Posts filed under ‘Community Improvement Districts’

Emory to invest $312M in Clifton Road hospital expansion

 

Staff Writer – Atlanta Business Chronicle

Emory Hospital Expansion

Emory Healthcare will invest $312 million in expanding its flagship hospital on Clifton Road.

The health system previously announced plans to build a new 9-story clinical tower, to accommodate an increase in patient volumes.

While Emory declined to disclose the number of jobs that might be created, based on industry estimates, a 200-bed hospital would employ about 1,000.

The tower, which will be build across the hospital, will have 210 inpatient beds — a combination of new and existing beds that will relocate from Emory University Hospital.

The tower will include operating rooms, imaging services, a clinical laboratory.

Construction on the tower will begin in July 2013 with the building of an underground parking deck. The tower is expected to be completed in 2017

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February 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

Buckhead Walmart zoning issues… a tangled web

from Buckhead View

Editor’s Note: The following is a news analysis piece by BuckheadView related to the controversial proposed “big box” mixed-use development near Lindbergh Center and the intersection of Piedmont and Lindbergh roads in south Buckhead. This piece is based on known facts, overheard statements, off-the-record conversations with public officials and civic leaders and rumors from credible sources.

BuckheadView has learned that Sally Silver, the chairman of Neighborhood Planning Unit B who also works in the City Council office of Dist. 7 representative Howard Shook, has been told to stop speaking out against the proposed Sembler Co./Fuqua Development Lindbergh Center area project, which likely would include a big box Walmart store.

NPU-B Chair Sally Silver

The proposed development, which started out as a totally commercial project and has morphed into a mixed-use commercial and residential plan, has been repeatedly denied zoning and land-use changes by the NPU-B board and its Zoning and Development & Transportation committees over the past year and a half.Silver has been very vocal about her objections to the “big box” aspect of the planned development, its huge surface parking lot and its lack of urban design and transit orientation, both during NPU-B meetings and before the city’s Zoning Review Board hearing last month.

As reported this week by the Garden Hills neighborhood’s Town Crier web site, and confirmed to BuckheadView by other sources as well, both Shook and fellow Councilman Alex Wan have told people they will support the land-use and zoning changes to allow the development to move forward.

However, at the August meeting of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods Thursday night, Shook denied he had told anyone that he would cast his vote in favor of the developers and their plans. From what BuckheadView’s sources say, he may have miss-spoke to the BCN.

(For BuckheadView’s coverage of Councilman Shook’s comments on the Lindbergh area development at the BCN meeting, go here.)

Several sources told BuckheadView that Silver was muzzled on this issue by Shook himself, and, if she did not stop speaking out on the issue, she might lose her job in the councilman’s Dist. 7 office, a job she has held for many years.

Councilman Howard Shook and Sally Silver are shown together at an earlier annual meeting of the North Buckhead neighborhood association.

In response to a phone call from BuckheadView asking Sally Silver if she had been told not to continue speaking out in opposition to the proposed Sembler/Fuqua development, Silver provided the following email, which she said would be the full extent of her reply:“As current Chair of NPU-B I have 1 1/2 yrs of involvement with this case. At no time during this process did I receive direction or instructions from Councilman Shook. As NPU-B overwhelmingly voted to oppose this rezoning, I attempted to do my best at explaining that stance to the Zoning Review Board (ZRB). Although NPU-B voted to deny the rezoning, Planning Staff, and the Zoning Review Board support the rezoning.

“This project has now moved forward and will be heard by the Council Zoning Committee and Council Community Development/Human Resources Committee. Both of these committees are aware of NPU-B’s stance regarding this case.

“I can report that the Zoning Committee will be meeting the morning of 8/20 (before the scheduled Council meeting) and the case will be held (deferred).”

That likely will be the last we will hear from Silver on this issue, as a public servant (chair of NPU-B, which is directly involved with this project, and a member of Howard Shook’s council staff) or an Atlanta resident. She may, however, be heard relaying the Dist. 7 office’s public line.

