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EACA Monthly Meeting—5/13/14

 
¡  Opening
–      Meeting opened at 7:07 with new attendee introductions
–      April meeting minutes approved

  • Later noted that minutes stated Beer Fest date of 5/11; should be 5/17

¡  Committee Reports / Announcements
–      EAVFM, Lolly

  • The market is averaging 550 people/market
  • EACA has hosted a booth each week, with various activities, including children’s activities
  • New vendors

¡  Pearson Farms (pecans, peaches)
¡  Smart Chicks farms

  • EAVFM accepts and doubles food stamps

¡  Experiencing a record high EBT redemption rate

  • New guests get $5 to spend at the market
  • Events

¡  Peach Jam coming up on June 26th
¡  Rose Bigelow doing chef’s demonstration this week (5/15); Fred Heurtin will be doing a demo 5/29

  • EAVFM leadership is available for outreach

–      Public Safety

  • Lt. Floyd, APD Zone 6, evening watch commander

¡  25% decrease in crime in Zone 6
¡  Burglary issue, which has been prevalent in East Atlanta, has improved—4 burglaries in 28 days; 1 robbery in the same period (Flat Shoals corridor)
¡  Improvements are due to increased police presence
¡  Tactical Traffic Unit has been active, helping to deter crimes
¡  Q&A
–      Steve asked about the triple home invasion follow-up
–      Question about joint efforts with DeKalb police outside of City limits

  • Some safety checkpoints, etc. during the night; respective forces are occupied with issues during the late afternoon / evening
  • Lt. Floyd believes some of the issues in East Atlanta last year have been pushed to DeKalb County since criminal activities aren’t successful in East Atlanta
  • Nextdoor.com – posting some updates on police activity / success stories

¡  Nextdoor is like Facebook for neighborhoods; East Atlanta has a page
–      East Atlanta Beer Fest this Saturday, May 17th, 1 to 6 PM

  • EACA will have a popcorn booth to raise money
  • Beer Fest supports our community in various ways, through grants and donations ($500k in the last 10 years)

¡  Neighbor in Need, BATL, East Atlanta Kids Club
¡  Please come support the festival, tell your friends to come, social media, etc.

  • On track to hit last year’s ticket #s, but still down from previous years
  • Still taking volunteers

¡  Primary needs are for Friday and post-festival (6 PM after the festival, or Sunday morning)
¡  Get a t-shirt, pint glass, volunteer party, free beer!

  • Uber will be on-site
  • Streets around Brownwood Park will be closed

–      Membership, Rose Bigelow

  • Membership is up

¡  Membership is only $10 / household, members get discounts in the neighborhood
¡  Only members can vote at meetings

  • Planning to host a membership social later in the year
  • Visit eaca.net to join / pay dues

–      Parks & Green Space, Susie Aquino

  • Workday on May 10th, installed bocce courts
  • Love Your Block grant from City of Atlanta will be going to disc golf course in the park
  • Planning another workday in June; details to follow
  • To volunteer or for more info, email parks@eaca.net

–      Events, Jeanne Fore

  • Great American Backyard Campout Day, June 28th at Farmer Red’s (Berne)

¡  Forming a committee shortly, email Jeanne if you’re interested in helping
–      Beautification, Brandy Smith

  • Upcoming clean-up days will be announced in the newsletter
  • 7 dead trees, Nancy contacted Councilmember Archibong’s office (Ted Bradford)—City will be replanting
  • Thanks to Nancy for her independent clean-up efforts in the Village
  • To volunteer or for more info, email beautification@eaca.net

–      LUZ, Andy Schneggenburger (landuse@eaca.net)

  • Q&A

¡  Historic Preservation Planner asked about the Gordon School redevelopment plans
–      Project is well beyond any rehabilitation efforts; would have been economically unfeasible given the size, age, and condition of the school
–      Plan is to demolish and rebuild
–      Old fire station has also been purchased and will be demolished
–      No updates from Paces on the project
–      Lori asked about reuse of the bricks; Andy didn’t have any info on this
–      Ralph pointed out that EACA didn’t have any leverage due to zoning questions
–      EACA has definitely been involved in trying to shape the development, but we don’t believe
–      Henry pointed out that EACA has a long history of advocacy, including for Gordon School

  • Both Gordon School and old fire station were proposed for a list of historic buildings; APS and City of Atlanta vetoed them
  • Flatiron and Martha Brown were added to the list; Madison Theatre also vetoed

