PATH400: The end (of Phase One) is in sight

The first phase of construction of PATH400 will be done soon, according to Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling.

“Everything is on track,” Starling told members of the board of the Buckhead Community Improvement District on Oct. 28. “We’re really excited about it. It’s getting real.”

A ribbon cutting for the first phase of the trail, which is being built along Ga. 400, is planned for Jan. 9, she said. Livable Buckhead plans two days of celebration for the opening of the half-mile-long segment of the trail, she said.

Cyclorama to be renovated once painting moves

Once the Battle of Atlanta painting leaves Grant Park for its new home at the Atlanta History Center, the historic Cyclorama building will undergo a massive interior transformation.

Atlanta-based sustainable design firm Epsten Group has been tapped by Zoo Atlanta to transform the circa-1921 building into a new event space and restaurant with a viewing area overlooking the African elephants, zebras and giraffes in their savanna habitat.

The completion date is set for 2018, which gives the Atlanta History Center time to construct and build a new home for the painting, as well as move the giant Texas locomotive and other Civil War exhibits.

Peter Choquette, design and consulting department manager at Epsten Group, said the “postcard image” of the front façade of the Cyclorama will be preserved. “The front façade will not change,” he said. “From the beginning, we said we don’t want to change that in any way.”

The interior and rear of the building will be a different story. A restaurant, kitchen, catering facility and event space will require a complex interior renovation, Choquette said. There are also plans to add an outdoor deck to the viewing area over the savanna exhibit, as well as add a conservatory space for additional restaurant seating that will offer views into Grant Park.

“The deck and the conservatory will fit very well into the structure, and offer fantastic views,” Choquette said.

Donations to Shepherd increased through Gas South/Coalition program

Donations to the Shepherd Center’s adolescent injury program made through a partnership between Gas South Co. and the Buckhead Coalition have increased by 30 percent over last year, the coalition announced Oct. 28.

The first donation, presented in 2013, totaled $5,000. This year, the donation reached $6,500, the coalition said.

Donations may be made through www.gas-south.com/buckhead or call 1-855-281-1688.

Police adopt new policies for interactions with transgender people

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner has signed new policies aimed at establishing department procedures for interactions with transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming individuals. “This important policy is a formal recognition that this community will be entitled to the same level of respect, courtesy and professionalism extended to all citizens with whom our officers interact,” Turner said. “We live in a diverse, major metropolitan city, and our policies must reflect the need to embrace, and work cooperatively with, every citizen we serve within that broad community.”

Apartments, shops proposed on Northside Drive

Fuqua Development has unveiled plans for a high-density, mixed-use development on property just south of Buckhead and near the Atlanta Waterworks that was once earmarked for a new transit hub by Amtrak and Greyhound.

According to reports, the nearly 14-acre site is at the southeast corner of 17th Street and Northside Drive. The project would include approximately 350 multi-family units, 100 detached townhomes and more than 35,000 square feet in retail space.

BCID to study Phipps Boulevard/Wieuca Road

The Buckhead Community Improvement District wants to take a look at the intersection of Phipps Boulevard and Wieuca Road to see what can be done to ease traffic troubles in the area. New development proposed nearby includes two apartment complexes and a hotel, BCID executive director Jim Durrett told members of the organization’s board on Oct. 28.

“We just thought it would be really good for us to examine this part of the CID,” Durrett said.

Durrett said the North Buckhead Civic Association had asked the BCID’s help in developing ways to deal with the traffic because jams in the area can block an entrance to the neighborhood.

North Buckhead president Gordon Certain said something needs to be done. “We consider it imperative,” he said. “Right now the traffic often backs up a quarter of a mile. [With the new construction planned] it could get worse.”

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