know, like you’re up in the air, like grabbing rings, you’re going from ring the ring. So there’ll be one of those. Two other kind of like what climbing, imagine like a wall that’s an inverse wall where you’re climbing like up like this. So a couple of different devices like that. So a lot of them…

Rico: [00:26:32] Like almost rock climbing type of thing?

Alex: [00:26:34] Yeah, a little bit like that. But like I said, it is more of an obstacle course type stuff. And I’ve been amazed like how much kids. Like, you’ll see kids climb on this rope, you know, it’s a 20 foot high rope and I never could climb a rope when I was, you know, 8 or 10. So that’s been, some people with some skills out there for sure.

Rico: [00:26:55] That’s true. Almost scary to see them do that. Cool. So there’s a lot of, that’s great that the city is looking to do that, to utilize that space. When I was out there just the other day. I think it was a few days ago, actually, I was walking out there early morning. And I’m seeing more of the town, the townhouses being built that surrounds there. I’m almost feeling like everything looks a little smaller. Almost felt like the veterans Memorial looked a little smaller than I remembered it from a year ago let’s say. And I guess part of that is because you’ve got the town houses closer in now.

Alex: [00:27:27] Yeah, no, I know what you’re talking about. Once they got right up on top of it’s the same kind of vibe. But you know, one of the things like from the beginning, what we wanted to create was kind of an intimate feeling, if you will. Like we went up to Suwanee to talk to them, to, you know, kind of lessons learned. And, you know, they’ve got a beautiful facility up there. But one of the things that’s a kind of a downside for them is they’ve got two major roads that borders their Town Green, and it’s pretty extensive. I think there’s is like seven acres, the green.

Rico: [00:28:07] It’s fairly big. It’s bigger than ours. Yeah.

Alex: [00:28:09] And ours is about two acres. And what we wanted, one of the things we wanted to do is be able to you know parents can come. They’ve got their little kids and not that a two or three-year-old old, can’t still run off. But you know, if you’re able to sit there and sit in one of those green rocking chairs and your kid’s just out there in the green, running around. It’s a lot easier to keep an eye on them, not worried about them getting run over because there’s literally, you’ve got to really work to get near a car.

Rico: [00:28:40] That’s for sure. Yeah. No, they would really have to get right off and a parent would not be paying attention at all for them to get lost then.

Alex: [00:28:48] Yeah. And speaking of the townhouses, that was one of the things that when we went to Suwannee, it was kind of, they had an interesting concept. They called it the beach concept and what they meant by that was, they said, build the beach first. And what they meant was build the town green first, that’s the beach. And then the people who want to live at the beach. You know, certain  people like living at the beach, some people don’t. They will then kind of know what they’re getting in for like, okay, we’re going to buy one of these townhomes it’s on the green. There’s going to be noise. And we want that. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping because you know, if you spend $700,000 and you get right there on the green. I’m hoping that those, whoever those people are don’t call us to say, Hey, there’s a lot of noise.

Rico: [00:29:35] You know, I asked someone about that that was looking to downsize. And I said, and they were about the same price range, I guess they were downsizing too if you will, from a big house to like a townhouse. And I said, why don’t you look at one of those that’s on the green? Because if you’re out on your porch, you can be sipping on a bourbon and watching the concert playing across the way.

Alex: [00:29:57] That’ right.

Rico: [00:29:58] And they were like, nah, that’d be too much noise. Now, of course, they’re looking to retire. They were like heading into their sixties and stuff. So everyone has a different feel about it, right? I wouldn’t mind that because, I mean, obviously the concert’s over by 10, 10:30, 11. Usually, I mean, that’s, it just depends on the individual, I guess.

Alex: [00:30:21] Yeah. I mean, it’s you know, yeah. They’re normally over by 10. Well, there’s 10 of them a year. Yeah, it just depends on the person, you know. It’s like, I wouldn’t want to be necessarily right on the green, but if you think about living in those townhomes, you can walk to restaurants, you can walk to a grocery store, you can walk over the bridge to a dentist office, to a doctor’s office. I don’t go to movies much, but if you wanted to go to a movie. I mean, literally just about anything you want, you could could walk to. So it’s, and you’re seeing this across the country. You’re seeing it across Gwinnett county where people wanna live in these kind of denser downtowns, if you will, that walkability. That’s really what we were trying to create.

