Author Archives: Maria Saporta

About Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

City in talks for Underground deal

By Maria Saporta and Amy Wenk
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on October 3, 2014

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is in the midst of negotiating a deal with a potential buyer who would transform Underground Atlanta into a high-density development above ground.

“I think we will make an announcement about Underground before Dec. 1,” Reed said after the Sept. 26 meeting of the Atlanta Committee for Progress. “And I think we will be talking about an investment in the $100 million to $250 million range.”
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Author Andrew Winston makes a business case for saving the earth – evoking the memory of Ray Anderson

Corporate environmentalist Andrew Winston, the speaker at Southface’s Visionary Dinner on Oct. 1, quoted from Georgia’s own legend — the late Ray Anderson.

“What’s the business case for ending life on earth?” Winston asked, quoting Anderson.

Winston is the author of “The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World;” as well as the best-selling “Green to Gold” books.

Though he didn’t say it explicitly, Winston would probably rephrase Anderson’s question and ask: “What is the business case for saving life on earth?”
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If the U.S. Senate race and the governor’s race end up in run-offs, Georgia will be in nation’s spotlight

By Maria Saporta

A group of well-respected political observers said Monday there was a strong possibility that both Georgia’s U.S. Senate race and governor’s race could end up in run-offs after the Nov. 4 election.

In the U.S. Senate race, Michelle Nunn is the Democrat, David Perdue is the Republican and Amanda Swafford is the Libertarian.

Now if Georgia’s U.S. Senate race ends up in a run-off and control of the Senate is on the bubble after Nov.4, Georgia could be the most closely-watched state in the nation until the Jan. 6 run-off.
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Column: Groundbreaking set for new, larger Ronald McDonald House

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on September 26, 2014

Although it still needs to raise another $3.2 million by the end of the year, the Ronald McDonald House Charities will break ground on Sept. 30 on its new – bigger and better – Peachtree Dunwoody Road House.

The charity already has raised $15.3 million of its $18.5 million campaign for the new house that will better serve families with children being treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.
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AHA forms advisory group for preserving historic 20 Hilliard St.

By Maria Saporta

Halting the demolition of 20 Hilliard St., the 1910 building in the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District, was just the first half of a victory for preservationists.

Now the real work for a complete victory begins with the formation of a community and advisory group that will work with the Atlanta Housing Authority to save what is also known as the Trio Laundry building.

The nine-member advisory group met for the first time on Oct. 1, when it heard from AHA officials about the property’s history, about efforts that are currently under way to save the building as well as potential uses for affordable housing if the building can be saved.
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GRA adds Morehouse School of Medicine and Mercer University

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on September 26, 2014

For the first time in its 24-year history, the Georgia Research Alliance has expanded the number of universities that are part of its member institutions.

The Morehouse School of Medicine and Mercer University now have joined the ranks of Emory University, Georgia Tech, The University of Georgia, Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University and Georgia Regents University (formerly the Medical College of Georgia).
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ELEVATE Arts Festival seeks to revitalize downtown Atlanta with art

By Guest Columnist CAMILLE RUSSELL LOVE, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and producer of the annual ELEVATE Arts Festival

A great city offers not only excellent services and resources, but it also serves as a cultural hub. Arts and culture play vital roles in helping define and enhance the social fabric and the quality of life of its citizens and visitors.

With the various programs and events that the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs coordinates and produces, we continually work to inspire and educate people through the arts.
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Mayor Kasim Reed: NBA’s Silver vows to keep Hawks team in Atlanta

By Maria Saporta

During his press briefing Friday morning at City Hall, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed wanted to make two points about the Atlanta Hawks.

One, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver supports keeping the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta – no matter who owns a majority of the team.

Two, Bruce Levenson, who currently represents the majority ownership share of 50.1 percent, needs to move forward with the sale of his interests as quickly as possible before people in Atlanta begin lose patience with him.
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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says Hawks sale will ‘be okay’ despite questions on timing and control

By Maria Saporta

It has been nearly a month since Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson announced his intent to sell his interest in the team. Levenson, and his partners in the Washington, D.C. area, own 50.1 percent of the Atlanta Hawks.

But according to people close to the team, Levenson has yet to hire an investment banker to help market his interest in the team, and it is not known if and when he will proceed with the sale of his interest in the team.
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2014 Nobel Peace Summit in South Africa cancelled; Atlanta’s plans for 2015 Summit going at full speed

By Maria Saporta

When Atlanta hosts the 2015 Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates next November, it is guaranteed to not repeat the mishap of the now-cancelled 2014 Summit that was to have taken place in Cape Town, South Africa from Oct. 13 to 15.

The annual summit was officially cancelled Thursday after six Nobel Peace laureates pulled out of the event – protesting the exclusion of the Dalai Lama. The South African government denied a visa for the Dalai Lama – the spiritual leader from Tibet – after receiving pressure from China.
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