District 7 Councilman Howard Shook

Speaking to the BCN Thursday night, Councilman Shook defended the Lindbergh Center area project by saying, “With well-connected developers and their attorneys, and an administration that would love to see us start crawling out of our depression, I don’t have a monopoly on the outcome of this,” Shook said.He went on to explain that council members are going to be told that the development meets the legal criteria as asserted by the planning department, ZRB and some neighborhood members — even ones that don’t like the project.

The telling point Shook made in that statement, however, was that the mayor wants development to get us moving out of the recession and to add tax monies in the city’s coffers—providing we don’t then give Sembler and Fuqua tax credit incentives to build the project. But he said the mayor definitely is involved in the outcome of this.

BuckheadView also has learned that Mayor Kasim Reed may be personally calling the shots on getting this development approved because of commitments he made to Walmart to help the company obtain other locations in Atlanta as a result of Walmart agreeing to take over the failed Publix market location in Atlanta’s West End Village.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Several credible sources have told BuckheadView that Mayor Reed has “a very good relationship with the Walmart people.” These sources say Walmart wants to expand its presence in Atlanta and that Mayor Reed supports them in that. Word is he also may be helping facilitate Walmart being able to open a store in the Cascade area. BuckheadView is told that is not yet approved, but will be very shortly.One thing for sure, the processes and procedures for granting land-use and zoning changes for this particular development have been escalated in the past couple of months and at the same time, the scheduling has become totally screwed up.

For instance, the request for changes in zoning for the project went before the Zoning Review Board on July 12 and narrowly was approved by the ZRB. However, it has been determined that it should never have been presented to the ZRB at that time, since a required Development of Regional Impact (DRI) study had not been done.

That DRI study was not even requested by the city’s Planning Department until July 13, the day after the ZRB hearing.

But the confusion does not stop there. City Council also cannot take action on either the zoning or land-use changes for this project until the DRI study is completed and presented to Council. However, the City Council’s Zoning Committee had scheduled a hearing on the zoning issues last week, but was unable to act on it because of a lack of a quorum.

This was the latest site plan presented to NPU-B earlier this summer. The 150,000-square-foot bix-box Walmart is the brown area at the top left.

The Council Zoning Committee deferred action on the zoning issue until its Aug. 20 meeting, the same day the full Council returns from summer recess and was to have voted on the zoning issue related to this project.To even further confuse the issue, the Council’s Zoning Committee apparently cannot take action on the zoning issues on this case until the Council’s Community Development/Human Resources Committee first votes on the requested changes in land-use, which involves the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan. The CD/HR Committee does not meet until Aug. 28.

But in reality, none of these city bodies can vote on any aspect of this project until the DRI study is completed, and that is not likely to happen before Aug. 20.

A photo of a fairly typical modern Walmart big-box store.

Does this not make Atlanta residents wonder if the right hand knows what the left hand is doing down at City Hall? These procedures are nothing new. But it could be that the process is being forced forward to meet someone’s agenda—possibly Mayor Kasim Reed’s.You have to wonder why the city’s Planning Department staff originally denied the developers’ plans and then ended up approving them.

You have to ask why the DRI study was not applied for until July 13, the day after the ZRB voted on the zoning issue involved with the development. And why would the developers say they were told a DRI study was not necessary?

At one of its last NPU-B board meetings where the site plan
was discussed, Silver and others on the board said they
likely would be willing to accept one of Walmart’s new
Neighborhood Market grocery stores, but not a big box.

Why did one of Mayor Reed’s top policy advisors show up at a zoning meeting for the very first time when this development’s zoning issue was being considered?Oh, and should be ask why Walmart is putting up the $25,000 for the winner of the contest to design the park across the street from City Hall? Will there be a Walmart there too?

Should we ask why a member of City Council might ignore the wishes of his constituents and vote for a development the NPUs and neighborhoods have said they do not want?

And, you have to ask why Sally Silver, the chair of NPU-B, had to leave Aug. 7 at the end of the regular NPU-B board meeting and before several members of the NPU board met to discuss the Lindbergh area proposed development in a special executive session.

Those who attended that meeting decided to draw up a formal document outlining how the proposed development conflicts with both the letter and intent of the SPI-15 ordinance by which the development must be judged.

Like Councilman Shook, BuckheadView is awaiting that document and will bring it to our readers as soon as we get it.

