Tag Archives: Mayor Kasim Reed

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’s Eastside TAD has yet to fulfill vision or plan; Mayor Reed wants it closed, taxes used elsewhere

An urban renewal program that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed proposes to close has achieved less than half the goals that were outlined in 2005, and it has a long way to go toward fulfilling its mission as stated when it was created in 2003, city records show.

When the Eastside TAD was created, the vision was for it to spark $1.51 billion in private and public/private investments. The result has been an additional $300 million in increased property value through 2010, the latest reporting year readily available in city records.

Reed proposes to close the Eastside Tax Allocation District in order to free about $5 million a year for use in the citywide budget. Currently, this amount of property taxes can be spent only to promote development within the borders of the Eastside TAD.
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Atlanta Mayor Reed: Boko Haram “could not be more wrong” in kidnapping girls for slave trade

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has added his voice to the international chorus criticizing an Islamist terrorist group for kidnapping school girls in Nigeria and praying for the girls and their families.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the more than 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped three weeks ago from the Government Girls Secondary School,” Reed said in a statement released late Wednesday.

Reed is slated to visit Nigeria in October as part of a trade mission that includes South Africa. Reed also is scheduled to join Gov. Nathan Deal in speaking in August at the Nigerian American Investment Summit, in Atlanta.
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Atlanta City Council wants some TADs closed to free millions of tax dollars for use elsewhere in city

The Atlanta City Council on Thursday made its strongest statement yet that the time has come to declare some urban renewal districts complete so that property taxes collected from them can pay for city services elsewhere in Atlanta.

The position sets up a potential political confrontation between the council and Invest Atlanta, the city’s development arm that collects management fees by administering Atlanta’s 10 TADs. Property taxes collected in a TAD, or tax allocation district, can be spent only to provide new public amenities in that TAD.

“This is the juice for Invest Atlanta,” said Councilmember Yolanda Adrean. “They take all their administrative charges and they smear them like peanut butter across these 10 TADs. Well, I mean, they [TADs] were designed to be retired. Mission accomplished. Yeah! Close it.”
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Atlanta to sell 1 acre by BeltLine; developer to be chosen April 17

Atlanta on Monday announced its plan to sell just over an acre of land in the BeltLine corridor. The property is across North Avenue from Ponce City Market and abuts the Eastside Trail next to the Historic Fourth Ward Park.

The city intends to select a developer on April 17. The vacant property was formally put on the auction block Monday by Invest Atlanta, the city’s development arm.
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VIP parking at Falcons stadium to require big changes in MLK Drive

A planned VIP parking lot at the future Falcons stadium will require a virtual dead end of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at the stadium, and will affect the road’s ability to become the grand boulevard envisioned by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

[Scroll down the story to see a gallery of photos of the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive corridor.]

The first public discussion of this proposal is scheduled Tuesday morning during the Atlanta City Council’s Utilities Committee.

The Falcons contend fans will benefit from VIP parking and related traffic management plan that will enhance their game-day experience. Others disagree. Continue reading

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Brazil, a dynamic business partner, site of Reed’s next trade mission

Brazil is one of Georgia’s leading trade partners, and Mayor Kasim Reed intends to strengthen relations during a trade mission he’s to lead there in April. Reed is just wrapping up his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Metro Atlanta’s connection to Brazil is closer than might be expected, if the only consideration were the 4,600 flight miles or so that separate Atlanta from the capitol, Sao Paulo. An air router showed this distance is about 400 miles more than the mileage between Atlanta and London.

In terms of trade through Georgia’s seaports, Brazil is the state’s eighth largest export market and the 15th largest source of imports, according to the U.S. Census. A UGA study showed in 2012 that more than 156,000 jobs in metro Atlanta are tied to Georgia’s ports.
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Mayor Reed in 2014 may try to trigger up to $250 million in public works construction projects across city

The stars may be aligning for a vote in Atlanta in 2014 to raise money from taxpayers to hasten repairs of the city’s broken sidewalks, streets, bridges and other public infrastructure.

The bond referendum to which Mayor Kasim Reed recommitted himself Friday could be called in a year large numbers likely will turn out to vote for a U.S. senator and state governor. The timing has pros and cons.

In addition, calling the referendum in 2014 would capitalize on a public awareness campaign on pedestrian safety the state is paying PEDS to conduct in metro Atlanta. The $67,000 grant announced Dec. 12 also is to enable the pedestrian safety advocacy organization to provide technical assistance to governments.
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Community cut out of community benefits deal at Falcons stadium; Mayor Reed ready to engage

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is on track to wrap up on Dec. 2 the loose ends of the city’s promise to provide $200 million to the Falcons for a new stadium.

For that to happen, a committee that’s worked on a community benefits plan since July was told Wednesday night that it will not get to recommend a plan to the Atlanta City Council. The political fallout has already begun: Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell says the process has lost credibility; civic leaders talked Wednesday of filing a lawsuit to halt the process of providing the money to the Falcons.

While this controversy was erupting at City Hall, Reed was at a community meeting near Buckhead talking about a number of initiatives for his second term – including the demolition of Turner Field, after the Braves depart in 2017, in order to create a 57-acre tract that will be, Reed said, “wildly attractive to investment.”
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