Articles from the Atlanta Business Chronicle

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Column: Trust for Public Land reaches fundraising goal for Westside park

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 22, 2017

The Trust for Public Land has reached its $12.7 million goal to build out the Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Vine City, with the hope that it will be open in time for the Super Bowl in February 2019.

George Dusenbury, state director of the Trust for Public Land, said the grand vision for the park appealed to both the community and the philanthropic community.

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Westside initiatives take root, ‘but there’s a long way to go’

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 22, 2017

During a recent tour of English Avenue and Vine City, Frank Fernandez of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation highlighted numerous initiatives that have begun to take root on the Westside.

A former check-cashing business is being transformed into a restaurant. Several vacant lots have been turned into neighborhood parks. Police officers are moving into the neighborhood thanks to an initiative of the Atlanta Police Foundation. Westside Works has a new home where it is training residents in the fields of construction, heath care, culinary arts and soon childcare.

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Column: Civic Atlanta: Woodruff Arts Center gets $5.1 million grant to extend free arts programs

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 15, 2017

The Woodruff Arts Center will be able to continue its Family Fun programming over the next three years thanks to a new philanthropic grant.

The Lettie Pate Evans Foundation, which is part of the Robert W. Woodruff family of foundations, has awarded the Woodruff Arts Center an extension grant of $5.1 million to allow Family Fun to continue – offering free access to music, visual arts and theater for another three years.

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Column: City’s affordability now ‘top of the list’ for elected leaders

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 8, 2017

Atlanta’s housing advocates reminded newly-elected leaders of their commitments during the campaign to address the city’s affordability problems.

“It’s an exciting and challenging time for us,” said Bill Bolling, the facilitator of the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum meeting at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Dec. 6, a day after the election. “We finally got affordability to the top of the list. We need to hold [elected leaders] accountable and be allies” in helping make Atlanta more affordable.

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City adopts land-use vision for Westside communities

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 8, 2017

A far-reaching land-use plan for the Westside received an important boost when it was unanimously adopted by the Atlanta City Council on Dec. 4.

The Westside Land Use Framework Plan — more than two years in the making — emerged after an unprecedented number of community meetings with more than a thousand participants.

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Column: Business leaders launch ‘goBeyondProfit’ to promote giving back

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 1, 2017

A new initiative by civic-minded business leaders is being launched Dec. 1 as a way to make corporate generosity more visible and encourage other companies to give back to communities.

The goBeyondProfit initiative was founded by Jackson Healthcare, and a dozen or more business ambassadors have joined the effort to encourage business owners and company leaders to sigh the goBeyondProfit pledge.

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Grady Hospital gets $50 million Woodruff gift to fund expansion

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 1, 2017

Thanks to a new $50 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff FoundationGrady Health System is within $10 million of reaching its $165 million goal to fund two capital projects that will enable the hospital to become more financially sustainable.

The $50 million is in addition to the $200 million the Woodruff Foundation gave 10 years ago when the public safety net hospital was in dire financial straits. That $200 million was the catalyst in a $325 million private fundraising effort that saved the hospital from going under.

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Column: Ben Franklin Academy raises almost $2 million for expansion

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Nov. 24, 2017

The Ben Franklin Academy, an independent, small college-prep high school near Emory University, has raised nearly $2 million to complete an expansion of its campus.

“We finished everything without any debt,” said Dr. Martha Burdette, Ben Franklin Academy’s head of school. “Our goal was $1.75 million, and we raised almost $2 million.

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Atlanta scouting CEOs discuss impact of historic change

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Nov. 24, 2017

A move by the Boy Scouts of America to start admitting girls has triggered a national backlash by the Girl Scouts of America.

And the national battle between the two national organizations may possibly strain what has been a strong collaborative relationship between the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Council.

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Morehouse School of Medicine plans $50 million expansion

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Nov. 24, 2017

Morehouse School of Medicine is planning a more than $50 million expansion adjacent to its southwest Atlanta campus.

The school’s new “living, learning and health care campus” will include its first-ever student housing, an ambulatory health-care center and a retail component.

Real estate developer Carter USA won the bidding process to develop the first phase of the project, which MSM is calling the Lee Street Campus. BDR/Mandl and Co. was the owner’s representative for the school’s request for proposals.