Rico: [00:31:06] Yeah. It’s interesting how people can be lazy in a way. Because you know, the parking let’s say at the forum, the parking in the middle near the retail, everyone wants to go there. But parking away from it, that’s the last place you want to park because then you’ve got to walk, right? So like you’re saying I mean, if you live on the green, if you’re living in one of those townhouses, you can walk to anything within minutes. It’ll be interesting to see when that if Roberts, Charlie Roberts ends up putting up, I don’t think a hotel will go up because at this point, I mean, that’s one of those things that may not happen, right? But 160 apartment complex, seven stories overlooking town center. I don’t know if most people know it would be behind the Chase Bank. That open air that’s been knocked right out. But that could be interesting, 160 families you know, going out onto the town green getting to the movies, eating and stuff. Those are apartments, you know. I mean, it could be interesting. A lot more density, like you said. So are you also, you know, with all this trail stuff, and I know one of the things you were thinking about it was maybe,   you know, with Peachtree Corners Festival coming in September to the town green and outside the roads actually. Because I think part of the Peachtree Corner Circle road is going to be taken up by the festival if I understand correctly. So more events are going to be happening at town center and in this area. Bigger events like this. One of the things you were talking about you know, at one point before we started this was possibly a competition, maybe something similar to a decathlon or some sort of fitness competition that maybe could happen at town green, maybe backing up using that path of fitness. I mean, so there’s all sorts of things that the city can still draw upon, right? Events and such.

Alex: [00:32:53] Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, I kind of view, this is just a term I came up with, but, you know, creating anchors. What I mean by those, things that people want to live near. I mean, often you have natural anchors. People want to live near water, you know, whether it be a river or lake.  You know, so in the case of Peachtree Corners, that would be our anchors as the Chattahoochee river. Like I live right near Berkeley lake. That’s an anchor Wesleyan, my kids don’t go there, but I know there’s people who move here to be close to that school. Tech Park, you know, that’s an anchor. So anytime, and I would argue that Curiosity Lab is an anchor where we’ve had companies relocate just to be near it. And so the town center is a new anchor. I would argue that the green itself is more important than the town center. In that if you go to the town center, on a Sunday or a Saturday afternoon, there’s literally hundreds of people. They’re just hanging out loitering, relaxing. You go across the street to the forum. There’s no, you know, there’s nowhere to do that. I mean, people want to have that. And it was interesting when we were initially going through this with a developer, they had no interest in green space. Because, you know, they couldn’t quantify, they couldn’t monetize it. So they didn’t want to do it. And that’s one of the reasons why the city ended up owning a bunch of it, because that was the only way to make the numbers work. Where, you know, we weren’t worried about making money per se, off of the green. And I think what maybe the developers are starting to see is people will pay, you know, people are paying $700,000 to live on that green because they want to be near the action. And, you know, hopefully what we’ll see maybe across the street at the forum is that they’ll kind of pick up on that and say, we need something that will, you know, an activation area that people want to hang out. I mean, the forum’s a neat place. There’s just nowhere to hang out. Except looking at a parking lot.

Rico: [00:34:54] Yeah, no, I totally agree. I think I had this conversation  with Brian Johnson at one point where I, where my feeling is the way things are going, for example, there’s about 13 retail shops that are closed there. I counted that last weekend. And I think Pooch and Paws actually is closed now. So that’s, that was up there too. So that may make it 14 now that are closed retail locations in that shopping center that are closed. I can see some part of that property, whether it’s the office building that’s on the Northern side of that property, or maybe the Southern side where you know, a seven story apartment, condo complex, maybe an equity owned property would make sense versus an apartment complex. I can see them maybe tunneling out a little bit of the center part where the cars are and making a green space. This way, people can like a pocket park almost within that. You might lose some parking spaces, but you know what really? I mean, like you said, there’s no way to go there if you just wanted to hang out.

