By John Schaffner

The Buckhead Community Improvement District (CID) announced Aug. 14 the selection of Jim Durrett as its next executive director, to succeed Scotty Greene, who announced his retirement last month following 10 years in the position.

Durrett, who takes over as Buckhead CID executive director on Sept. 1, has most recently been executive director of the Livable Communities Coalition, a not-for-profit organization formed in 2005 to promote “smart growth” development in the Atlanta region.

A subcommittee of the Buckhead CID’s board selected Durrett following a national search. The full board will formalize the selection at its monthly meeting on Aug. 25.

“Jim’s selection represents Buckhead’s continuing transformation from a suburban to an urban, mixed-use, vertically developed area, with public infrastructure to support it,” said David Allman, chairman of the Buckhead CID board and a developer with Regent Partners LLC. Allman is also chairman of the Livable Communities Coalition.

Durrett serves on the steering committees of the Atlanta region’s Mixed Income Communities Initiative and the Urban Land Institute Atlanta Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing. He also chairs the advisory committee for the Georgia Council on Aging’s “Georgia for a Lifetime” initiative to address the needs and impacts of Georgia’s aging population.

Previously, Durrett served for five years as executive director of ULI’s Atlanta District Council. He also served as vice president of environmental affairs at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

“I have worked with Jim for 10 years and look forward to a successful transition,” said retiring Buckhead CID Executive Director Greene. “With the next phase of the Peachtree Boulevard transformation underway, Jim is the right person to lead the CID as it moves on to new tasks.”

The Peachtree Boulevard transformation is the enhancement of a 1.7-mile stretch of Peachtree Road in Buckhead into what Greene and other members of the CID have touted as “a more livable, walkable, bikeable and drivable promenade.”

The Buckhead CID completed Phase I in October 2007 and recently received funding for Phase II. The transformation of Peachtree Road was the catalyst for the creation of the Buckhead CID in 1999.

In the next 10 years, Allman said, the CID will broaden its focus to cover public safety, cultural amenities, aesthetics, strengthening ties to neighborhoods, and expanding the CID to include the Buckhead Village and the Piedmont Corridor south through Lindbergh.

“Given Jim Durrett’s understanding of how to connect the pieces in a healthy, sustainable community, linking land use and transportation,” Allman said, “we are confident we have made the right choice.”

Durrett grew up in Buckhead and attended the Westminster Schools. Now he and his family live in DeKalb County near Clairmont Road and I-85, close enough to bike to Buckhead.

Durrett got rid of his car and commutes by bicycle and MARTA and sometimes uses Zipcar.