Garth Peters
Garth Peters

Garth Peters has been named Executive Vice President of the Buckhead Coalition. Peters began his career with the nonprofit in September of 2006 when he came aboard in the position of Director of Community Development. Sam Massell, Buckhead Coalition founding president, credits Peters with “shouldering a large portion of the Coalition’s initiatives”, identifying him as his “right-hand man” in an ever-busy operation. Prior to joining the Coalition’s staff, Peters served over two decades with the Bermuda Department of Tourism, including the position of ‘Aide de Camp’ to the Governor of Bermuda, and retiring as Bermuda’s North American Tourism Sales Senior Executive Officer.

W Atlanta – Downtown and Prenet Media have launched a custom wi-fi channel in the heart of Atlanta, connecting hotel guests as well as local Atlantans with an innovative, interactive city experience. Downtown Atlanta’s Woodruff Park is one of several hotspots located throughout the city, allowing locals and visitors alike to access complimentary high-speed Internet.  “We are very pleased to add complimentary wi-fi to the growing list of amenities at Woodruff Park, and are confident that the park’s many visitors will enjoy connectivity in the open air Reading Room,” said Wilma Sothern, Vice President at Marketing at Central Atlanta Progress, the organization that maintains stewardship of Woodruff Park.

Massachusetts-based Franklin Properties has acquired the 999 Peachtree building in Midtown Atlanta for $157.9 million from Jamestown Properties. Building tenants include Oxford Industries, law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan and Empire State South restaurant.

Online, subscription-based floral arrangement and gift company H.Bloom (hbloom.com) has opened in Atlanta. Since launching in New York in 2010, the startup has opened its luxury floral service in Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Boston. In each city, H.Bloom partners with local gift shops to fulfill its subscriptions. Atlanta partners include Cacao, the artisanal chocolate maker, and BEE Boutique, offering home furnishings and accessories.

Atlanta photographer Rachel LaCour Niesen is one of six nationally-acclaimed photography experts selected to launch the new social media community, Binteo.com. The online platform is designed to connect hobbyists and like-minded individuals with experts on how to improve their photography skills.

Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club has honored Elizabeth Richards as the 2013 Barbara B. Rose Volunteer of the Year. Richards was selected from 13 nominations from a wide variety of not-for-profit service organizations. Camp Twin Lakes wrote in their recommendation, “Elizabeth appears unstoppable when she wants to achieve something for her beloved Camp Twin Lakes.” This is the seventh year Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club has honored a local volunteer with a ceremony and donations to the volunteer’s nominating organization. Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club awarded Richards with $500 in recognition of her service to the community and donated $1,000 in Richards’ name to the Camp Twin Lakes.

Retailer dd’s Discounts (ddsdiscounts.com) has opened at 1952 Candler Road offering an assortment of current fashions at everyday savings of 20 to 70 percent. Merchandise includes name brand apparel, accessories and footwear for the entire family, as well as home fashions.

The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Downtown will begin a total revamp of its public and meeting spaces beginning this month. The redesign comes on the heels of a $45 million guest room renovation and will follow the complete remodel of The Sun Dial Restaurant, which is due to re-open this month. Created by Carolyn Auger of Blackdog Studio, the new lobby area will feature a mixture of rich textiles and fabrics, vertical garden walls, access to computers, and modern furnishings. All 85,000 square feet, including the Peachtree and Plaza ballrooms, will be refreshed with the same cohesive nature-inspired design elements incorporated in the lobby. A new FedEx Office will open with the re-design and the Starbucks and Lobby Bar will also get a facelift.

James Hurley Designs (jameshurleydesigns.com) has opened at 1425 Piedmont Ave. offering full-service floral and special events planning for weddings, homes and offices. The store will offer arrangements for customers to purchase, but also a showroom to showcase the brand’s personality and style, focusing on a design of urban sophistication with a European inspiration. In addition, Hurley offers a combination of in-store orders, event preparation, deliveries and landscape design.

The Invest Atlanta board has approved $1.26 million in Westside Tax Allocation District (TAD) tax increment funding for energy-efficient upgrades at The Walton Building, which is being redeveloped into a 110-room hotel. The nine-story, circa-1910 building, currently operating as a residential hotel and located in the Fairlie-Poplar Historic District, will participate in the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, launched in 2011 as part of a national initiative by President Barack Obama to make the nation’s commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. The TAD funds will pay for part of a $3.1 million energy-efficiency project that includes window replacement and insulation, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning, lighting with occupancy sensors and laundry water recycling.

The Club at ATL, the first VIP common use lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, is available to all passengers at a daily rate of $35 inside the international terminal. The lounge boasts views of the Atlanta skyline, complimentary snacks and beverages (including beer, wine and liquor) wireless internet access, shower facilities and many more amenities.

Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza in Buckhead have announced a slate of new retailers and restaurants to both shopping malls. Lenox Square will soon welcome True Food Kitchen and Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar to its forthcoming remodeled Peachtree Road entrance, while Phipps Plaza will introduce renowned Italian label Giuseppe Zanotti to Atlanta. Both malls are owned by Simon Malls.

Jill Daly

Jill M. Daly has been named Executive Director of Everybody Wins! Atlanta (everybodywinsatlanta.org), the local chapter of the national literacy and mentoring nonprofit. Daly has been serving as Deputy Director of the organization for the past two years. In her new position, Daly will oversee two literacy programs at elementary schools throughout metro Atlanta, as well as manage all fundraising, marketing and volunteer recruitment and training programs for the organization.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.