Category Archives: Guest Column

Why we love Atlanta.

This article appeared in the Saporta Report on August 8, 2017. by Ryan Gravel Love is in the air. Don’t get me wrong – it’s easy enough to see Atlanta’s shortcomings. But when you take a minute to see them as opportunities, and when you watch people grab hold of them and make this city their own, it’s hard not to fall in love with Atlanta. In fact, the most common observation I hear from people about why they love this town – why they moved here or what makes … Read More

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The Lovable City

What makes a city lovable? As Atlanta enters a period of transformation, it’s important for city leaders, developers, planners and everyday citizens to take a moment and reflect on what we love most about where we live. That’s why this year’s theme for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Atlanta Awards of Excellence is “The Lovable City” – an invitation to celebrate the people, projects and places we love in Atlanta. Taking time out to celebrate what we love about our city and its built environment keeps us honest about creating, … Read More

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Rethinking Retail Corridors: From Grayfields To Boulevards

An examination of the Highway 9 corridor in North Atlanta  As older auto-oriented commercial corridors reach obsolescence, the Atlanta metro area has a unique opportunity to redevelop these zones into vibrant, beautiful places. Many of these commercial corridors contain larger parcels of vacant commercial uses: strip retail, car dealerships and office, as well as garden-style multifamily that are reaching the end of their useful lives. With an approach that combines private investment, public participation and involvement by municipalities, these corridors could improve the character and provide a sense of place … Read More

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In Atlanta, Suburbs Continue to Evolve to Meet Market Demand

Originally posted in Saporta Report 2/21/2017 by Sarah Funderburk Weston, Director of PR/ Partner at SPR In sprawling metro areas such as Atlanta, the very notion of a “suburb” is in flux. No longer is the delineation between urban and suburban housing types and community attributes crystal clear as certain types of suburbs are evolving to include higher densities, walkability, and other urban characteristics. This idea was among several discussed at a recent panel and forum held by ULI Atlanta on new suburban paradigms identified in Housing in the Evolving … Read More

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The Urbanization of Atlanta’s Suburbs: Norcross, Duluth and Suwanee

by Michael S. Rodgers The Creative Development Council of the Urban Land Institute (Atlanta District) was formed in 2016 to bring together ULI members who are focused on entrepreneurial development so that they may share best practices and resources with the goal of elevating creative place-making and promoting high-quality infill development across the region.   The Creative Development Council recognizes that the urbanization of the suburbs is a major national trend that is also being experienced in the Atlanta metropolitan area.  While the vast majority of development in the current … Read More

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Widen your view of the real estate industry

Article appeared in the May 10, 2016 edition of Saporta Report By Sally Riker, partner at Lowe Engineers Working in one segment of the commercial real estate field can narrow your view of the many fascinating elements in the industry. ULI Atlanta’s Center for Leadership offers participants the opportunity to a more well-rounded vision into different market sectors, while widening perspective on issues and opportunities facing the entire region. I was not a member of ULI until a colleague recommended I apply for the Center for Leadership, and it has … Read More

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Thoughts on Challenges Facing Community Development

Originally appeared in Saporta Report March 14, 2016 by Stephen Arms Community development – typified by small, scale-appropriate projects that fit within the surrounding community – has never been a simple proposition. Prior to the recession, there were numerous firms who focused on this type of development, many doing very good work. Since the recovery however, these types of community development opportunities have been hard to catalyze, because developers doing this type of work, which is usually key to their mission, have been slow to recover. From a broader market … Read More

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2015 Holiday Greetings from ULI CEO Patrick L. Phillips

AS I LOOK BACK AT 2015, I see ULI continuing to evolve, responding to the rapid changes taking place throughout the industry and in our communities, and innovating to meet the needs of members around the globe. We are staying ahead of the times while staying true to our mission. Our success is because of you. ULI is about members, for members, and by members. What each of you gives back to the Institute is what makes ULI the world’s leading authority on land use and urban development. We are … Read More

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Sports as Catalyst for a Healthier Atlanta

By ULI Atlanta At the start of his speech on December 7, 2014, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach quoted Nelson Mandela, saying, “Sport has the power to change the world.” He used these words as the foundation for his announcement of Agenda 2020, a significant moment of reflection by the IOC and one that will evolve and make the Games more relevant to the greater challenges facing our society. In many ways, Agenda 2020 aligns with the ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative. It acknowledges the distinct differences of cities … Read More

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Who Knew Millennials and Baby Boomers Have Something Important in Common?

By John Goff, Managing Principal of DaVinci Development Collaborative, LLC For as many years as there have been older people on earth, it’s been a common ritual for older folks to question the habits and preferences of their kids’ and grandkids’ generations. The same is true today with Millennials – everybody loves weighing in on their different work habits and the digital addictions that they bring to our world. Yet working as I have in civic and commercial real estate development for the past few decades, I’ve noticed something unusual … Read More

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