Alex: [00:35:56] And it’s pretty rare that there’s no parking there. You know, one of the things that we talked amongst ourselves at one point you know, cause we’ve talked about doing some type of art center. And you know, the Cinebistro location has come up before, you know, actually during the original plan, you know, we tried to get a kind of like right of first refusal to buy the property if it went under or maybe just had them lease it or whatever. And that never went anywhere because even before COVID, you know, the movie industry was already struggling. So we were worried about what becomes of that space, if it doesn’t work out. But anyway that you know, that hasn’t, there’s been some discussions there, but it was the numbers just don’t make any sense. But if you think about from an activation standpoint, look over at the forum. What if God forbid, you know, Belk’s closed or Barnes and Noble closed. Well, maybe you go into one of those spaces where, you know, maybe it’s a long-term lease or what. But you know, you might be able to change that particular building into some type of performing arts center. And then that becomes an anchor that becomes an activation point. So I’m not saying I want that to happen, but you know, there’s different options down the road for things to happen.

Rico: [00:37:20] Yeah. And I don’t disagree with you. You know, Belk’s has closed some national stores. Nationally they’ve closed stores. They haven’t closed this one, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. Barnes and Noble, a brick and mortar bookstore versus their online store or Amazon. I am still surprised, I forget how many square feet that is, but I’m still surprised that that is opened when other businesses with smaller footprints have closed their doors. So I wouldn’t be surprised if that, God forbid that happens.

Alex: [00:37:52] Yeah. Well I think, one of the things that helps Barnes and Noble is like I said, it’s got kind of a hangout vibe to it. You know, go in there and drink coffee and that kind of thing. And you know, people are, you know, they people like to hang out with their friends and just you know, talk. And there’s nowhere else in the forum that you can do that. I mean, if you go to a restaurant, you feel kind of bad taking a table up just for hours, right? You’re hurting the wait staff. There you can do that, no one’s, you’re not hurting anybody.

And there’s

Rico: [00:38:20] no coffee place there. Ever since, I think it was Caribou that was years ago closed. There’s really no coffee shop, but it’s said to say. Not even a Starbucks and they have to go up through, down the road to get to that.

Alex: [00:38:32] That’s right. That’s right.

Rico: [00:38:34] So, there’s still a lot of growth potential for different things, even when there’s a negative, right? So maybe if Belk’s goes out or maybe if Barnes and Noble, or if the developer decides that they want to adjust a few things and redevelop it a little differently, those are all good things now.

Alex: [00:38:53] Yeah. I think the biggest challenge there is with the forum is that it’s owned by a REIT. And you know, you’re, there’s a management company that, you know, you can interact with, but you know, they’re just the face. So, because there’s been various conversations with them about some kind of creative ideas and just to have not been that. Yeah, they haven’t gone anywhere. So, you know, it’s like that Jerry McGuire movie he was like, help me help you. Right?

Rico: [00:39:26] They say, no. Yeah, because they’re a REIT and 13 stores or 14 stores closed. It’s just a write off to them. So they don’t care. They don’t live here locally. They don’t really care. And hopefully, you know, and the, you know, the other side of that with apartments being very little occupancy. I’m surprised even corner center sold. I think that was sold for $45 million or $40 million that apartment complex. A lot of money, right? You were saying land is expensive. I mean, I just saw something listed the land under Lazydog, I believe, with the lease of Lazydog is selling. I think it’s the offering is four and a half million dollars for that property. Because that’s an our parcel. If I remember correctly. It’s a four and a half million for that piece of land, with Lazydogs on it. And it’s extended lease, I guess someone thinks it’s valuable enough to put it out. I mean, it’s expensive.