–      Other business

  • Thaddeus Petry, Georgia State Ambassador

¡  Work with students and staff to do transportation, business-to-business escorts, emergency situations, crowd control
¡  Interested in bringing a similar Ambassador effort to the Village
–      3-4 staff in the Village nightly, possibly starting with weekends
¡  Mary asked for commentary to be emailed to president@eaca.net
¡  Q&A
–      Henry asked when this would start

  • Thaddeus has the staff ready, so it’s really just a question of funding

¡  Staff have public safety background
¡  Thaddeus would like the business community to help fund; 10 businesses at $50/night would be a good start
–      Nancy said it would be great to have parking lot patrol
–      Scott asked about insurance / liability; suggested legal guidance will be critical
–      Scott Petersen, Prison Farm update

  • Prison Farm is 1.5 miles south of East Atlanta
  • Movement to preserve Prison Farm as 300 acre multi-use park

¡  Owned by City of Atlanta, but in a dilapidated state
¡  Lots of great activity
–      3 tours, 60 visitors in the last few months
–      Hand carved marble stones from Carnegie Library found at Prison Farm
–      Have gotten interest from Park Pride, other groups; need politicians to get involved
¡  Scott is looking for volunteers to help with various activities
–      Public relations, outreach / tours
–      404.368.6700, scottpetersen@yahoo.com

  • Q&A

¡  Is the site adjacent to the Beltline?
–      No; Beltline is entirely in Fulton County
¡  Brandy mentioned the group pushing to extend the Path up from the South River Trail to Brownwood Park
–      Jack Gruendler and Joe Peery are facilitating that initiative within EACA
–      Email them at transportation@eaca.net
¡  Lori asked if the police have confronted the hiking groups
–      No issues as long as you’re not messing with the buildings
–      The buildings are quite dangerous (asbestos, etc.); Scott hopes the buildings will be boarded up
–      Grady Thrasher, Crowdvested

  • Startup real estate company making investment opportunities in communities available to the residents

¡  Traditionally funded by banks, other financial services firms, high net worth individuals
¡  Georgia law has been amended to allow for individual investments

  • First project is in EAV with Paces Properties; Paces has acquired the block on the southern side of Glenwood, between Joseph and Gresham (excluding Graveyard)

¡  Previous landlord managed poorly; Paces will be retenanting empty parcels (80% vacant)
¡  Paces is opening a portion of the funding to the community via CrowdVested

  • Free beer and appetizers at The Glenwood this Thursday (5/15) with Paces
  • More info at Crowdvested.com
  • Q&A

¡  Andy asked how the deal came about between Paces and CrowdVested
–      One of CrowdVested’s advisors, with Central Atlanta Progress, connected them; originally going to work together on the Gordon School
¡  How does investment work?
–      CrowdVested will pool together investments through a special purpose LLC; investors will have ownership rights in the property
–      Paces is projecting 12% annual returns with quarterly dividends
¡  What’s the total funding?
–      $3.5M total; 60% from banks, $200k from Paces, $250k through CrowdVested
–      Paces does have alternatives
¡  Ralph raised the concern about Paces seeking variances / re-zoning, and the possible conflict of interest if community members are torn between their vote and their investment
–      Grady agreed it was a valid concern
¡  Question about hair salon moving in; will the tenanting process be open to the community / investors?
–      Paces doesn’t control the property yet
–      Paces looking for quality, long-term tenants; Paces is looking for input from investors into what type of tenants the community wants, but investors won’t have veto rights
¡  Jonathan raised concerns about moving forward with these plans before getting community feedback, anticipates potential negative reactions
–      Concerns are understandable; the last thing they want is a negative feedback loop between Paces and the community
¡  Are there design ideas at this point?
–      Minimal structural changes; goal is to give a healthy facelift to the buildings, in keeping with the community
–      Buildings currently aren’t tenantable, or the tenants that would take them aren’t going to be desirable in the community and/or wouldn’t last
–      Sembler Properties, JP Guzzardo

  • Sembler is seeking to develop southwest corner of Glenwood and Moreland; already have option to purchase

¡  Includes old Masonic Lodge, Buffalo China, 2 houses on Glenwood, 2 houses on Portland

  • JP has already presented to NPU W LUZ and SAND; Andy confirmed we’re not voting tonight, just seeking feedback
  • Timeline

¡  Capture feedback from EACA tonight; take EACA, SAND, and NPU feedback and revise plans
¡  Present revisions to community for further feedback / vote
Previously talked about as 525 Project, which didn’t move forward
 

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