Author Archives: David Pendered

About David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with nearly 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

Turner Field: Community taps breaks on signs of fast-track redevelopment

No one should hold their breath in anticipation of what’s to be built at Turner Field after the Braves depart.

Overlooked so far in the heady discussions is the local politics of residents who live in neighborhoods near the ballpark. They have an interest in their neighborhoods’ development, as do community leaders who have an eye on jobs to be created during construction and later.

These interests took shape Wednesday during the first meeting of a task force convened by the Atlanta City Council to figure out what should become of the property. For starters, it turns out that Invest Atlanta could take six months to even hire a planning firm to review the existing community development plans, Atlanta Councilmember Carla Smith said.
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Atlanta funds innovative dormitory that’s to help entrepreneurs succeed

A dormitory that’s designed to give a leg up to budding entrepreneurs is to be built at Technology Square, in Midtown, with financial aid from Atlanta’s development arm.

Invest Atlanta has agreed to fund up to $70 million in construction costs of a 230-unit building dubbed, “Tech Square Tower (the Entrepreneur Dorm)”. Only three similar dorms exist in the nation, according to Invest Atlanta – at Stanford, Columbia, and New York universities, with one more to open in 2015 at University of Florida.

The concept is to provide turn-key housing for students who hope to develop some sort of innovative idea, as well as for entrepreneurs who have an office at Tech Square. Residents are to mingle and brainstorm and have access to an on-site mentor, according to the presentation to the board of Invest Atlanta.
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Who’s tending the chicken coop? Atlanta activists question sale of public assets to private investors

The question of who’s tending the public chicken coop is arising as Atlanta moves with all deliberate speed to promote private development around the Falcons stadium and several publicly owned properties in or near downtown Atlanta – including Fort McPherson, the shuttered Army base.

The general public isn’t alone in raising questions. Atlanta City Councilmember Joyce Sheperd made this comment about the potential sale of most of Fort McPherson to filmmaker Tyler Perry: “I’m a little concerned about the fact that I first heard it on the news.”
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Atlanta Streetcar exec says year-old audio message, actual transit service will boost business at nearby shops

The top executive of the Atlanta Streetcar said an audio message recorded a year ago will be played on the streetcar to advertise shops along the route.

Tim Borchers, the streetcar’s executive director, described the audio message after Atlanta City Councilmember Ivory Lee Young, Jr. asked him how the city can help shopkeepers regain business they claim to have lost during the construction period that started in February 2012.
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Dad’s Garage Theatre to open doors in Old Fourth Ward in late 2016

Dad’s Garage Theatre is on track to move into a permanent home in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood and open its new doors as early as late 2016.

The first of two approvals needed from the Atlanta City Council was tentatively granted Tuesday, by the Community Development Committee. The council’s Zoning Committee is expected to approve the second measure on Wednesday. The full council is to vote on the measures July 21.

Dad’s Garage Theatre plans to purchase, for a price above $2 million, a building that now houses a church and some land that adjoins the church, located at 569 Ezzard Street, Amanda Rhein, who serves on the theatre’s board, said Tuesday.
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Fort McPherson area rich in human rights history, poor in redevelopment

Juanita Crater knows what she doesn’t want to happen at Fort McPherson – for redevelopment to dawdle so long the federal government decides to use the post to house large numbers of the homeless, or undocumented immigrants.

History both recent and distant underscores the relevance of concerns raised by Crater, a senior citizen of East Point who lives near the fort and is viewed as a local historian. The fort and its surroundings are not thriving; federal law requires the site to house the homeless; the fort has served as a stockade.
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New regional transit trip-planner website growing slowly, as planned

A new transit website serving metro Atlanta is an example of local agencies responding to an idea many view as sensible, and which results from legislation that wasn’t enacted by the General Assembly.

In the first two weeks after its very soft launch, on July 1, has attracted slightly more than 1,000 views.

The website intends to help transit riders plan and pay for trips that involve riding one or more of the region’s transit systems. Four transit systems and ARC decided to build the site even though the Legislature did not vote for the concept brought forward by Sen. Brandon (R-Alpharetta).
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Savannah port to expand trade to imports of South American produce

Blueberries, grapes and citrus fruits from certain South American countries are to arrive on the docks of Savannah starting Sept. 1 under a pilot program that aims to treat for pests with cold temperatures rather than methods such as fumigation.

The shipments are to begin under a USDA-approved pilot program. The treatment method already is used in states including Florida and California, according to trade publications. In Savannah, the program could bolster the port’s role as a leading way station for food entering and leaving the country.
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Fort McPherson: No talk yet of whether HUD’s existing approval would allow for Tyler Perry’s studio

The state authority overseeing the conversion of the shuttered Fort McPherson military base into a civilian use met behind closed doors for two hours Thursday before emerging to say a final deal could be secured in two to three weeks.

“We are in the process of negotiating, at this time, a possible sale,” said authority Chairman Felker Ward. “We hope to be able to conclude those negotiations in the next two to three weeks.”

One issue yet to be discussed in public is how the proposal brought by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to sell most of the fort to filmmaker Tyler Perry will affect the existing approval by HUD of a plan to retool the fort into a science center.
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Lawmakers support Clayton/MARTA deal, raise questions of equity

State lawmakers who oversee MARTA expressed a few reservations Tuesday as they generally applauded the potential of MARTA extending its service into Clayton County.

“This is a major step forward for transit in the region,” said state Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven), who chairs MARTOC, the Legislature’s MARTA oversight committee. “Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come in terms of transit in metro Atlanta.”
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