Category: Perimeter Business

Commentary: Who had the best branding in the pandemic?

As the pandemic crisis struck local communities, leaders emerged, volunteer programs multiplied, and efforts to boost morale spread. In the terms of business and politics, many of these were partly efforts of branding and profile-raising. But which ones worked, which ones fell by the wayside, and will any have impacts after the immediate crisis is over? Down the road, will anyone still say “Brookhaven Strong” or remember that a local restaurant donated food? The Reporter asked professors of marketing, business and politics for their perspectives on some local examples.   ‘Brookhaven Strong’ The city of Brookhaven promoted this phrase,...

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Restaurants seek elbow room in the pandemic’s distanced dining

From picnic tables in parking lots to dining on strips of shopping center landscaping, restaurants returning after pandemic shutdowns are looking for room to spread out for social distancing. And no one knows how long that will last. Or how long it can last. Can restaurants survive with the lower capacity as they spread tables apart until the pandemic is contained or a vaccine is found? How long will neighbors and city inspectors have patience for seating snatched from parking spaces and sidewalks? Experts and local restaurateurs say the pandemic could push the industry to a trend of building...

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Pill Hill overpass is biggest idea in Perimeter Center road project studies

Turning the Sandy Springs Medical Center’s main intersection into an overpass is the biggest — and probably least likely — road project among several that the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts has in the planning stages. More lanes for faster turns and easier access to Ga. 400 are a general theme of several projects that project director John Gurbal presented at an April 28 quarterly update from the PCIDs, two jointly operated, self-taxing business districts in Perimeter Center that spend much of their money on transportation improvements. The following are some of the new projects PCIDs is studying or planning....

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Photos: Memorial Day weekend becomes unofficial pandemic reopening, with and without distancing

Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, also served as an unofficial reopening of businesses and activities amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With warmer weather and safety restrictions slightly loosened by Gov. Brian Kemp, many people flocked to parks and restaurants, though some facilities, especially in Atlanta, remained closed. At local spots, social distancing and mask-wearing ranged from strict to nonexistent. Some business owners said the weekend provided an uptick, but still nothing near pre-pandemic times. Photos by Phil Mosier. Tubers ride the Chattahoochee River at the National Recreation Area’s Powers Island area in Sandy Springs on May...

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Teleworking a double-edged sword for Perimeter Center’s mall and major employer

Teleworking in the pandemic crisis has been a boon to one of Perimeter Center’s biggest employers — and a bane to its biggest shopping center. That double-edged sword was discussed by Bill Baker, general manager of Perimeter Mall, and Chris Kirk, an executive with Cox Enterprises and Cox Automotive, at the May 28 installment of the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce’s “Return to the Perimeter” speaker series. A representative of State Farm was originally scheduled to join the discussion but was unable to. Perimeter Mall’s traffic hit between 40% and 50% of its normal daily numbers since its reopening...

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Gov. Kemp extends public health emergency, but bars, nightclubs, summer school can open

Gov. Brian Kemp announced May 28 that, while he was renewing Georgia’s public health state of emergency for a third time to July 12, he would allow bars and nightclubs to reopen, summer school to convene, and restrictions on social gatherings to loosen. Kemp cited “encouraging data” on COVID-19 cases prompted his decision to allow social gatherings of 25 people beginning June 1 if they follow social distancing guidelines. The governor said the decision would, hopefully, allow for small weddings and some sporting events to be held. Also on June 1, bars and nightclubs can reopen if they follow...

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Atlanta moves to second phase of reopening plan as COVID-19 cases trend downward

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced that the city has met the metrics to progress to Phase 2 of a five-phased reopening plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As of May 24, the city sustained the necessary 14-day downward trend in new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and percentage of positive test cases while maintaining sufficient hospital and critical care bed capacity to progress into Phase 2, the “easing” phase. That phase does not include reopening city government facilities. The five-phased plan, drawn from the recommendations of the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Reopening Atlanta, can be found online here....

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Pier 1 Imports closing all stores, including in Sandy Springs

Pier 1 Imports plans to permanently close all its stores, including one on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, and sell off all assets after attempts to sell the company failed. The home décor and accessories company said in a May 19 announcement that it is seeking a bankruptcy court’s approval to wind down retail operations when possible after store locations can reopen for liquidation during the coronavirus pandemic. Pier 1 until recently had 13 stores in Georgia, including in the Sandy Springs Plaza shopping center at 6285 Roswell Road. Eleven of those stores, including one in Buckhead, were announced...

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‘Old normal’ is gone, virtual learning will stay after pandemic, says ex-Georgia Tech president

The shift to virtual working and education forced by the coronavirus pandemic is here to stay, says former Georgia Tech president and current Regents professor George “Bud” Peterson. “I don’t think we’ll ever get back to the old normal,” said Peterson, speaking May 21 as part of the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce’s “Return to the Perimeter” virtual discussion series about post-pandemic business. The lingering challenge of developing a COVID-19 vaccine or similar medical measures is one reason the “old normal” isn’t coming soon, said Peterson. But the changes will be even more long-lasting than that, he said. “But...

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Emory Healthcare to furlough or cut hours for many employees in pandemic crunch

As Emory Healthcare works to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the economic hit to its other services has it furloughing or cutting work hours for up to 1,500 full-time-equivalent positions. The furloughs and hour reductions will run June 1 through Aug. 31, said Dr. Jonathan S. Lewin, Emory Healthcare’s president and CEO, in a May 21 announcement. The healthcare system, which is part of Emory University, projected a $660 million revenue shortfall through August, he said. “While never more proud of our team’s response, COVID-19 has had a significant negative impact on our normal revenue and operating expenses, which we...

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Ex-Georgia Tech president to kick off ‘Return to the Perimeter’ business discussion series

Former Georgia Tech president George “Bud” Peterson will kick off “Return to the Perimeter,” a virtual speaker series about how various sectors aim to come back from pandemic shutdowns. Hosted by the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce, the series begins May 21 with Peterson, who will speak about how he thinks technology will help shape the post-pandemic business. A May 28 installment, “Reopening the Workplace,” will feature a panel discussion with Bill Baker, the senior general manager of Perimeter Mall; Joann Schuester, State Farm’s operations manager in underwriting; and Chris Kirk, Cox Enterprises/Cox Automotive’s senior director for internal control...

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Dunwoody Development Authority approves Perimeter Marketplace tax abatement deal; High Street delayed

The Perimeter Marketplace retail development has moved closer to completing a tax abatement deal with the Dunwoody Development Authority, while one for the High Street project has been delayed. The DDA last year gave initial approvals for agreements with the developers of both projects, where the authority acts as a bond issuing agency that allows them to gain property tax abatements over 10 years in exchange for meeting certain investment and job-creation goals. Both have been in a phase of negotiating over details of those agreements. At its May 14 meeting, the DDA approved a 60-day extension of the...

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