Alex: [00:40:18] Yeah. I mean, we’ve had people approach, you know, the city about, you know, the I guess five and a half acres of woods you know, that border the town green. We’ve had people approach us about, you know, buying that and putting stuff there. And I think, I mean nothing’s forever, but I think the consensus is that, you know, even though that’s money that’s, I mean, you could sell it and take the money and do something with it. But I think the view of the community is, you know, they like having the woods there and I think it would kind of hurt the vibe, if you will, that we’ve got there with that intimate part I’m talking about. If you took the woods away and then put a bunch of new buildings. So it just going to say, you know, that there’s not a lot of raw land around. And so that’s, there’s people definitely interested in that, but I’m pretty confident for the foreseeable future it’ll stay woods.

Rico: [00:41:15] Cool. Well, that’s good. I mean if anything, I was thinking, you know, arts center would be a great, that could be a great place for that, but yeah, I can’t see more apartments there.

Alex: [00:41:27] No. Well, I mean, we think about it. We’d bought that land specifically because we didn’t want, not just the land with the town center, but the land with the woods, it was the same thing. Apartments were going to go there. So didn’t really make sense to buy land to stop apartments and then put apartments.

Rico: [00:41:40] Right. Yeah, no, I totally agree. I’m with you there.

Alex: [00:41:43] Yeah. I mean, there’s definitely places to put apartments, but I don’t think that’s the place for them.

Rico: [00:41:48] Well, and there’s only, you know, how much density can you pile into a place? You know? I mean, kids have to go to school, they have to be infrastructured. I mean, there’s all sorts of things that, you know, people have to live. Other things that come with density, right? So, we’ve been talking with Alex Wright, city council member district three. And for those that don’t quite know what district three borders, can you tell us? So then people know.

Alex: [00:42:17] Yeah. I’m very visual person, so and I know everyone else isn’t, but you know. If it kinda, if you were looking at a map, to just give you some kind of natural boundary. So, you know, the city running north or running south to north, like post one is the south, post two is in the middle, and then post three is kind of the northern part. So boundaries would be Berkeley Lake you know the city of Berkeley Lake. That’s kind of our northern boundary. Runs all the way along the river down to about a little bit past Jones bridge park. Almost down to like where Simpson wood park is, if you know where like Peachtree Corners, like the North Manor neighborhood, that’s kind of the Southern part of post three. And then all along west Jones bridge up to about where the YMCA is. And then you’d take a left on Peachtree Corners circle all the way up until it dead ends to Medlocke and then a right on Medlocke and then all the way out to Norcross. So that’s post three.

Rico: [00:43:14] That’s fairly big too, so.

Alex: [00:43:16] Yeah. It’s probably about 15,000 people. You know, each post is about 15,000. And you know, for us, that’s like you know, who live around here, that doesn’t seem like a lot of people. But one of the things that’s interesting when you go to these you know, government, they have like a GMA convention every year in Savannah, where you get to interact with people from across the state. You realize that, okay, you know, Peachtree Corners is kind of the outlier, as far as, you know, cities across the state where, you know, you’re talking to the you’re in a class and the guy next to you as a mayor from a town with 2000 people in the whole city, right? And it kind of makes you realize, you know, it’s pretty big, I won’t say it’s top 10 or maybe it’s like in the top 15 biggest cities in the state, maybe. So it’s really relatively big.

Rico: [00:44:02] I think we have what? 44,000 odd people, I think in the second? I think I forget 80% of those that work in the city don’t live in the city. I mean, there’s all sorts of statistics like that that people would be surprised probably on. Cool. So if people want to get in touch with you,  Website, I guess they go to the city website and they can find your email address there?

Alex: [00:44:24] Yeah. They can. And I haven’t been real good about this lately, but I do still send out a newsletter every so often. And you know, if you want to get on that distro, you know, you can email me at the city and I can add you. But we’ve probably got about, gosh, six or 700 people on that list. And then, you know, the people forwarded on and it’s just like a way for me to share news. That’s, you know, like the people work for the city, they don’t have the luxury of kind of putting their own little opinion here and there, you know? It’s just straight news. And sometimes people do like to hear, you know, kind of like our conversation here. Like, you know, it’s a little more colorful, I guess, because you can get a little more behind the scenes what’s going on and people’s opinions.

