Author: Reporter Newspapers

And the winner is…

Restaurant Reporter Jan Butsch Schroder Just about every industry has its awards ceremony: the Oscars for the movies, the Golden Globes for entertainers with the most aggressive publicists and the Skovie Awards for categories such as best snacks and condiments. (FYI – Mel’s Sweet Inferno Pickles won 1st place in the pickled division for 2008.) Recently the Georgia Restaurant Association honored its own with the first-ever Grace Awards and my husband agreed to attend with me, with the condition that he wouldn’t wear a tux, because “Tom Murphy isn’t wearing one.” When we arrived at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead, we wove our way through the elegantly decked-out guests, all in varying shades of black, towards the jostling lines at the bar where we spotted our friend and Murphy’s co-owner Tom Murphy, wearing a tux of course, “because my suit is at the cleaners!” I was delighted to be seated at a table with Fred Genovese and Kevin Jenkins, AKA Chef and the Fatman, the men responsible for radio’s first-ever cooking show. In between awards and a speech by Ted Turner, notable only for no real morsels of political incorrectness, I heard the story of how the show evolved and look forward to listening to it soon. (It airs Saturdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on AM 1160.) During the speeches we learned that the hospitality industry is second only...

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Year-long ‘Connect Atlanta’ transportation study begins

The City of Atlanta has never had a comprehensive plan to deal with the growing demands on its transportation infrastructure or to project where future capacity will be needed. That was up to now. Now city officials are moving to develop just such a plan. On Nov. 6, the city kicked off a year-long, 1.25 million study designed to combine input from residents, businesses, commuters and other stakeholders who have completed recent studies, such as the Piedmont Corridor study nearing completion by the Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association (BATMA) and the Peachtree Corridor study. The plan, named “Connect Atlanta,” will be a bottom-up approach and is being overseen by the city’s Assistant Director of Planning & Transportation Heather Alhadeff. According to reports, while prior studies dealt only with the needs of certain sections of the city or specific modes of transportation, this new plan will encompass all of them. Transit is likely to take precedence over roads in the new plan even though only a fraction of Atlantans use it. That is where much of the available funding has been spent in recent years, with little left to spend on the city’s deteriorating roads. Paul Moore, a senior associate with Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin Inc., which is consulting on the plan with Grice & Associates Inc. and Jordan, Jones & Goulding Inc., confirmed it in press reports, stating, “The...

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Streetcar’s not a taxing issue anytime soon

By John Schaffner editor@reporternewspapers.net Buckhead residents and businesses apparently won’t have to worry about paying an extra tax to fund a trolley running up and down Peachtree Road for several years—maybe a decade. Raymond Christman, chairman of the Peachtree Corridor Partnership, told a group of steering committee members for the BeltLine’s sub area 6, Nov. 27, “The Peachtree Streetcar is not coming to Buckhead in Phase I.” Christman said the Peachtree Streetcar implementation of Phase I will include Downtown and Midtown Atlanta, possibly as far north at 17th Street. He said the Partnership hopes to get Phase I implemented in seven years. He said in Phase II, the plan would be to bring it as far north into Buckhead to where it would connect with the BeltLine on Peachtree Road, just north of Piedmont Hospital. In response to questions, Christman explained that the Peachtree Streetcar would be paid for all locally from two sources: the city’s general funds and through a special taxation district that would include a quarter mile to each side of Peachtree where the streetcar runs. He said single family homes would not be included in the special tax, but multi-family (condos and apartments) and commercial properties would be included. Asked if there would be a tax referendum vote to approve or deny the tax, Christman said that was not necessary, that city council can approve...

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Gov. Perdue dedicates Perimeter Center Parkway Bridge over I-285

Telling those gathered for the celebration that it is rare when a politician can officiate at both the groundbreaking and ribbon cutting of a major project in the same term, Gov. Sonny Perdue officially dedicated the Perimeter Center Parkway Bridge—commonly known as the “flyover bridge” at 2 p.m. on Nov. 13. But the bridge is not officially open for traffic. That will happen later in November. A long-time goal of the Perimeter business community, the bridge that connects Hammond Drive on the north to Lake Hearn Drive on the south of I-285 became a major focus of the Perimeter Community Improvement District (PCID) in 1999. The $35 million Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) project connects two of the Perimeter areas two major markets: the commercial, retail and residential market of Perimeter Center and the large healthcare marketplace of Pill Hill. The pedestrian friendly bridge provides alternative transportation choices to bypass Ashford Dunwoody and Peachtree Dunwoody Road. The Perimeter connector is landscaped, has two lanes in each direction complete with a bicycle lane, sidewalks, street lamps and a median divided by decorative concrete tiles. It provides choices for pedestrians, cyclists, joggers and walkers. Yvonne Williams, president of the PCID, had the job of coordinating the business sector’s lobbying effort to hasten construction of the bridge. The push from the business sector helped keep the bridge project on schedule and it...

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Business briefs

Bank of North Georgia celebrates Sandy Springs opening Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos wielded the giant scissors as joined Bank of North Georgia officials and community and business leaders to cut the ribbon Nov. 9 in celebration of the bank’s first branch in the city. “I have the distinct pleasure to welcome the Bank of North Georgia to Sandy Springs,” the mayor told the group gathered in a new pocket park in front of the bank. “I know you will be a fabulous corporate citizen. Thank you for adding this pocket park for the people of Sandy Springs to enjoy.” “At the Bank of North Georgia, we set out two years ago to find a physical presence in this community,” said the bank’s Executive Vice President Kenneth Davis. “We’re standing where we think it is a great place for us to be to serve this community.” The bank is at the intersection of Sandy Springs Circle and Johnson Ferry Road. Emerson is named managing broker of Harry Norman Office Todd Emerson has been promoted to vice president and managing broker of the Harry Norman Realtors Sandy Springs office. Emerson has been in real estate for nine years and has spent his entire career with Harry Norman Realtors. Most recently, Emerson served as the associate managing broker for the Buckhead office. He also serves as dean of the firm’s leadership...

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