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On topic with Alex Wright: Ingles Shopping Center, Tech Park Acquisition, Public Safety and More

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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.

Resources:
Decathlon Info
Promotion Video for Decathlon
The First 48 Episode

Timestamp:
[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

Developer rendering of a possible look of a renewed property that is currently the Ingles Shopping Center.
City acquisition of a building in Atlanta Tech Park, across from Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners.
The Charlie Roberts property behind Chase Bank.

“I think we’ve got a significant housing shortage in that area, and it’s not just limited to one demographic. We’re experiencing a shortage of housing options for younger individuals and families who aspire to own their homes rather than renting. It’s important to address this issue because owning a home provides stability and builds equity, allowing people to invest in their future. By creating more affordable and accessible housing opportunities, we can support the dreams of individuals and families who want to establish roots in our community and contribute to its growth and vibrancy.”

ALEX WRIGHT

Podcast Transcript

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

Yes, correct.

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

Okay.

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

Really? Okay.

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

Three marshalls.

Alex Wright 0:32:13

Yeah.

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

Right.

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

Do something.

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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City Government

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

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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.

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Business

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

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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

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City Government

Limited Access to Town Green This Winter During Expansion Projects

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This expansion initiative encompasses various projects to enhance the Town Green and introduce additional amenities to the area.
Pictured above: Tot Lot rendering at Town Green

Beginning the week of Dec. 3, 2023, the City of Peachtree Corners will commence an expansion project for the Town Green and its associated amenities.  

Throughout the winter months, certain sections of the Town Green will be closed due to the ongoing expansion. This expansion initiative encompasses various projects to enhance the Town Green and introduce additional amenities to the area.

Town Center Closures and Entry Map

To begin, the center of the Town Green will be transformed as crews begin to install drainage upgrades and lay new sod in the park. During this project, the grass area will not be accessible to the public.

The City’s new Tot Lot Playground is another addition to the Town Green. This playground, themed around space exploration, will be situated nearest the townhomes and is designed for children up to the age of six.

As part of this project, the current sliding hill and two existing jungle gym features will be replaced. Furthermore, one of the jungle gym features will be relocated to the playground installed last year.

The upcoming playground will showcase extraordinary elements such as a rocket ship, a moon rover, a crashed UFO and more. It is designed to be fully accessible, ensuring all children enjoy its offerings.

Presently, the construction of the City’s off-leash dog park is underway. Situated behind the CineBistro building, this facility will span approximately 9,000 square feet and will be divided into sections for smaller and larger dogs.

Dog Park Rendering

It will have both natural and artificial turf areas. Additionally, there will be a plaza featuring a shade sail, water fountains, pet waste containers, shaded benches and enhanced landscaping.

During the construction phase, access to the park will be limited. However, the existing playground and fitness path can still be accessed through the park entrances between Taqueria Tsunami and Jinbei West.

They are still accessible through the park entrance between Jinbei West and CineBistro and via the multi-use path behind CineBistro.

For more information, contact Louis E. Svehla, the Communications Director for the City of Peachtree Corners, at 770-609-8821 or lsvehla@peachtreecornersga.gov.

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