By John Schaffner

editor@reporternewspapers.net

Robin Loudermilk, who founded the Buckhead Alliance with a mission to clean out the crime and raucous nightlife of the old Buckhead Village, on April 3 kicked off the Alliance’s new 2008 expanded mission: To market, promote and unite community leaders and organizations throughout all of Buckhead.

“After we accomplished our mission of cleaning up the Buckhead Village, we sort of looked around and said: Okay, what is next? Where are we headed?” Loudermilk said, speaking to a crowd of about 100 Buckhead business and community leaders, at a cocktail reception at Phipps Plaza Court of the South.

The Aaron Rents president and COO explained that the various roles of the Buckhead Alliance, Buckhead Coalition, Buckhead Community Improvement District (CID) and the Buckhead Business Association (BBA) “are very confusing.”

He said he had been out on the street the past couple of months talking to a lot of people who said they really want to get involved and provide support, but didn’t know who to support.

“We decided that our mission today is to try to unite Buckhead through these different organizations, realizing that each organization has its own identity,” Loudermilk told the group.

“But, how do we bring them all together with one mission—the improvement and security of Buckhead?” he asked. “We have come up with some pretty ambitious plans,” he said.

Loudermilk explained that one of the first things the Alliance did was expand the old camera program. “We don’t need 56 cameras in the Village. What we need to do is create a net around the Buckhead community.” He said 14 cameras were strategically located. The cameras now are located at Northside and Paces Ferry, Howell Mill and Collier roads and Lenox Road. “When people come in to commit crimes, we see them coming in and see them leaving.

“To try to solidify our efforts, that is our mission today,” he concluded.

“When Ben Carter Properties bought most of the village, that was a spectacular example of how people had come together to market their real estate, clean up their real estate and make it something somebody wanted to buy,” explained Scotty Greene, executive director of both the Buckhead Alliance and the Buckhead CID.

“The whole idea of the Buckhead Alliance is to work with the BBA, work with the Buckhead Coalition, work with the Buckhead CID on three different levels,” he said.

First, he said, “There is an incredible challenge for real estate partners all around this country. Buckhead is not going to be immune to that. But we have some of the hottest, sexiest real estate in the southeast.

Second, “All the local developers have marketing plans; but no one is simply marketing the market. The idea is to unify all these marketing messages into one marketing them,” he said.

Buckhead Alliance took the lead in doing the zoning overlay for the Buckhead Village, Greene explained. “That is now going to be expanded in partnership with the Buckhead CID, the Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association (BATMA) to go all the way down to Piedmont and to take in the West Village.

“The reason this group exists is to make this real estate pop,” Greene stated.

“The idea is to take all of the energy that remains and is coming in our hotel markets, real estate markets and our office and condo markets and put it in the forefront in the sales area, transportation and zoning areas and executive level networking,” Greene said.

“That is the idea behind the Buckhead Alliance,” he stated.