Rico: [00:45:11] Yeah. And I’ve gotten your newsletters and I’m happy to get them because I do like the opinions that you share in there. So it gives me a little bit more rather than just state the facts, ma’am. It’s a little bit more editorializing, which is good. So, thank you, Alex. I appreciate you being on the show with us again. This is Alex Wright city council member of Peachtree Corners. If you need to reach out to him, check the city’s website. And if you have comments, put them in the comments below if this was on Facebook or YouTube, and I’ll try to get answers for you. Thank you again, Alex. Appreciate you being with us.

Alex: [00:45:42] Yeah. Thanks for the invite. You have a good afternoon.

Rico: [00:45:45] You too.

Continue Reading

City Government

Crime and Safety Concerns Dominate Town Hall Meeting



Eric Christ

Besides his monthly newsletter, Peachtree Corners City Councilman Eric Christ occasionally hosts town hall meetings to allow constituents to catch up on what’s going on and give him feedback on a variety of issues. 

On Sunday, March 24, several dozen residents and stakeholders gathered for updates at City Hall’s Community Chest room. Christ probably expected the gathering to last 90 minutes at the most, but the discussion lasted nearly three hours as he shared information about the Marshal program, development projects, the new dog park, deer and the May 21 primary election.

Cutting down on crime

Probably to nobody’s surprise, crime and public safety took up the bulk of the meeting. Christ wanted the audience to take away that crime in Peachtree Corners is down 25% from pre-pandemic times. He showed a chart with crime rates from 2019 through 2023 that showed a significant drop in crime overall.

  • Residential burglaries are down by 48%.
  • Thefts are down by 34%.
  • Robberies are down by 24%.

“Prior to the pandemic in 2017, 2018 and 2019 we were averaging about 100 total [part one crimes] every month, and that dropped almost by half during the pandemic. Then, in 2021, it went back up a little bit again,” said Christ. 

Even though the rate has increased year over year since 2020, it has not returned to pre-COVID levels. However, compared to the previous year, crime has increased by 23%. One solution may be the new City Marshal program that kicked off in November. 

Having a relatively small population, the most heinous crimes, such as homicide and aggravated assault, have stayed lower than in many other areas. However, auto thefts, car break-ins, robberies and other property crimes remain somewhat high.

The City Marshal’s involvement

Chief City Marshal Edward Restrepo gave anecdotal evidence that the marshal program is working and will continue to get better because it fills the gaps left between the Gwinnett Police Department and the city’s code enforcement department.

Edward Restrepo

“We had a jewelry store robbery, and about the time we came in, we had started building up the camera registry as well as the integration system of cameras all around the city,” said Restrepo. “With only three of us, we have to rely on technology as much as we can.”

Although the marshals didn’t apprehend the bad guys, their assistance helped other law enforcement officers do their jobs more effectively. Several residents asked if there were plans to increase the marshal force to provide 24-hour, 7-day-a-week service.

The initial cost was around $900,000, said Christ, and maintaining the three officers and an administrative assistant will require about $700,000. Although Peachtree Corners doesn’t levy a property tax, the city’s share of county taxes goes toward that type of expense.

“It’s up to the people of Peachtree Corners if they want to increase the program,” said Christ. “It will come at a price.”

Those in attendance indicated that they thought that would be money well spent. Several said they liked seeing marshals at city-sponsored events because it sent a message that Peachtree Corners is serious about keeping its residents and visitors safe.

Christ said he and the rest of the council would consider that, but he reminded everyone that they should still report crimes to the police.

“I’ve had people tell me that they left a message on the city’s answering machine on a Friday evening and hadn’t heard back,” he said. “I tell them the first step is always to call 911.”

Catch the episode of the UrbanEBB podcast featuring Edward Restrepo from this past January here:

Continue Reading

City Government

Ora B. Douglass Swears in as First Black Female City Council Member of Peachtree Corners



After a successful run for the position of Post 5 Ora B. Douglass will be sworn in as Peachtree Corners’ first Black female city councilmember.
City Councilmember Ora B. Douglass

After a successful run for the position of Peachtree Corners City Council Post 5 Ora B. Douglass will be sworn in as Peachtree Corners’ first Black female city councilmember on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during the regular City Council meeting.

