Latest Reports

Blue Heron Nature Preserve adds four acres and connections to PATH trails

By Maria Saporta

Inside the city limits of Atlanta, every acre counts.

The Blue Heron Nature Preserve in North Buckhead is adding four more acres – allowing it to directly connect to the local elementary school and enabling construction of a continuous PATH trail from the Preserve’s properties to the other trails in the area.

The expansion of the Blue Heron Nature Preserve was announced by its executive director Nancy Jones. Now the Preserve totals 30 acres and includes a “haven of majestic trees, nature trails, a 10,000-square-foot education and arts center as well as a wildlife sanctuary adjoining Roswell Road. Continue reading

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High Museum of Art receives $2.5 million gift for folk art initiatives

By Maria Saporta

The High Museun of Atlanta announced today that Atlanta-based patrons Dan Boone and his late wife Merri Boone to support and expand the museum’s folk and self-taught art initiatives.

The gift also includes the endowment of a permanent, full-time curatorial position to lead the deparment. The establishment of the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art enables the continued growth of the Museum’s exhibition program, conservation efforts and its collection in this field, which is recognized as one of the most significant public repositories of contemporary American folk and self-taught art in the world.

With this gift, all seven collecting departments at the High Musem of Art have a full-time endowed curatorial position, according to a release issued today by the museum.
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Atlanta Housing Authority halts demolition of 20 Hilliard St. to work with community on solutions

By Maria Saporta

Updated story:

In response to passionate protests from the preservation community, the Atlanta Housing Authority has halted the demolition of 20 Hilliard St. in the historic Martin Luther King Jr. Landmark District.

The 1910 building, also known as the Trio Laundry Dry Cleaning building, remains fenced off. It is just a few feet south of Edgewood Avenue and just blocks away from the King Center.

In an interview at Thumb’s Up diner on Edgewood Avenue Wednesday morning, Atlanta Housing Authority Chairman Daniel Halpern confirmed that the agency had put the demolition on hold.
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Atlanta’s United Way sets $75.5 million goal for 2014-2015 campaign

By Maria Saporta

Despite believing that residents in metro Atlanta are still climbing their way out of the Great Recession, co-campaign chairs of the United Way of Greater Atlanta — René and Barbarella Diaz — announced an ambitious $75.5 million goal for 2014-2015.

The energetic couple unveiled the goal at a campaign launch event Wednesday morning at the Loudermilk Center in downtown Atlanta – following a meeting of the United Way board, which had just approved the goal.

By comparison, United Way raised $74.39 million for the 2013-2014 campaign year under the leadership of Pat Falotico, senior state executive for IBM in Georgia. Continue reading

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BeltLine’s Brian Hooker new director of Fort Mac redevelopment board

By Maria Saporta

As plans progress for Atlanta entertainment mogul Tyler Perry to convert most of the now-closed Fort McPherson into a major movie studio complex, Fort Mac’s redevelopment authority Monday selected a new executive director.

The board unanimously selected Brian Hooker, vice president of real estate for Atlanta BeltLine Inc., as the new executive director of the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority (MILRA), a state entity.

“After looking at many candidates and interviewing lots of folks, we are ready to hire Brian Hooker,” said Chandra Houston, who heads the human resources committee for MILRA’s board.
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Two Atlanta sites now open – BeltLine gateway and College Football HOF

By Maria Saporta

A few years ago, Atlanta’s du jour was “Every day is an opening day.”

Well this past week, the slogan actually could have been brought out of retirement.

Two major attractions — both quite different yet significant in their own right — opened this past week — the new Eastside Trail Gateway connecting the Atlanta BeltLine to Historic Fourth Ward Park and the new College Football Hall of Fame.

The Eastside Trail Gateway opened Friday morning as dignitaries braved the 90-degree heat to mark yet another milestone in the development of the Atlanta BeltLine — a project that continues to redefine the city.
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Craig Menear to be CEO of the Home Depot Nov. 1 when Frank Blake retires

By Maria Saporta

The Home Depot will have a new CEO — Craig Menear — beginning Nov. 1.

Frank Blake, who has served as the company’s CEO for nearly seven years, will be retiring on that day, but he will remain as chairman of the home improvement company.

Menear is being promoted from his current role as president of U.S. retail, a position he has held since February of this year when it became apparent he would be Blake’s successor. Two other internal candidates were being considered for the top job — Carol Tomé, the long-time chief financial officer of the company; and Marvin Ellison, executive vice president of U.S. stores.
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City did not err in issuing demolition permit for historic building in King district, but preservationists still hope it can be saved

By Maria Saporta

The Atlanta preservation community was put on high alert this week through social media.

The City of Atlanta had issued a demolition permit for an historic building in the Martin Luther King Jr. Landmark district , and it did not appear that the permit had been issued by going through the proper channels, according to Kyle Kessler at Atlanta Preservation Professionals.

But Anne Torres, a spokeswoman for the city, said the demolition permit was approved by the staff of the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, which is responsible for reviewing applications to tear down historic buildings.

The staff approved the demolition permit in June after an inspection and written findings by Anthony Carter, assistant director of the Office of Buildings, in November 2013.
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Atlanta organizations key in fight against Ebola outbreak in West Africa

By Maria Saporta

Ebola poses little threat in the United States , but the same is not true for several countries in West Africa, according to Dr. Thomas Kenyon, director of the Center for Global Health at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Because of the presence of the CDC and a host of other global health organizations in the area, Atlanta is playing a critical role in the fight to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, one of the worst in history.
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UES lawsuit: Federal rules bypassed in Fort McPherson-Tyler Perry deal

By Maria Saporta

New details have emerged in a new legal filings against the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority and Tyler Perry Studios by Ubiquitous Entertainment Studios (UES).

UES filed two separate legal responses late Friday afternoon objecting to efforts by Tyler Perry Studios and MILRA to dismiss UES’ lawsuit against a proposed deal to sell 330 acres of the 488-acre Fort McPherson to the internationally-known Atlanta filmmaker to build up to 16 sound, television and movie studios on the property.

In its new filings, UES said it had been working on a movie and entertainment studio deal with MILRA since 2011 spending “enormous amounts of time and resources” towards buying 80 acres of the fort for its project.
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