August 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm 1 comment

Council of Neighborhoods grills Councilman Shook about stand on Lindbergh area ‘big box’ proposal

from Buckhead View

Those attending the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods August meeting Thursday evening wanted to know where Dist. 7 City Councilman Howard Shook stands on the issue of the changing 21 acres off Piedmont Road in the Lindbergh area from high-density residential to commercial zoning for a planned ‘big box’ development.

Many walked away from the meeting not knowing if they got a commitment from Shook on how he would vote or not. But the Buckhead councilman told the audience he is in a listening mode.

City Councilman Howard Shook makes a point at BCN meeting.

The strongest statement Shook made on the issue was “I have never told anyone that I would vote for this development,” which would be in opposition to the positions that Neighborhood Planning Unit B (NPU-B) and many neighborhoods in his district have formally expressed.

That remark by Shook was directly in response to a posting by a report by the Garden Hills neighborhood’s Town Crier report earlier in the day, which said Shook and Dist. 6 Councilman Alex Wan both had committed to vote in favor of the development.
Over almost 18 months of negotiating, NPU-B repeatedly denied plans for the mixed-use development with a 150,000-square-foot big box store near Lindbergh Center that is proposed by The Sembler Co. and Fuqua Development. NPU-B denied both land-use changes in the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan and changes in zoning for the entire 21 acres from high-density residential to commercial.
Since 2001, the area surrounding Lindbergh Center has been designated a Transportation-Oriented Development (TOD) and Special Public Interest District (SPI) by the city of Atlanta, with specific zoning regulations meant to maximize transportation resources and create more pedestrian-friendly, urban development.
Shook told the group his vote has to be governed by whether or not the development plan submitted by The Sembler Co. and Fuqua Development meets the criteria laid out in the SPI-15 (Special Public Interest district 15) legislation or not. “That is what I have to look at,” he said.
He said he sees a plan that has a 3-acre park or greenspace, and less than 50 percent of retail and a little over 50 percent of residential development. And he said the parking spaces meet the SPI-15 criteria.

Early in the meeting, Howard Shook (center) and Bob
Schneider of the Garden Hills neighborhood (right) listen
to presentation from George Dusenbury, commissioner of
the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

“Tell me point by point how the final plan submitted violates SPI-15,” Shook challenged the group, which included representatives of both NPU-B and neighboring NPU-F as well as representatives of neighborhoods which are BCN members.
Shook said that, although the NPU-B full board almost unanimously denied both the land use and zoning changes for the property, the city’s Zoning Review Board approved the plans by a vote of 4-3 and the city’s Planning Department also approved the final plans. He also indicated that the Development Review Committee for SPI-15 approved the developer’s plans.

NPU-B board member
Abbie Shepherd

NPU-B board member Abbie Shepherd, who also is a member of the SPI-15 Development Review Committee, challenged Shook on that, saying the DRC “tore the plan apart during its discussion” but then decided it could not take a vote on the issue “because there had not been a change in zoning approved for the property.”
Shook said he will seek to have the zoning change from residential to commercial held in the City Council’s Zoning Committee for further study when the committee meets Aug. 20, the same day the full council was originally scheduled to discuss the issue.
That all may be moot, since the Community Development Human Resources Committee of City Council first must approve a change in land use for the plan before any zoning change can be considered by the Zoning Committee.

NPU-F Chair Jane Rawlings

Another wrinkle in the process was brought up by Jane Rawlings, chair of NPU-F which also has gone on record as opposing the proposed 21-acre development bounded by Lindbergh Avenue, Morosgo and Adina drives and is behind the Zesto;s on Piedmont Road.

Rawlings pointed out that the Atlanta Regional Commission is required to conduct a Development of Regional Impact study on the proposal because of its impact on regional transportation arteries and the additional traffic it is likely to create. She said that study was only requested on July 15 and would take some time to complete.
Both Rawlings and Shook agreed that no city action can proceed until that Development of Regional Impact study is completed and submitted to the city for review.
After several in the audience questioned that the developers would stick to their “mixed-use” site plan and turn the site into an all-commercial development, Shook said,  “I am aware that there is a back door issue that needs to be locked up to make sure that somehow this doesn’t end up being totally commercial, which I have committed to do.”
Rawlings asked Shook point blank if he would vote in opposition if he was presented with a list of how the development violates SPI-15.
“If you show me facts, I will follow you around all day long,” Shook replied.