Upon her retirement, Douglass was elected to the seat vacated by Lorri Christopher, one of two females to serve on the Peachtree Corners City Council, the other was Jeanine Aulbach.

Douglass’ inauguration continues Peachtree Corners’ commitment to diversity and inclusion by not only electing its first woman of color, but by recognizing her status as a military veteran and an advocate for better health care, education and quality of life for all.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Florida A&M University and earned a Master of Nursing degree at Emory University.

After graduating nursing school, Douglass was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. A veteran with over 13 years of service, she has been stationed in Hawaii and was part of the U.S. Army Reserves.

Douglass has chaired the most recent Veteran’s Day event in Peachtree Corners and looks forward to more efforts to recognize and celebrate the multiple cultures and contributions of the residents.

With her long history of community service in the area, her motto has always been “service first.”

In 2014, she led a group of members in chartering the Psi Omega Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. in Peachtree Corners where she served as president for over four years. 

Psi Omega Omega chapter provides community service to Peachtree Corners residents from high school students, senior citizens, entrepreneurs and those in need. In addition, the sorority has partnered with Gwinnett County to keep 1.6 miles of road clean on Peachtree Corners Circle. 

Douglass also established The Georgia Pearls of Service Foundation (GPOS), a 501(c)(3) fundraising arm of her chapter and serves currently as president of the foundation.

The GPOS foundation raises funds each year to provide scholarships to high school students and donations to selected community service organizations.

Douglass was appointed International Chair of Community Programming, a committee with representation from the 10 regions of the AKA sorority in providing direction and oversight of the program from 2018 to 2022.

The program defined the framework for Alpha Kappa Alpha’s commitment to service that is embraced by its 300,000 members and over 1,000 chapters located throughout the world.

Douglass and her team partnered with Walgreens and traveled to 36 states including a Native American reservation and to the country of Honduras during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group administered mammograms, COVID vaccines and provided testing to low-income citizens. 

Douglass was born at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital, but was raised in Fort Pierce, Florida. Orphaned at 18 months old, Douglass hasn’t lived a charmed life.

She has worked hard for her accomplishments and knows the importance of a good education, perseverance, dedication and service to all mankind. She promises to utilize these qualities in service to the citizens of Peachtree Corners.

She has worked at numerous hospitals in the Atlanta area including Emory University, and Grady Hospital.

At Northside Hospital she was vice president of Quality and Risk Management. She served as director of Community Home Based Nursing at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Atlanta and VA Medical Centers in Carrollton and Oakwood where she directed a $10 million grant to provide homecare services to our veterans.

Douglass has practiced progressive clinical, managerial and healthcare administration for over 30 years. 

Douglass currently serves on the board of the Fowler YMCA in Peachtree Corners and is also a member of the Peachtree Corners Rotary Club. Douglass enjoys playing pickleball, traveling, cooking, gardening and providing boxes in her yard for Eastern bluebirds to nest each spring.

Douglass is married to Dr. Adrian Douglass. They have four children and three grandchildren. She and her husband are members of Friendship Baptist Church in Duluth.

For more information, go to www.peachtreecornersga.gov.

Click here for more Peachtree Corners City Government news.

Continue Reading


The Mayor’s Look at Business and Innovation Successes in 2023



Mayor Mike Mason reflects on Peachtree Corners' 2023 business achievements and expresses gratitude to local entrepreneurs.
Congresswoman Lucy McBath visiting Peachtree Farm in Technology Park

From Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason

As the year comes to a close, it seems like a good time to consider our businesses and say ‘Thank You!’ for helping to ensure our city’s success.

Mayor Mike Mason

Business and innovation have always been at the heart of who we are as a community. We are a city that grew up organically around Technology Park. So, as we look back at 2023 at some of the many occurrences worth noting, I’d like to say ‘Thank You’ to our businesses, large and small.

And ‘thank you’ to all those entrepreneurs out there who had the courage to start their own businesses and put in the countless hours needed to make them successful. Without your success, we wouldn’t be here. Let’s look at some of the business activity in 2023.

