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.

MARTA to open bids today for land in Midtown, Stone Mountain Village

MARTA officials today are slated to open bids for land MARTA intends to sell near the Arts Center Station in Midtown, and an additional property in Stone Mountain.

The minimum prices set by MARTA indicate that a sliver of land in Midtown is significantly more valuable than a parcel in Stone Mountain.

The Midtown site is barely more than a tenth the size of the one in Stone Mountain. The minimum price for this tract is set at about 75 percent of the Stone Mountain parcel, according to bid documents.
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Atlanta installing sustainable storm water system near Turner Field

In hard-pressed neighborhoods south of Turner Field, Atlanta is quietly installing a sustainable storm water management system.

The planned system is based on a premise similar to the one that resulted in the water feature at the Old Fourth Ward Park, along the Atlanta BeltLine. As with the park pond fed by Clear Creek, the idea is to detain and filter runoff rather than direct it into the city’s sewage system.

In Peoplestown, one of three neighborhoods in progress, the city’s plan envisions a storm water management system that will use permeable pavers, bio-swales, detention ponds and storage vaults to capture from 10 million to 30 million gallons of storm water.
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Clayton County’s proposed transit partner reports record profits

The railroad that owns the corridor where the proposed commuter rail line would be built in Clayton County has just posted record profits for the second quarter of 2014.

Norfolk Southern’s financial situation warrants attention as Clayton County voters prepare to vote in November on a proposed 1 percent transit sales tax. Likewise with some of its corporate decisions, such as one last week to sue the state of Maryland to block the public release of information about shipments of crude oil.

The future of commuter rail in Clayton County depends largely on whether Norfolk Southern agrees to share its existing freight corridor, presuming voters approve the proposed 1 percent sales tax.
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For hunters yearning to be “Swamp People,” Georgia sells gator permits

Georgia has opened applications for hunters who want to experience the alligator hunting adventures seen on “Swamp People.”

There’s as much competition for a Georgia gator permit as there is for the actual lizard-like predator, which is the prey in the History channel’s hit reality TV series “Swamp People.” The show is in a genre similar to “Duck Dynasty.”

Georgia wildlife officials expect more than 10,000 applications for the 850 permits the state intends to issue this year. Hunters have killed 2,095 gators in Georgia since 2003, according to state records.
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Turner Field: Community taps brakes 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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