BCN Chairman Jim King

To the approval of many attending the meeting, BCN Chairman Jim King challenged Shook to vote with the neighborhoods in his district and his constituents and vote to deny the rezoning for the development and the plans as proposed.

King urged Shook to work on his colleagues to get them to also vote against the development plans saying, “I would think out of respect for you and your vote they would follow your lead,” Shook said his colleagues certainly respect him and his positions, but he is not “entitled” to having them vote the way he would like.
King then said to Shook, “I have not heard you ask for help in convincing your colleagues” to vote to against these land use and zoning changes and against the development plans.
“The neighborhoods want you to vote no,” King said. “It is your district. I think they [other council members] will respect you if you represent your neighborhoods. I’ve seen you vote many times on principal before on other issues and I think this is an issue to the neighborhoods that is a matter of principal.”
“With well connected developers and their attorneys, and an administration that would love to see us start crawling out of our depression, I don’t have a monopoly on the outcome of this,” Shook said.
He went on to explain that council members are going to be told that the development meets the legal criteria as asserted by the planning department, ZRB and some neighborhood members – even ones that don’t like the project.
“They are going to listen to me, some more than others, although there will be some that, the more they become aware with Buckhead’s displeasure with the project, the more enticing it will become to vote for it,” he explained.
“It is zoned residential and they want to change it to commercial. That doesn’t seem like people are acting in good faith with whatever SPI-15 is, however weak it is,” King said. “If that is what the agreement was, that it be residential, the City is not acting in good faith on that. That is the way it comes across and i think that is what is rubbing everybody wrong.”

NPU-B Development & Transportation
Committee Chair Andrea Bennett

NPU-B Development & Transportation Committee Chair Andrea Bennett, who was attending the meeting and supported the actions of her committee and the NPU-B in denying the zoning change for the property, said she heard no real commitment of support from Shook during the meeting.
“If he votes against the zoning change and the development plans, there is at least a chance some other members of City Council will follow his vote,” Bennett said. “But if he doesn’t take a strong stand against it, there is no chance other council members will vote against it.”
Bennett said those that might follow Shook in denying the development plans could be Dist. 6 Councilman Alex Wan, Dist. 9 Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean, At-Large Councilman Aaron Watson and maybe Dist. 9 Councilwoman Felicia Moore. That would provide five votes against. With just three more votes the controversial issue would be denied and go away.
Shook urged those at the BCN meeting to send him emails with their thoughts, but cautioned them to sign their emails. He indicated he does not pay much attention to emails from people who refuse to say who they are.

August 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm Leave a comment

Lindbergh Rezoning Could Have ‘Profound Negative Long-term Effects’

Lindridge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association president writes a letter to the community asking for help in opposing development on Lindbergh Drive

As a resident of the City of Atlanta, I am reaching out you each of you and bring to your attention an issue that will have profound negative long-term effects on residents in our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods.

On July  12, 2012, the City’s Zoning Review Board (ZRB) heard a rezoning  application (Z-11-19) for an 18-acre property located at the  intersections of Lindbergh Drive, Morosgo Drive, and Adina Drive, all  located in the Northeast section of the City.

The applicant has  proposed developing approximately 18 acres of land to include a mixture  of commercial and residential uses.

The development would include at  least one major retail store (150,000 square feet of space).

In  addition, the applicant indicates that there will be space for a  multi-family residential building and several smaller commercial spaces  as well as a 3-acre park, an area smaller than if the current zoning  were to remain the same. The applicant requested that the property be  rezoned from a residential subarea within the Special Public Interest  (SPI-15) area to a commercial subarea.

The Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) B, in which the property is located, recommended denial of the application,  stating inconsistencies with the transit-oriented development goals  encompassed in the SPI-15 plans.

However, at the July 12 meeting and  despite clear opposition to the change by nearly 100 citizens from other  NPUs and neighborhoods, the ZRB voted 4-1 to recommend approval of the  rezoning request.

Still to come is a review by the City Council Zoning  Committee slated for August 1, 2012; its recommendation will be heard  and voted on by the full City Council on August 20, 2012. The  recommendation of Council then will be forwarded to Mayor Kassim Reed.

