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When will South DeKalb Get More Retail Diversity?

Photo credit: Le Petit Marche

Despite higher median income and traffic counts than other Atlanta suburban areas, trendy fast-casual restaurants shun south DeKalb
When I originally did the research for this article back in 2015, I’ll admit that I was pleasantly surprised with my findings, but soon became annoyed by them. Annoyed because it all didn’t add up that the numbers were similar to or better than areas that had the coveted retail. Although this topic was initially driven by my selfish motive of not wanting to drive too far (and fast) to get to Willy’s restaurant, I thought about my community and the many people that might wonder why they have to drive far to get what they want.
Another motivator is the Greenhaven initiative. Before you put on your NAG (Neighbors Against Greenhaven) sneer, I was (and still am) also motivated by the negative vitriol about how this Greenhaven thing is a ‘hot mess of an idea born out of a few people’s motivations to create a cash cow for themselves’.…
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The Seamless Way to Ride MARTA to the Airport

If you must transfer from the blue line to the red or gold line to the airport
I analyzed MARTA’s rail times to answer the question: how long would I have to wait for a southbound gold or red line train after transferring from an eastbound or westbound blue line train? Of course, this is if MARTA is running according to schedule. I’ll admit that this information might be useless for anyone traveling on MARTA other than those going to the airport. The times analyzed are roughly between 4:45 am and 10:30 pm Monday through Friday.
What I found is if you’re heading to the airport and you’re traveling from any station between the blue line’s Hamilton E. Holmes station and the Dome/CNN/GA World Congress Station (or whatever they’re calling that station now), getting on at HEH station at 3:27 pm, you would wait no more than 2 minutes between exiting the blue line train at Five Points and getting on the southbound train These are all gold line trains heading south. This holds true if you get on…

Why Amazon's HQ2 Will End Up In This City

Amazon might decide on winning city in unconventional way
There’s been a flurry of recent stories about Amazon's HQ2 announcement. From someone analyzing Jeff Bezos' flight records to considering a recent large development proposal in Atlanta. There's much anticipation and speculation in the remaining 20 cities and there are a ton of blogs, news and betting sites speculating on which city will land the coveted second headquarters. We know Amazon is looking for a city/metro area with a population of at least 1 million, good public transit, an international airport, a business-friendly environment and enough space to hold 50,000 workers.

The remaining cities match up pretty well on the major ‘must haves’ but vary widely in population, coolness factor and affordability. I believe Amazon's choice will come down to the city which ranks the best in (in this order): cost of living, the number of tech jobs per 1,000 jobs, and public transit.

Why in this order? It makes sense to c…

The Case for Replacing South DeKalb Mall with a New Mixed-Use Development

Bringing Atlantic Station to the eastside
New York City-based Thor Equities is an international real estate development and investment company that owns the 800,000 square foot The Gallery at South DeKalb. 

From Thor Equities' page describing The Gallery at South DeKalb: 
OUTSTANDING LOCATION The Gallery at South DeKalb is located in the southeastern section of Atlanta, known as Decatur, Georgia. Situated minutes away from I-285, and directly off I-20 on Candler Road, the Gallery has tremendous exposure and visibility from the street. The daily traffic count of cars passing the Property is estimated to be about 136,000.
EXCEPTIONAL TRADE AREA The Gallery at South DeKalb tailors itself to a close-knit community of African-American consumers with more than 600,000 potential customers in the primary and secondary market area. This trade area has the nation’s second-most affluent African-American base with an average household income at more than $60,000 for more than 257,000 people within …

South DeKalb Safer Than Buckhead, Virginia-Highlands, and Midtown?

Coalescing in southern DeKalb County is a movement that is a) trying to form a city (Greenhaven) to help improve the quality of life of its inhabitants and b) bringing together critical-thinking community members to address the issues and debunk the myths that often gather around diverse areas – in this case the issue of safety.
Crime is a hot topic. With a multitude of publications ranking the ‘safest neighborhoods’, many understandably make it a priority to peruse these lists and guides with the hopes of not only avoiding a high crime area when researching an area before purchasing a home, but to insure that the chosen neighborhood has a low likelihood of changing. Looks can be deceiving.
The issue is that people rarely get hard data to support this assessment. These labels bring huge economic costs: disinvestment, high unemployment in the community, low economic development potential, and lower home appreciation rates. Some of these communities have median incomes that are similar or…