Welcome Jon McKenley, Bleakly Advisory Group's Newest Consultant

Jon McKenley

Jon McKenley

Please help us welcome Jon McKenley, the newest member of the Bleakly Advisory Group team. 

Prior to joining Bleakly Advisory Group, Jon was an Urban Planner II with the City of Atlanta in the Department of City Planning. While there he served as liaison between all 25 Neighborhood Planning Units (NPUs) and the City government, and also managed the NPU Grant Program and Community Leadership Institute of Atlanta. Prior to working at the City, Jon interned at the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Jon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, majoring in Managerial Sciences and minoring in Planning & Economic Development.

Jon’s research and analytical skills have already made him an integral part of the Bleakly Advisory team.

Congrats to Bleakly Advisory Group's Newest Grad

Clare Healy

Clare Healy

Big congratulations go out to Clare Healy, Bleakly Advisory Group’s graduate intern consultant. Clare walked with Georgia Tech’s graduate program scholars last weekend after completing her master's degree in city planning at Georgia Tech. She is still hard at work on the Flats, as she is on track to collect a master’s in real estate development after the summer term.

Clare’s top-notch work has attracted the attention of the real estate community in her hometown. Clare has accepted a position with 3CDC in Cincinnati, Ohio beginning August 2019. We hate to see her go, but know she will be a true asset to her new firm. Congratulations Clare!

Bleakly Advisory Group Analysis Featured in Downtown Atlanta Profile

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In 2017 Bleakly Advisory Group completed a market analysis for Central Atlanta Progress, Inc. (CAP) that is currently being used to help plan for dynamic growth in the core of the unofficial “Capital of the South.” Bleakly’s work helped to set the stage for the well-received Downtown Atlanta Master Plan, which was released in 2018. Recently, Bleakly Advisory Group’s work was again highlighted in an Atlanta Business Chronicle article titled “Residents of tourist-driven areas make Atlanta visitors feel welcome.

“About 8.7 million people are drawn to downtown Atlanta’s tourist attractions annually, according to a 2017 report by Central Atlanta Progress. And while 26,850 people lived downtown as of 2016, a real estate market analysis by the Bleakly Advisory Group projected at least another 8,300 residents will move there by 2031,” the ABC article says.

Bleakly Advisory Group Assists Georgia's Rome with new Tax Allocation District (TAD)


As detailed in the Rome News-Tribune:

Rome’s Redevelopment Committee has approved the creation of a Tax Allocation District on three parcels at a former Kmart property on Hicks Drive.

Bleakly Advisory Group assisted the City of Rome with the creation of the Redevelopment Plan that must be approved by the Rome City Council for the TAD to begin operation.

Geoff Koski, president of Bleakly Advisory Group, recently presented the plan to the committee, which outlines the need for the district.

The news article continues:

“This particular project makes a lot of sense,” Koski said. It encompasses 19.7 acres. The estimated fair market value of these parcels for tax purposes is $3.7 million and the assessed value, or taxable value, is $1.5 million.

Koski said the $35 million in annual sales that could generate more than $1.5 million in sales tax revenue for the city, coupled with the loss of jobs when Kmart closed in 2016, would qualify the site for a TAD under Georgia law.

“It is in the public’s best interest to have that site active again,” Koski said.

Read more here: http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/rome/business/tax-allocation-district-on-former-kmart-property-on-hicks-drive/article_c2863588-50b8-11e9-8f3b-6f8eaa75b5bf.html

Geoff Koski of Bleakly Advisory Group Accepted into Forbes Real Estate Council

Geoff Koski, Bleakly Advisory Group

Geoff Koski, Bleakly Advisory Group

Forbes Real Estate Council Is an Invitation-Only Community for Executives in Real Estate

Geoff Koski, president of Atlanta-based real estate and economic development consulting firm Bleakly Advisory Group, has been accepted into Forbes Real Estate Council, an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry.

 Mr. Koski was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of his experience. Criteria for acceptance include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honors.

 “We are honored to welcome Geoff Koski into the community,” said Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, the collective that includes Forbes Real Estate Business Council. “Our mission with Forbes Councils is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network that helps every member grow professionally and make an even greater impact on the business world.”

 As an accepted member of the Council, Mr. Koski will connect and collaborate with other respected local leaders in a private forum. He will also be invited to work with a professional editorial team to share his expert insights in original business articles on Forbes.com, and to contribute to published Q&A panels alongside other experts.