Issues

  • This ZRB-recommended rezoning constitutes a clear change in  policy regarding the value of SPIs across City in promoting and  maintaining a vibrant urban core. The ZRB decision clearly discounts the  work and dedication of NPUs, individual neighborhoods, and the business  community to foster this new urbanism through SPIs. Approximately 10  years ago, Carter and Associates, neighborhoods, and the City engaged in  a 2-year planning process to establish the Lindbergh Transit Station  SPI. Now, we have to ask why we should continue to put the time and  energy into efforts such as SPIs if the City simply ignores the  recommendations of its citizens. NPUs clearly see this decision as a  signal to some developers that SPIs across the City are “free game.”
  • Traffic  conditions on Lindbergh Drive will deteriorate even further. As a major  east-west corridor, this state highway, which is primarily a two-lane  road, will be clogged with the additional traffic the development will  attract. For example, the development calls for 642 parking spaces!  Other major roads (e.g., Piedmont, Sidney Marcus) will be affected as  well. Citizens in neighborhoods along Lindbergh already have difficulty  entering and exiting their neighborhoods. Disabled people also use the  sidewalks to maneuver wheelchairs along this certain-to-become-more-dangerous thoroughfare.
  • Environmental  concerns are real. Currently, the property is residential, comprising  mostly apartments. If this property is developed as the applicant  describes in its plans, the 642 parking spaces will add to the amount of  impervious surface on that property and the runoff (including surface  contaminants) into the nearby South Fork of Peachtree Creek will greatly  increase. Flooding, always a concern in this area, would likely be more  severe as a result.
  • Current residents of the  apartments on the property will have to relocate. I do not know whether  these residents have been informed about what is in the offing. I do  know that the majority of them are minorities and that many of them use  public transit. Many of the children who live in these apartments  currently attend nearby Garden Hills Elementary School and middle and  high school in the area. Thus, demolishing their homes will also affect  the school system.

I am asking each of  you to please contact the Council Zoning Committee. This issue will  affect all of us in and around the neighborhoods. Please email and call  the following members to stress your concerns. The next meeting on this  very topic is August 1, 2012. The following people list below could  reverse the ZRB recommendation.

  1. Alex Wan Chair 404-330-6049 alexawan@atlantaga.gov
  2. Keisha Lance Bottoms, Vice Chair 404-330-6054 kbottoms@atlantaga.gov
  3. Howard Shook 404-330-6050 hshook@atlantaga.gov
  4. Carla Smith       404-330-6039  csmith@atlantaga.gov
  5. Aaron Watson   404-330-6302 aaronwatson@atlantaga.gov
  6. Lamar Willis      404-330-6041  lwillis@atlantaga.gov
  7. Ivory /young JR 404-330-6046 ilyoung@atantaga.gov

Thank you for helping and tell our Council Zoning Committee, how   this could change our neighborhood and surrounding areas if ZRB starts   over ruling local SPI’s.

Sincerely,

Roxanne Sullivan, President Lindridge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association

July 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm Leave a comment

Residents to get say on Brookhaven at Capitol

By  April Hunt

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Both opponents and supporters of carving a new city out of north-central DeKalb County will argue time is on their side when residents get their say for two hours under the Gold Dome on Tuesday.

A state House committee that must recommend whether the Legislature allows a vote this year on Brookhaven is holding its first of two hearings, to get general input on the idea.

Supporters, who want lower property taxes, will argue that the time is right for a vote this summer. Opponents, including those who have signed petitions against Brookhaven, are expected to ask for more time to thoroughly vet the city.

“Regardless of viewpoint, I want to ensure the process is open and allows for every viewpoint to be presented,” said Government Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming.

Members of the cityhood advocacy group, Brookhaven Yes, think they will have no trouble convincing their neighbors to vote for more local control.

Group president J. Max Davis II, an attorney and namesake son of a late conservative state representative who touted that he never voted for a tax increase, said many DeKalb residents already feel the county is too bloated.

Those in Brookhaven want to reinforce that idea by voting for cityhood, he said. But the first goal is convincing lawmakers to allow the July 31 referendum.