In January, Fricke and Associates, a certified public accounting firm, consolidated two locations, bringing 25 new jobs and a $800,000 capital investment to the City of Peachtree Corners.

The firm signed a 9,000-square-foot office lease at 3500 Parkway Lane to help them better serve Metro Atlanta clients.

Early in the year, NAC International, a nuclear fuel cycle technology and consulting company, signed a deal for 23,000 square feet of space at 2 Sun Court in Peachtree Corners, while T-Mobile partnered with Curiosity Lab for a fun student hackathon the weekend of Feb. 24 to 26.

The city completed its second, five-year Economic Development Plan, this year. The plan guides activity, projects and policy aimed at improving the city’s economic climate.

The city also began its next Comprehensive Planning process, a plan renewed every year that guides development and redevelopment activity in the city.

Unlike other places, these plans don’t sit on a shelf here. We talk with our stakeholders, i.e. YOU, and develop plans to take us where you think we need to go. This is good old-fashioned logic at work, but back to our Year-in-Review.

Last January, city economic development staff visited a company in Peachtree Corners rather unsuspecting of the scope of the operation.

Guardian Sports manufactures products designed to keep people— especially young people—safer while playing sports. It is truly a gem. This Peachtree Corners company is designing and manufacturing sporting equipment worn by youth and high school football teams, college teams, and most recently, mandated by the NFL.

Guardian Innovations
From left to right: Mindy Wheeler, Alexandra Hanson, Garner, Penny Godwin, Andrea Vaillancourt, Lee Hanson (owner), Erin Hanson (owner), Jake Hanson, Caitlin Hanson Gouws, Jacques Gouws and Mike Crawford

The company’s flagship product is the Guardian Cap, which was created to advance the standard football helmet by dispersing some of the energy that is generated during impacts. Check out a video HERE.

Insight Sourcing celebrated 20 years in business, announcing 20% firmwide growth in 2022, with 84 new team members added, of whom 23 joined as part of an acquisition.

Global Aviation celebrated 25 years of success while at the same time launching another company in the aerospace industry.

In February, the city began encouraging businesses to connect their security cameras with the Fusus network. Fusus is a nationally recognized public safety technology provider that has operated out of its headquarters in—you guessed it–Peachtree Corners since 2019.

The platform links cameras together and sends the feed to the West Precinct where Gwinnett Police officers can see situations in real-time and respond accordingly.

The cameras have helped solve homicides and other crimes in various cities, including Peachtree Corners. In July, Fusus made the annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

Peachtree Farm, located in Technology Park, began attracting some attention on a grand scale this year, starting with a visit from Arthur Tripp Jr., the executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency who visited Peachtree Farm in February.

An employee of Peachtree Farm celebrating the harvest courtesy of from peachtreefarm.org

Members of the Gwinnett County Farm Bureau and the Georgia Farm Bureau also visited Peachtree Farm in June to learn more about its operations and areas for possible collaboration.

Congresswoman Lucy McBath visited the farm this fall. The farm, located on Research Court, provides an inclusive and accessible community fostering the social, emotional and physical health and wellness of adults with disabilities.

Peachtree Farm first opened in 2021 to create jobs for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In April, professional cyclists descended on Technology Parkway participating in the Curiosity Lab Criterium, a series of races on the streets of Peachtree Corners within the living laboratory environment of Curiosity Lab.

In May, North American Properties broke ground on The Forum redevelopment project, a great relief as there had been concerns about how to best generate more activity at the 20-year-old center.

North American Properties is redeveloping and revitalizing the property, adding a boutique hotel, food hall, open green spaces, new retail spaces and 381 apartments.

A 300-space parking deck will be constructed near Belk to allow for some parking to be reconstructed as open green space. Several new stores and restaurants have opened or are opening at The Forum, including Peche, lululemon and High Country Outfitters as well ass Petfolk Veterinarian clinic.