 Mr. Koski’s reaction upon learning of his acceptance into Forbes Real Estate Council: “I am really excited about joining. I expect that my participation will help Bleakly Advisory Group further cement our leadership role in the Atlanta real estate and urban planning industries.”


Forbes Councils is a collective of invitation-only communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources that can help them thrive.


For more information about Forbes Real Estate Business Council, visit forbesrealestatecouncil.com.

Bleakly President Participates in Prestigious Panel


Bleakly Advisory Group president Geoff Koski recently returned from serving on a week-long ULI Advisory Services Panel in Hancock County, Indiana. The panel, which was tasked with assessing potential real estate and economic development opportunities along the Mt. Comfort Corridor just east of Indianapolis, included land-use and economic development experts from across the country.

According to ULI, these panels bring together the best and brightest from ULI’s diverse membership — developers, planners, financiers, market analysts, economists, architects, designers, and public officials — to provide practical solutions and objective advice not available from any other source.

Through this program, ULI members, such as Koski, integrate into communities dealing with a wide array of real estate and land use challenges to provide unbiased, expert advice and specific recommendations for improvement. Members link together with local leaders to draft a plan to revive, rethink, and restore communities around the globe to ultimately enact change and improve the lives of the people who live there.

The goal of the Indiana effort was to help chart a path for a well-developed Mt. Comfort corridor that will achieve several goals:

  • Generate consistent quality job growth over the next several decades

  • Grow an agbioscience industry cluster that leverages Hancock County’s farming legacy

  • Provide a growing tax base that will diversify local government revenue streams and help to control tax rates for residents and small businesses

  • Connect residents with jobs and businesses to enhance the quality of life for all Hancock County households

  • Reduce the development pressures elsewhere in Hancock County by creating planned growth districts along and adjacent to the Mt. Comfort Corridor.

    Additional details on the results of the ULI Advisory Services Panel in Hancock County, IN, in which Geoff Koski was the market analyst, can be found here.

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MIlledgeville Rental Housing Study


Bleakly’s Jonathan Gelber and Sara Patenaude have been helping the City of Milledgeville , GA study the city’s rental housing market and outline the challenges and opportunities affecting housing in the city. On January 8, they presented their findings to the Milledgeville City Council. This project will help Milledgeville understand its current housing market and assist in decisions about the future of the community’s housing.

The report was featured on Macon’s nightly news.

Link Here:


Cross Post: "Segregated by Design" by Sara Patenaude

Our own Sara Patenaude has written an insightful article over at The Metropole: The Official Blog of the Urban History Association, titled “Segregated by Design: 'Free Choice’ and Baltimore Public Housing”.

The article is adapted from her recent PhD dissertation. In it she writes:

The rise and fall of public housing is a popular topic for urban historians. The story has been told for cities from Chicago to Los Angeles, New York to San Francisco. While the story in Baltimore may not, at first glance, seem unique, the city has become known for its public housing and related issues of poverty, drugs, corruption, and crime since the critically-acclaimed HBO series, The Wire,debuted in 2002. More recently, the tragic death of Freddie Gray and the resulting uprising in the city’s streets have brought Baltimore’s housing problems back to the public mainstream. Though its official motto is “The Greatest City in America,” Baltimore, Maryland is more likely to be colloquially referred to by the pejorative, “Bulletmore.”

Yet the projects have been home to thousands of Baltimore residents since 1940, when Poe Homes (named for one of the city’s most famous residents, Edgar Allen Poe) opened in West Baltimore. Poe Homes, and the twelve housing projects that followed, were divided into “Negro” and “White” projects. After 1954, when the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) officially desegregated the projects in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, applicants to public housing were legally allowed to apply for residence in whichever projects they preferred, regardless of race.

When it came to implementing these desegregation policies, however, the reality was not so simple. By ignoring the legacy of segregation and ongoing systemic racism, the focus on removing official barriers to “choice” did little to actually alleviate segregation among public housing residents. Even as federal officials mandated a new policy aimed at ending continued segregation, allowing local control provided Baltimore officials and residents ample opportunity to maintain several all-white projects—primarily in the interest of maintaining any white residents on their public housing rolls. In Baltimore, as elsewhere across the country, residential segregation was enforced not by government decree, but by individuals abandoning “block-busted” neighborhoods for the suburbs, pressuring elected officials to stop “encroachment,” and loudly proclaiming racially coded complaints about declining property values.

It is worth a read. Go check it out at The Metropole.