City Government Graphic shows the original proposal to extend both Moores Mill Road (at right) and Adams Drive (at left) to connect to Marietta Boulevard and to each other.

Published on November 12th, 2015 |

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Reactions criticize mayor’s veto of funds to extend Moores Mill Rd.

Atlanta residents have been reacting on Facebook and elsewhere to the story that Mayor Kasim Reed has vetoed legislation that City Council passed Nov. 2 to use $800,000 in transportation impact fees to extend Moores Mill Road from Bolton Road to Marietta Boulevard.

The present end of Moores Mill Road with the derelict shopping center property to the right.

The present end of Moores Mill Road with the derelict shopping center property to the right.

That road extension will serve a long-delayed $100 million mixed-use redevelopment of the abandoned and derelict Moores Mill Shopping Center by South Carolina-based Edens Company, a center that would be anchored by a long-promised and much-needed 45,600-square-foot Publix supermarket to serve the residents in that area of northwest Atlanta.

Mayor Kasim Reed

Mayor Kasim Reed

Besides the Publix, the project also will include shops and restaurants, and up to 345 residential units. It is expected to generate 255 construction jobs, 284 permanent jobs and $2 million a year in sales taxes.

The City Council action Nov. 2 was the result of the tireless, unrelenting pursuit by Dist. 9 Councilwoman Felicia Moore to find a means for funding the entire $1.1 million extension to kick start the redevelopment of this center, which she has been pursuing for more than a decade.

Funding for the nearly $100 million project appeared secure in 2013 when the Federal Highway Administration awarded the city $2 million for the road improvements. But the federal money is being held up by ongoing congressional gridlock over a long-term transportation spending bill, and Edens is anxious to move forward with the development.

Under an ordinance approved by City Council, the $800,000 from the city will be added to $300,000 from Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency. Invest Atlanta will hold another

Dist. 9 City Councilwoman Felicia Moore has fought every way to get the Moores Mill Road extension and the shopping center redevelopment started.

Dist. 9 City Councilwoman Felicia Moore has fought every way to get the Moores Mill Road extension and the shopping center redevelopment started.

$200,000 – fulfilling an original commitment of $500,000 – for remaining phases of the project. (To read BuckheadView’s story about the City Council action, click here.)

Mayor Reed does not hide the fact he does not like Councilwoman Moore, who has been a thorn in his side on many occasions as she continues to serve as a watchdog on the council in terms of spending of taxpayer monies and other such issues. In fact Reed recruited and reportedly helped fund a candidate to run against Moore in the last city elections, though the effort failed.

Many of the posted reactions to Reed’s veto of the funding for Moores Mill Road have referred to “petty infighting” and his “vendetta” against Councilwoman Moore as reasons for his actions.

BuckheadView was emailed a copy of a letter sent to Mayor Reed by Buckhead resident Robin Wilson, who lives off Moores Mill Road near the proposed shopping center redevelopment and has been following this issue for about a decade.

BuckheadView believes the letter expresses the views of many residents in that area of the city of Atlanta who have been awaiting this new development. Here is the text of Robin Wilson’s letter:

Mayor Reed,
Please stop the needless political games and allow this development to proceed under the capable leadership of Edens. Your delays, vetoes, grandstanding and petty infighting affect more people than just Ms. Moore!

We are all citizens in what I used to think was a progressive, successful major metropolitan City. Your brazen disregard for procedure, protocol and professional courtesy are disgraceful, in

Buckhead resident Robin Wilson

Robin Wilson

my opinion. I’ve given you the benefit of the doubt many times on this issue, but NO MORE!

You, Sir, are the cog in the wheel of what can be a vast improvement of the Westside of our City. The blighted and neglected eyesore that still stands at Marietta Blvd/Bolton Road/Moores Mill has resulted in increased violence, crime and deaths. I remind you of the shooting at the CVS Store at that very location.

Clean it up, or better yet, step out of the way of progress; and let Edens do their job. They’ve proved to be a good steward of property based on their recent acquisitions in Atlanta.

The challenge by Messrs. Woodham and Sherman was expected, and I don’t have a problem with “Taxpayer Watchdogs” doing their part to make sure that the politicos play by the rules. The Georgia Supreme Court validated the Bond Financing, and I thought the wheels of progress would begin rolling. That was June of 2013!

This project needs your support and should not be used in your personal vendetta against Ms. Moore. I speak as a concerned and interested taxpayer/neighbor in the adjacent area to the proposed development.

I welcome your response to me or to the City Council and most importantly to the investors and owners of the property who would like to proceed.

Respectfully,
Robin Wilson
Ridgewood Rd. NW
Atlanta GA 30327

(Editor’s Commentary: BuckheadView heartily endorses the sentiments expressed in Robin Wilson’s letter and urges Mayor Reed to put the welfare of the residents of northwest Atlanta ahead of his own petty infighting with Councilwoman Moore and retract his veto of this important legislation. If the Mayor does not concur, BuckheadView urges the City Council to vote unanimously again and override the mayor’s veto.)

 

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    9 Responses to Reactions criticize mayor’s veto of funds to extend Moores Mill Rd.

