BAG Welcomes the National Development Finance Summit to Atlanta

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Bleakly Advisory Group (BAG) is a proud sponsor of the 2017 Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) National Summit in Atlanta November 15-17, 2017. As Georgia's leading independent urban development consultancy, helping  the public and private sectors create and execute downtown redevelopment plans, BAG is honored to help CDFA bring this important event to our town.

The CDFA National Summit brings together the leaders and dealmakers in the development finance industry to discuss best practices, trends, and project financing solutions. The event is designed for both public and private sector participants from all areas of the country. Attendees represent a diverse cross section of the development finance industry and bring unique perspectives, creative financing approaches, and interesting conversation to the event.

The Council of Development Finance Agencies is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation’s leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community representing hundreds of public, private and non-profit development entities.


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BUCKHEAD REdeFINED, Buckhead’s master plan update, recently received a Georgia Planning Association (GPA) award for Outstanding Planning Document. The consultant team was led by Kimley-Horn & Associates and included Bleakly Advisory Group, TSW, and Blue Zones.

BUCKHEAD REdeFINED focuses on placemaking and connectivity to enhance the overall quality of life in the greater Buckhead area. Bleakly Advisory Group led the economic, demographic, and real estate market analysis for the important effort. A summary of much of BAG's work in BUCKHEAD REdeFINED can be found in the first chapter of the final report.

According to the nomination for the award:

"BUCKHEAD REdeFINED advances the “typical” LCI plan to include a series of innovative elements. The plan looked beyond traditional land use and transportation elements to focus on Buckhead’s demographic shift and the overwhelming impacts from the fact that those who work in Buckhead can no longer afford to live in Buckhead. This, combined with limited mobility options, forces workers to largely drive alone and is the greatest contributor to the area’s daily vehicular congestion. The plan identifies this jobs-housing imbalance as the community’s most significant challenge and offers a framework for how to address and overcome the obstacle."

 Bleakly Advisory Group's work helped to shape this innovative element, contributing to Kimley-Horn's GPA award for 2017 Outstanding Planning Document


BAG participates in GPCID Idea Lab


BAG's Jonathan Gelber and Ken Bleakly helped the Gwinnett Place CID hold an "Idea Lab" in which experts from a wide range of disciplines gathered to develop new ideas and strategies to help the CID meet move forward with its redevelopment goals.  Jonathan presented the area's demographic and economic context, as well as an overview of a month-long survey of area workers' opinions of the area.

The Idea Lab was organized by Sharon Goldmacher of Communications 21.

(Photo Courtesy GPCID)

Bleakly Advisory Group Teamed with Nationally Recognized Experts for North Point Activity Center Project

It is always a pleasure to be part of a Kimley Horn-led team. We are equally pleased to be working for the City of Alpharetta once again.

The following news item about the launch of an initiative to update the master plan for the area around North Point Mall recently appeared in Patch.

ALPHARETTA, GA -- The city of Alpharetta is launching an initiative to update the master plan for the area around North Point Mall.

A team of nationally recognized experts in planning, design, retail development, and walk-ability has been engaged to assist in the effort to revamp the area referred to by the city as the North Point Activity Center.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Alpharetta residents and property-owners to work directly with our team to make the North Point area more inviting, walk-able and lively,” stated Alpharetta Director of Community Development Kathi Cook.

The North Point Activity Center includes all of the area along North Point Parkway between Mansell Road and Haynes Bridge Road. It also extends to the west to include the area along Westside Parkway.

The eight month process will update and clarify the community’s vision for the North Point Activity Center, identify strategy and policy enhancements to maintain and enhance the district, and prioritize public investments particularly related to maintaining mobility and enhancing the area’s walkability and vitality. Area residents and property owners will be invited to participate in the process through a series of three workshops to be held this fall and in early 2018.

The team will be led by Kimley-Horn, an Alpharetta and Atlanta-based planning and design firm with significant experience in Alpharetta and North Fulton. Joining the team are Jeff Speck, a nationally recognized planner, urban designer, and author who focuses on creating walk-able districts and cities, and George Banks and Kristi Rooks of Revel.

Banks is a 20-year retail veteran with extensive food and beverage and entertainment experience including the development of Krog Street Market Food Hall. Rooks is an expert in creative, innovative retail strategies. Geoff Koski, president of Bleakly Advisory Group, will lead the community-building effort’s market study and analysis.

The original North Point Livable Centers Initiative Master Plan, adopted by Alpharetta leaders in 2008, resulted in numerous improvements to the district, including landscaping interchanges along S.R. 400 corridor, intersection improvements along Mansell and Haynes Bridge roads and North Point area design guidelines that have improved the character and quality of new development.


ABC Features Bleakly Advisory Group Buckhead Analysis

Bleakly Advisory Group worked with lead planning firm Kimley Horn to help produce BUCKHEAD REdeFINED, the 10-Year update to the Buckhead Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) plan focused on land use enhancements, transportation improvements, and the creation of a stronger identity and sense of place in the Buckhead business district in Atlanta.

Recently, the Atlanta Business Chronicle highlighted the efforts in an featured article titled, "Buckhead planners: Lack of housing options is a big source of traffic."

The article focused on BAG's "findings [that] show that of the nearly 69,000 employees in the Buckhead core, including areas around its two MARTA stations, more than 18,000 employees can only afford apartments that cost $1,000 or less per month. Most of those 18,000 employees work in retail, restaurants or hotels, the service industries that support the luxury brands and lifestyle Buckhead is known for."

"That’s according to a new study from Bleakly Advisory Group, which tracked Buckhead demographics as part of a larger master plan that’s attempting to break away from the area’s suburban past to become a more walkable, connected neighborhood," the article stated.

“There is an imbalance," Bleakly Advisory Group president Geoff Koski was quoted in the article. “The area lacks enough workforce housing. And, we have to realize we need a greater diversity of housing options because the workforce itself is diverse.”

Bleakly Advisory Group is the Atlanta area's primary source for answers to land use questions at the intersection of real estate development and public policy. Each year BAG completes nearly 50 assignments, such as the Buckhead LCI update, in which clients rely on the firm's unrivaled experience in community development analytics.

Whether you are a private sector real estate development or investment firm seeking to maximize profits by better understanding your market opportunities, or a public sector leader seeking answers to difficult redevelopment issues, call Bleakly Advisory Group (404.845.3550) to find out how we can assist you.

Jonathan Gelber: ULI CFL '17

Congratulations to our colleague Jonathan Gelber, who today graduates as a member of ULI Atlanta's Center for Leadership Class of 2017.  For their final Mini Technical Assistance Panel (mTAP) project, Jonathan and four CFL colleagues (Jason Ward, Todd Flaman,  Trey Edwards and Rex Hamre) prepared a Redevelopment Action Plan for the Chosewood Park Community Community Development Corporation.  The plan will help the CPCDC and the Neighborhood Association respond to the influx of development and redevelopment proposals that are expected to occur in the neighborhood following the recently announced redevelopment of AHA's Englewood Manor site and the expansion of the Atlanta BeltLine trail through Chosewood Park.

Speaking of the Center for Leadership, ULI Atlanta is accepting applications for the CFL Class of 2018 through May 22!