The Forum on Peachtree Parkway
Central Plaza at The Forum Peachtree Corners

Politan Row will open at the Forum, part of the multi-million dollar renovation project by North American Properties. Politan Row, which has locations at Colony Square in Atlanta, as well as Houston and Chicago, will include seven independently owned restaurant spaces, a full bar, an outdoor patio along greenspace and a standalone restaurant and wine bar.

The German American Chamber of Commerce visited Curiosity Lab in May to learn more about Georgia, Gwinnett County and specifically Peachtree Corners. Also, a delegation of energy, technology and sustainability leaders visited the City of Peachtree Corners in October for several days, learning about area companies, Curiosity Lab and about how the city developed.

This year, Seoul Robotics established its United States office in Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners. The company’s presence in Curiosity Lab is fueling further development of a groundbreaking 3D perception platform.

Also this year, Siemens joined Curiosity Lab to support bringing 5G charging and electrification solutions to the United States.

Soliant, a leading provider of specialized healthcare and education staffing services, has been hiring hundreds of new employees across five offices in the Southeast. This expansion of approximately 300 people will give Soliant the internal resources to meet the growing nationwide demand for healthcare and education professionals.

Also, in terms of health and wellness, Atlas Behavioral Health opened at 3850 Holcomb Bridge Road while space was outfitted in June at 4941 S Old Peachtree Road for a Fyzical Therapy and Balance Center.

Suzanna Martinez PCBA Board; Phil Sadd Council City of Peachtree Corners, India Martinez, Social Media Influencer, Daniel Martinez CEO Atlas Behavioral Health; Mike Mason Mayor City of Peachtree Corners; Jason Price CFO Atlas Behavioral Health; Lisa Proctor PCBA Board; Julie River MS, LAPC, NCC Lead therapist Atlas Behavioral Health; Monte McDowell PCBA Community Outreach; Toby Anderson PCBA Board; Dr. Walter Brooks PHD, LPC, CPCS, NCACII, CCS Clinical Director Atlas Behavioral Health

In June, Peachtree Corners was ranked #1 in Georgia and #19 in the nation in this year’s edition of the Fortune 50 Best Places to Live for Families. In August, Peachtree Corners was listed as one of the best places to live in Georgia by Niche.com.

On the environmental front, I can think of a few things coming out of Peachtree Corners this year which will likely help the world.

For example, Sidel, which manufactures packaging (among other things), has introduced a new bottle. Sidel announced a partnership with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.

The company has been experiencing a great deal of growth and continues to hire more and more people. The bottle, which is for carbonated soft drinks, has a lighter neck and tethered cap. The tethered caps are expected to boost collection and recycling efforts, while preventing litter.

Pond Constructors Inc., Peachtree Corners, was awarded a $13 million modification contract to maintain and repair capitalized petroleum systems and facilities at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Also, ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) has published a pioneering code-enforceable standard developed to reduce the risk of infectious aerosol transmission in buildings.

There was some other activity in Technology Park as well. Specifically, ASBN Coworks opened at 420 Technology Parkway, in the heart of Tech Park.

DW1, previously known as Discount Waste, Inc., cut the ribbon on its new office at 250 Scientific Drive NW.

A Florida-based investment firm acquired four properties in Technology Park in August, all part of a portfolio selling for roughly $23.8 million.

The second-largest sale in Metro Atlanta that quarter, SF Partners purchased 30, 35 Technology Parkway South and 190 and 192 Technology Parkway from Terracap; a total of 247,208 square feet.

Thank you for reading about some of the impressive business happenings in our city this year. As we gear up for 2024, we looked forward to hearing about more successes, and helping to make sure the city’s businesses continue to grow and thrive.

Happy Holidays!

Mike Mason, Mayor

Continue Reading

Read the Digital Edition


Peachtree Corners Life

Topics and Categories


Copyright © 2024 Mighty Rockets LLC, powered by WordPress.

Get Weekly Updates!

Get Weekly Updates!

Don't miss out on the latest news, updates, and stories about Peachtree Corners.

Check out our podcasts: Peachtree Corners Life, Capitalist Sage and the Ed Hour

You have Successfully Subscribed!