26 Sandy Springs condo units go on the auction block Dec. 7

The developer of Promenade at NorthPlace has decided to auction 26 units at the Barfield Road project in Sandy Springs.

At the auction, which will be held Dec. 7 at the W Hotel Atlanta-Perimeter, the bidding for a two-bedroom condo, originally priced at $246,235, will start at $165,000. Three-bedroom condos, originally priced from $246,235 to $410,075, will start at $215,000.

FirstPRO’s Nagel wins ACG Growth Award

April Fawcett Nagel, the CEO of Sandy Springs-based firstPRO Staffing and Executive Search, was honored this month with the Growth Award from the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).

“FirstPRO is truly a first-rate success story and was chosen because the company has grown since inception from five to over 125 employees and has generated over $40 million in annual revenues,” said Quinn Hudson, an ACG spokesman. “Over 100 employees are Atlanta-based, which is contributing positively to our region’s economy.”

The business has offices at 5607 Glenridge Drive.

In 2007, firstPRO was ranked first in contingency executive recruitment, fourth in retained executive search and ninth in temporary employment and was the 10th-fastest-growing female-owned firm in Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Grape wine-bar chain seeking bankruptcy

The Grape, the wine-bar chain with locations at Phipps Plaza, Vinings and three other Atlanta-area sites, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize. The chain also has nearly a dozen locations in other states.

The chain’s founder was recently before Neighborhood Planning Unit B to add liquor to the license of its Phipps Plaza offerings so it could be more competitive with other establishments in the mall.

The Grape lists more than $2 million in outstanding debts, according to the filing. Two of its executives are owed more than $140,000 in back pay.

Jack Mazur founded the chain in Vinings. Michael Coles, former CEO of Caribou Coffee, is a member of the advisory board.

Hip-hop star Usher owns The Grape franchise in Inman Park, which is not part of the bankruptcy petition. The location at CityWalk in Sandy Springs closed earlier this year.

Morris, Manning cited as a top Ga. workplace

Georgia Trend Magazine of Business and Politics includes Morris, Manning & Martin LLP on its 2008 Honor Roll of the Best Places to Work in Georgia in its November issue. Morris, Manning & Martin, which has offices in Buckhead and Sandy Springs, is one of two law firms on the list of 15 Honor Roll companies.

Meanwhile, as the magazine was hitting the streets, the law firm had to cut four associates (no partners) from one of the city’s largest real estate practices, which once had 40 lawyers in commercial real estate and seven in a residential practice. The firm is Atlanta’s seventh largest, with 161 lawyers in the city.

The magazine’s editorial staff selected the winners from more than 400 nominations submitted by employees from businesses, government offices, educational institutions and nonprofits.

“We wanted to know where the best places to work in Georgia are, so we asked the experts — the employees,” Georgia Trend Publisher Neely Young said.

“We didn’t just count the number of nominations. We evaluated what each company’s employees had to say about where they work and made our selections accordingly,” said the magazine’s editor, Susan Percy.

Morris, Manning & Martin’s Buckhead office is at the Atlanta Financial Center, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, and the Sandy Springs office is at 5775-C Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. The firm also has offices in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Savannah and Washington, D.C.

Knox, Georgian Bank team up for charity

Georgian Bank, the second-largest Atlanta-based bank, partnered with Knox Jewelers of Sandy Springs to produce a one-of-a-kind pendant that was auctioned off Nov. 8 during the bank’s Dream Big, Bid Big gala, which benefited the transplant recovery unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The gala raised $260,000.

The pendant, titled “New Beginnings,” is a signature piece designed and made by wildlife jewelry artist Eddie Knox, who has created art jewelry for 33 years.

Sold for $2,000, the piece was made with blue, green and pink enamel, 18-karat green gold, pure silver, cloisonné, and ample diamonds for ornamentation.

Knox’s creation is part of a trend called artwear, or wearable art. Knox Jewelers has supported many of Atlanta’s community organizations, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Woodward Academy.

In 2007, Georgian Bank, which has offices in Buckhead, pledged $1 million over five years to support the construction of a recovery unit designed for pediatric transplant patients at Children’s.

Coldwell Banker office aids former co-worker

Sales associate Cindy Blum and office manager Tina Palma of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s office on Glenlake Parkway organized a recent garage sale that raised more than $12,000 to help a former co-worker, Cindy Wichman, purchase a prosthetic leg.

Early this year, Wichman contracted a life-threatening infection that led to the removal of her left leg and right foot.

Though she was grateful to have survived the ordeal, she faced many obstacles upon her return home, including difficulty in simply taking a shower.

Blum and Palma brainstormed with their officemates and came up with the idea of a garage sale to raise the money for a prosthetic “shower leg” that, among other things, would allow Wichman again to take showers on her own.

Coldwell Banker’s Dunwoody office held the successful garage sale Nov. 1.

Wichman expressed gratitude to her former co-workers and local bargain shoppers.

Lamar Frazier, the managing broker of the Dunwoody office, said: “We want to thank the … community for their outstanding support.”

Levetan named Man of the Year

Sandy Springs resident and Atlanta native Steve Levetan, a senior vice president of Chamblee-based Pull-A-Part, recently was named Keep Georgia Beautiful’s Steve Reynolds Man of the Year.

“His dedication to helping educate the public about the importance of recycling and his leadership in environmental legislative and governmental efforts, both in Georgia and on a national level, makes him very deserving of this recognition,” Keep Georgia Beautiful director Lynn Cobb said.

“It’s a great honor. This is the 30th anniversary of Keep Georgia Beautiful. A lot of very good people have received this award previously. It’s just an honor to be counted among them,” said Levetan, who handles government affairs, public affairs and environmental issues for Pull-A-Part, a do-it-yourself auto parts retailer and recycler.

Pull-A-Part won its third consecutive first-place award in the category of waste reduction and recycling from Keep Georgia Beautiful.

City licenses

Beginning with this issue, the Sandy Springs Reporter will provide a regular listing of licenses issued by the city of Sandy Springs to new businesses. The records include contact information for each business and its classification. The following are businesses in the construction trades that received licenses between Oct. 1 and Nov. 14. A complete list of new business licenses from that period is available at www.reporternewspapers.net under “Business”.

Apex Electric/Kenneth W. Adams, 5675 Roswell Road 30342, 678-936-2758, electrical contractors.

Big Red Construction, 8601 Dunwoody Place, Suite 108, 30350, 678-760-2111, residential remodelers.

Child Walk LLC, 372 Pine Forest Road 30342, 404-503-1197, new single-family construction.

Custom Pools of Atlanta LLC, 4941 Long Island Drive NW 30327, 404-250-6529, all other specialty trade contractors.

Cutter Construction Management LLC, 3450 Spalding Drive 30350, 678-859-4853, new single-family construction.

Marxcell Inc., 7000 Central Parkway, Suite 1770, 30328, 770-709-5430, commercial and institutional building construction.

Mr. Handyman, 5825 Glenridge Drive, 3-101, 30328, 404-705-6777, other services to buildings/dwellings.

Prodigy Construction Management Ltd., 5650 Roswell Road 30342, 614-337-0908, commercial and institutional building construction.