Entries by Maria Saporta

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter to receive Georgia Tech’s 2017 Ivan Allen Prize

The prestigious Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage will be awarded to Georgia’s own – Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.

The prize was announced Friday by Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson.

It is the first time that the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize is being awarded to a couple rather than an individual. They are being recognized for their partnership, courage and collaboration to improve human rights and alleviate suffering around the world.

Morehouse President John Wilson: ‘Proud of what we’ve acheived’

This past Friday the 13th, the Center for Civil and Human Rights held a program titled: “Morehouse College and the Making of the Man” about Martin Luther King Jr.’s relationship with the institution.

Morehouse President John S. Wilson had committed to serve on the panel – a commitment he kept even though the College’s Board of Trustees was in town for a two-day meeting.

“I had gotten the decision I wouldn’t continue – about an hour before I got up there,” Wilson said Tuesday in an interview. “I knew then my contract had not been renewed.”

Transit making headway in Georgia and Fulton – with trip to Dallas

Transit in the Atlanta region is gaining traction.

As evidence, an incredible trip took place last Thursday and Friday with the state’s top transportation leaders and officials from Fulton County going to the Dallas region to take a focused look at possible transit options.

That took place two days after Georgia House Speaker David Ralston’s strong support for transit during his comments at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues Breakfast on Jan. 10 – suggesting the state could be more supportive of transit.

Morehouse trustees fail to renew President John Wilson’s contract

The Morehouse College Board of Trustees have decided to not renew contract of President John Wilson, who has been leading the prestigious institution for four years.

Wilson will serve until the completion of his current contract, which ends on June 30, 2017. And then “Dr. Wilson will pass the baton to a new President,” according to a release posted on the Morehouse website.

An Atlanta business bromance at the Georgia Chamber

By Maria Saporta As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Jan. 13, 2017 Never before has someone turned over the chairmanship of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce to his brother – until now. Hank Linginfelter, the 2016 chairman of the Georgia Chamber, passed the gavel to his older brother, Bill Linginfelter, at the organization’s […]

Trump vs. Lewis fight exposes Atlanta pride at Salute to Greatness gala

By Maria Saporta The backdrop was surreal. As hundreds of Atlantans attended the Salute to Greatness gala at the Hyatt Regency in honor of Civil Rights legend Martin Luther King Jr., President-elect Donald Trump had engaged Congressman John Lewis (D-Atlanta) into a twitter feud. The attack was not only against Lewis, but against his Atlanta district […]

Morehouse President John Wilson’s future in question as board meets

The fate of Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson hangs in the balance as the institution’s board of trustees is meeting during the weekend honoring the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., a Morehouse Man.
Student representatives, however, were protesting the board meeting – saying they were being shut out of the discussions. The students held protests on Friday and Saturday, and they also sent out a petition through Change.org.

Integral says $300 million investment underway for GM plant within six months

The developer of the former Doraville General Motors plant said Wednesday about $300 million in development is underway or poised to start over the next six months, as the massive transformation of the site cranks up.

The mixed-use development, which likely will total 10 million square feet over the next decade, is slated to rise on the site of the 165-acre GM plant, which has sat idle since it closed in 2008.

Atlanta civic leaders welcome Erika Shields as new police chief

Atlanta’s new police chief – Erika Shields – was welcomed by the city’s business and civic leaders on Tuesday evening at the Commerce Club.

The reception, hosted by the Atlanta Committee for Progress and the Atlanta Police Foundation, drew nearly 300 people who witnessed a re-enactment of the swearing-in of the new police chief.

Underground developer asks Atlanta Mayor to ‘stick with us’

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Jan.6, 2017

For four years, South Carolina-based WRS Realty has been pursuing a deal to buy Underground Atlanta – becoming the sole bidder to buy the property from the City of Atlanta.

But now, WRS has until the end of January to close on the sale of Underground, a transaction that has been delayed several times because of the complexities involved in the deal.

Mani Roy – a celebrity favorite – is retiring from Atlanta’s Indian restaurant scene

One of Atlanta’s most colorful restauranteurs is retiring.

Mani Roy gained local and national acclaim for serving celebrities and politicians at his Midtown restaurants – Touch of India and most recently Desi Spice.

But last week, Roy sold Desi Spice to another restauranteur, who will keep the same name, the same menu and the same chef.

Column: Task Force for Global Health takes No. 2 spot on Forbes charities list

By Maria Saporta As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 30, 2016 The Task Force for Global Health, based in downtown Decatur, is the second-largest nonprofit in the United States, according to Forbes Magazine’s 2016 list of the largest U.S. charities. The Task Force ranked second only to United Way Worldwide, which had […]

Sale of Turner Field closes – beginning a new chapter

The sale of Turner Field to Georgia State University and Carter closed today – one of the most visible transactions during Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration.

Georgia State,, along with the Carter, Oakwood Development and Healey Weatherholtz joint venture, plan to build a mix of housing, retail, and athletic and academic space on the 68-acre site. Georgia State plans to convert Turner Field into a new home Panthers football.

Mayor Reed: Underground Atlanta deal now faces deadline

South Carolina real estate company WRS Inc. has until the end of January to close on the sale of Underground Atlanta.

If the deal isn’t complete by the end of the month it will be time for the city to move on, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a phone interview on Wednesday. The sale is delayed because of new title and easement issues related to the abandonment of streets.

Four civic giants work to improve Metro Atlanta education

Four regional organizations – the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the United Way of Greater Atlanta – are collaborating on an educational effort called Learn4Life. The goal is to bring the eight public school systems in Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties to improve public education in the region.

Let’s do a better job preserving Atlanta’s past in 2017

The coming of a new year heightens our sensitivity to the changes in our life and our city.

This year marked the last Peach Drop as we know it. Sadly, the rain and the cold dampened the final event held at Underground Atlanta before it is sold to WRS Realty in the near future.

The good news is that the historic structures in and around Underground will be preserved as new buildings are constructed as part of the new development.

But there are so many other landmarks in danger of being demolished during 2017 with Atlanta having a spotty record of preserving its most precious landmarks.

Talks turning lemons to lemonade at Turner Field

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 30, 2016

After decades of feeling burned by the false promise of new development, Turner Field community leaders have reason to be wary.

This time could be different.

With the sale of the Atlanta Braves’ former ballpark underway, community members say they are forging a closer relationship with the biggest players behind Turner Field’s planned redevelopment, Georgia State University and Atlanta developer Carter.