Published on May 13th, 2015 |2
Forum on Moores Mill Center to precede Invest Atlanta vote by a day
The meeting will be just hours before Invest Atlanta likely will vote May 21 on whether to ante up the funds for a road extension that is a requirement for redevelopment by the developer Edens and their client Publix if the community is to finally get the grocery store it has been promised for 10 years.
The 7 p.m. meeting at the Northside Park Baptist Church, on Howell Mill Road just inside I-75 in Buckhead, will have two of the most important folks who have battled for this development for the last 10 plus years.
Atlanta Dist. 9 City Councilwoman Felicia Moore and Karyn Hudson, former NCA board member and NPU-D representative from the Bolton community will lead a presentation the night before the TAD (‘Tax Allocation District) Committee of Invest Atlanta will meet at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, regarding the issue.
NCA Chairman Michael Koblentz said, “We must put this in context. The neighborhoods, the developer, some of the media commentators and the political representatives from the area have been pushing in one direction and that is to make this development happen.”
This battle has been going on for over 10 years “and the final issue is an added $700,000 in funding that is being requested of Invest Atlanta to push and drag this project over the finish line,” Koblentz explained. Ironically, a final vote for this project is the following day after the NCA meeting on May 21, at 3 p.m. at 130 Peachtree St. NE Suite 2900 Atlanta Ga. 30303.
Whatever the TAD Committee of Invest Atlanta decides on May 21 will be taken before the full Invest Atlanta board the following Thursday, May 28 at 8:30 a.m.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who does not get along with Councilwoman Moore and even recruited and funded a candidate to run against her in the last council election, chairs the Invest Atlanta board and has selected the majority of the board members. He has told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he opposes Invest Atlanta providing the $700,000 for the road project at Moores Mill Shopping Center and has suggested Moore pay for it out of her council district’s share of the Infrastructure Bond Issue funds.
The NCA meeting will be a way for people to get information on the issues surrounding the allocation of the $700,000 to extend Moores Mill Road through the center of the proposed new shopping center to connect with Marietta Boulevard and provide access to the Publix super market.
“The area is a food dessert and has no viable, grocery store and that includes areas off of Hollowell Rd (formerly Bankhead) who have no viable options for quality food,” Koblentz said. “Publix would be the retail anchor for this shopping center if there is a yes vote.”
Koblentz added, “This area needs a major push for development. Even in areas that are considered way more marginal there are at least major developments such as the Falcons Stadium and the redevelopment of Turner Field that could be a catalyst for real change. Moores Mill shopping center would be the catalyst for this area and therefore is critical.”
The second part of the NCA meeting agenda will feature a presentation by Frank Poe, the current executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center—the third largest convention center in the U.S.—who will actually be the featured speaker.
Poe previously was the director of the Dallas Convention Center and now leads one of the world’s largest convention, sports and entertainment complexes which includes the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Dome, Centennial Park and soon, the new Falcons Stadium.
Poe has been heavily involved in the complex dealings with the Arthur Blank Foundation, the city of Atlanta, and the neighborhoods in putting together the Falcons deal.
“You can disagree with parts of the arrangement but you can’t disagree that Frank Poe, has been an amazingly transparent and accessible figure in the community,” said Koblentz. “He has been on some of our panels dealing with the new stadium and been to countless other NCA meetings.”
All NCA meetings are open to the public and are now being held at the new venue, the fellowship hall of Northside Park Baptist Church. The entrance is at the rear of the building and there is ample parking behind the building as well.