    1. Bill Brockman says:

      As 32 year citizens of Bolton/Atlanta, my wife and I are long term frustrated witnesses of this drama. A part of the project unmentioned in your good story is connecting the extended Moores Mill Rd. to our neighborhood access street – Adams Dr. Currently, we have lived for two years with the temporary solution of a glorified driveway serving as sole practical access to a major elementary school, several busy youth sports facilities, and hundreds of homes. Turning from our current Adams Dr. detour onto Marietta Blvd. is often difficult and frequently dangerous. The City of Atlanta promised us this connection of Moores Mill to Adams when it closed our former intersection. It’s long past time for action, Mayor Reed.

      • John Schaffner says:

        You are right, I did not mention that in my story, but I am very well aware of that part of the project, since I have been covering this for at least a decade. That part of the extension was part of the $2 million federal funding that has been held up. I can’t imagine when that will be completed if Mayor Reed won’t even permit funding for the portion from Bolton Road to Marietta Boulevard in order to improve traffic flow and safety as well as kick start a $100 million redevelopment of that derelict slum shopping center.

        • AV says:

          From what I have understood (and correct me if I am wrong here), but it is that portion of the extension that the funds he vetoed would support. Apparently there are allocated funds for the first half of the road extension to bring Moores Mill into the plaza and out to Marietta Rd. But the Impact Funds that Reed has vetoed were to go towards continuing the extension into Adams Crossing like it was promised to us years ago. And that is a HUGE issue. Watching school buses with children on board attempt to exit onto Marrietta Rd, a heavily traffic filled thoroughfare, is dangerous enough to warrant a fix. There was a bad accident from that “intersection” a couple weeks back that shut down a part of Moores Mill during high traffic. And yet, this part of the road was left out of the current funding plans that we as a community were notified about a few weeks ago. From what we have been told, the changes to the plaza are a go. And the part of Moores Mill to go into the plaza are a go. But the community that lives just on the other side of Marietta Rd still needs to play their daily game of Frogger.

          • John Schaffner says:

            The funds that Mayor Reed vetoed were $800,000 that would be added to $300,000 allocated by Invest Atlanta to make up the $1.1 million required to extend Moores Mill Road only from Bolton Road on the east to Marietta Boulevard. The total cost of extending Moores Mill Road all the way into the Adams Crossing neighborhood as promised is expected to be $2.2 million, most of which would be funded by the $2 million in federal funds that were approved but had not been released to the city due to hang-ups in getting a federal transportation bill approved in Congress. Without the $800,000, there is only $300,000 of Invest Atlanta money allocated to the Moores Mill Road extension, which would at best extend the road from Bolton Road to the front door of the Publix supermarket.

    2. Matt says:

      Do you have any response to the Mayor’s statement today that the project will go forward on schedule using $2 million in federal funds that will be available January 2016?

    3. Dustin R. Hillis says:

      Here was my e-mail to all the CMs urging override of the veto. Out of all 15, I only heard back from Felicia, Mary, & Andre.
      “Dear Honorable Councilmembers,

      I contact you to urge your vote to override Mayor Reed’s unfortunate, last-minute veto of 15-O-1490. As I’m sure you know, given the ordinance was unanimously approved and had 11 cosponsors, this would have allocated $800k in transportation impact fees for the much-needed extension of Moores Mill Rd to Marietta Blvd. This is not only needed to ensure smooth traffic flow around and through the $95 million redevelopment of the Moores Mill Shopping Center, but also to alleviate already existing congestion and improve traffic safety on Bolton Rd, Moores Mill Rd, and Marietta Blvd.

      Mayor Reed has claimed that federal funding for the project is “on the way”, something we have been told for years, yet it has never arrived. With the current gridlock and politicking in Washington, a new transportation bill has not even been passed yet, with no guarantee it will be. Even if it is, arrival of the money would not likely occur for years. Many leaders of our states and municipalities have showed leadership by stepping up to the plate to fill funding gaps created by Washington’s inaction. I ask that you do the same for this very important project that will bring much-needed revenue into the City of Atlanta via sales taxes, property taxes, and even more development that will be spurred by this project. Let’s not let the gridlock in Washington and the lack of executive leadership and support stop this much needed funding. Please support this project and override this unprecedented mayoral veto so this project will be successful, and we can stop sending our tax dollars across the Chattahoochee to Cobb County. Given the benefits of this project to the city, it would be fiscally irresponsible not to fund this road extension, contrary to what that Mayor stated in his veto letter.

      Lastly, I greatly appreciate all the members of Council who have continually supported, cosponsored, and voted in favor of this important legislation.”

    4. earthworx says:

      Not for nothing, but why doesn’t Eden just pay for extension themselves and move on. Developers build roads all the time, just look at the roads in these new subdivision that developers paid for. $800K is just 0.8% of the $100M project. Just raise your price/square foot lease rate another quarter or so, that would probably more than cover the extra $800K. Basing your project on obtaining federal funding seems dumb, especially since Congress won’t pass a transportation bill anytime in the forseeable future.

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