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Column: Atlanta school gets an ‘A’ for landing jobs for its students

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on November 17, 2017

The Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is quickly becoming a national model among the 32 Cristo Rey schools in the United States.

“We are the only Cristo Rey school in the country that has every student in a paying job,” said Bill Garrett, president of Atlanta’s Cristo Rey. “We have 137 corporate work student partners.”

Cristo Rey Atlanta, a Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means and of any faith, will graduate its first senior class in 2018. It now has 535 students, and every student carries a full load of classes and works five full days a month in a corporate work setting.

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Column: Cousins’ Gellerstedt worried some Americans are losing hope

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on November 10, 2017

When Larry Gellerstedt, CEO of Cousins Properties Inc., received the American Jewish Committee’s National Human Relations Award on Oct. 30 at the Loew’s Atlanta Hotel, he sounded an alarm over the prejudice and hate in our society today.

Gellerstedt explained he is a lover of history – especially European history between World War I and World War II.

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Column: Wesley Woods to honor three for their impact in metro Atlanta

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on November 3, 2017

Three prominent Georgians will be honored with the Heroes, Saints & Legends awards by the Foundation of Wesley Woods on April 19 at Flourish.

Civil rights leader the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery will be honored along with his late wife, Evelyn Lowery.

Also, philanthropist Merritt Steed Bond and attorney Edward “Jack” Hardin, a homeless advocate, also will be honored at the annual event that celebrates Georgians who have made significant contributions to the community through their leadership, service and philanthropy.

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Women gaining critical mass on Georgia company boards

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on November 3, 2017

A year ago, Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange Inc. only had one woman on its board. Today, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange has three, reflecting a growing trend among Georgia’s top public companies of having at least three women on their boards.

That’s one of the findings of the just-published 2017 OnBoard study of women directors and executives of Georgia’s publicly owned companies.

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The Loudermilks bring their business back to their former home in Buckhead

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on October 27, 2017

Charlie and Robin Loudermilk have come home.

The father and son have moved their business offices back into the building where they worked for decades.

Built in 1963, the office tower at 309 East Paces Ferry Road was the first high-rise in Buckhead. Charlie Loudermilk bought it in 1970 and for more than 40 years it served as the headquarters for Aaron’s Inc., the furniture and electronics rental company he had founded in 1955. Aaron’s used it as its home base until a couple of years ago, when the company moved to a new headquarters at 400 Galleria Parkway.

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Civic Atlanta column: Operation Hope, SunTrust CEOs talk credit scores

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on October 20, 2017

John Hope Bryant, founder and CEO of Operation HOPE, sees the world through credit scores.

The average credit score for people living in the city of Atlanta is 670. An unnamed county south of the city has an average credit score of 602 while a county to the north of the city has an average score of 720. Credit scores are an indicator of the wealth in an area, and Bryant believes they are key in lessening the income divide.

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The Masquerade commits to Underground

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on October 20, 2017

Underground Atlanta’s first permanent tenant will be long-time Atlanta music venue The Masquerade.

The concert venue known for its three stages – Heaven, Hell and Purgatory – has signed a lease to stay at least 10 years at the downtown project.

The Masquerade had first moved to Underground last November. At the time, it was pegged as a temporary location after the venue had to leave its long-time home on North Avenue when that property was bought for redevelopment.

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Underground Atlanta project progressing well, developer WRS says

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on October 20, 2017

Since buying Underground Atlanta last April, WRS Inc. has been moving forward with development plans for the property.

WRS is partnering with Peak Campus, a student housing developer, to build a 700-bed building across from Georgia State University. The building also will have about 25,000 square feet of retail at street level. The student housing development should be open by the fall of 2020 for that school year.

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Column: Atlanta Committee for Progress develops blueprint for next mayor

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on October 13, 2017

The high-powered Atlanta Committee for Progress has developed a blueprint for the city as a way to help provide a smooth transition for the next mayor.

ACP, which was created in 2003 by then-Mayor Shirley Franklin, includes many of the top business and civic leaders in the Atlanta region. It has helped launch a host of initiatives, including the Atlanta Beltline, acquisition of the Martin Luther King Jr. papers, pension reform and the Westside Future Fund.