SunTrust Plaza building in Downtown.

City leaders remain optimistic on Atlanta’s ability to attract and retain headquarters for Fortune 500 companies in the wake of two mergers that will see the exit of two longtime companies from the city. SunTrust’s announced merger with BB&T will see the banking giant pull up roots and move to Charlotte, NC, while First Data’s merger with Fiserv will mean a move to Milwaukee, WI. Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce CEO Hala Moddelmog had this to say about the SunTrust merger: “Congratulations to SunTrust and BB&T on this undeniably smart business decision. It’s a testament to the type of market growth and strategic alignment that can only happen because of Atlanta’s robust business ecosystem. While we’re disappointed that the new company’s headquarters will not be in Atlanta, SunTrust has long been a strong community partner. We are encouraged that the new company is committing to increasing community investment in our region.”

The Trust for Public Land and the Atlanta Department of City Planning are partnering to increase the number of projects implemented in the citywide Placemaking Program in 2019. Applications for the 2019 round of placemaking projects are now available-and are due Friday, March 29, 2019. Placemaking is the process of creating quality places in which people want to live, work, play and learn. The Department of City Planning’s (DCP) Office of Mobility Planning is leading the Placemaking program for the City of Atlanta, with pilot projects at Cascade Heights at Cascade and Beecher Road, as well as North Highland Ave. NE and Amsterdam Ave. NE, where parklets, art installations and street trees will create a more vibrant public realm. The Program Guide and application are available:

The Atlanta Science Festival, presented by Delta Air Lines, returns March 9-23 for a two-week celebration of science and technology with more than 100 events around Atlanta. These include hands-on activities, facility tours, presentations, and performances at a variety of locations. The grand finale of the Festival is an all-day interactive Exploration Expo at Piedmont Park on March 23. The Atlanta Science Festival’s mission is to celebrate the integration of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) in our lives and was founded by Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. To learn more, visit

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.