“Our motto is ‘better services, lower taxes,’ but before we can discuss why we think we can do a better job of spending our money than the county, we have to get the right to vote,” Davis said.

The DeKalb County government, meanwhile, is officially lobbying for any vote to be delayed, so that more time could be spent studying what losing Brookhaven would mean for county coffers.

The county lost $20 million in revenue when Dunwoody incorporated in 2008, and Brookhaven is expected to cost the county at least $22 million, according to county estimates.

More than 500 residents have signed petitions also asking to slow down a process they believe has been rushed. A group formally opposing the city, called Ashford Neighbors, circulated the petitions.

Eddie Ehlert is among the Ashford Park residents who plans to call for a delay, though he would prefer the idea be killed altogether.

Ehlert said there hasn’t been enough transparency about one goal he sees for the city: to undermine county control of a 63-acre tract of hardwoods just across Clairmont Road from the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

The land is now a runway protection zone owned by the Federal Aviation Administration and county, shielding residents from noise and fumes from airplanes in the area. Ehlert, who is political chairman of the Sierra Club Georiga, worries that developers supporting Brookhaven actually want that land for a big project.

“We cannot possibly support a police department without needing more taxable land, but there hasn’t been any notion that we’re going to leave that property alone,” he said. “There hasn’t been enough time to really look into that.”

Creating DeKalb’s second new city, and the sixth in the metro area since 2005, was first raised in the last days of the Legislature last year. State rep. Mike Jacobs, a Republican who represents the area, said he filed a bill for the city after hearing from residents who wanted a local, not county, government.

A study by University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute for Government released in November concluded Brookhaven could provide services comparable to those provided by DeKalb, with no tax increase.

Even residents who liked the idea of a new city complained, though, that the study called for the same 6.39 mills that residents there now pay for county special district services.

Earlier this year, Jacobs revised the proposal for Brookhaven. He lowered the tax rate to 3.35 mills – or about the same rate residents paid before the county raised taxes last year.

“By rolling that back, we are able to deliver a property tax decrease from DeKalb’s tax increase and still end with a projected $261,000 surplus,” Jacobs said of the proposed $25 million budget for the city of about 50,000 people.

Whether the timing works remains to be seen. The hearing at 3 p.m. Tuesday in room 341 of the state Capitol.

January 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm 2 comments

Strip Club Fights to Keep Liquor License

By Jaclyn Hirsch for Virginia-Highland/Druid Hills Patch

A strip club on Chesire Bridge Road is fighting to save its liquor license.

Owners of Bliss, an all-male strip club on Cheshire Bridge Road, filed a request to appeal the revocation of the liquor license for the business, according to an announcement at Monday’s meeting of Neighborhood Planning Unit-F.

City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed revoked the liquor license in December after the Atlanta License Review Board unanimously recommended to void the license. The Lindridge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association also opposed re-issuing the license to the business.

But according to Monday’s announcement, the business can continue to serve alcohol until the issue is heard.

The neighborhood group was unhappy with the announcement and plans to keep a close eye on the issue.

After a business owner files a liquor license application, the owner  presents the application to the neighborhood civic association, the  neighborhood planning unit and the license review board, which is run by  the Atlanta police department.

If the neighborhood groups deny the license, the applicant still continues forward to the license review board.

The final step for approval or denial rests in the hands of the Mayor.

Past violations

The Lindridge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association sent a letter to Reed in October that outlines the past violations at the business and asked him to revoke the license.

In October 2009, Atlanta police raided the club after a five-month investigation, the group said in the letter to Reed.

The following information outlined below was either published in the  Atlanta Journal- Constitution or by the Fulton County District  Attorney’s office.

  • According to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, between  May 13, 2009 and Oct. 17, 2009, Atlanta Police conducted an in-depth  undercover investigation. Investigators were able to purchase cocaine,  MDMA, and other illegal narcotics from employees of the club, as well as  being solicited for sex acts by the employees. Additionally, several of  the employees were not licensed by the city. The investigation resulted  in a 32-count indictment of 18 individuals, all employees of the  establishment.
  • Atlanta Police officers obtained 43 arrest warrants and arrested 29 people during a Saturday morning raid in 2009.
  • Police reports released to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed  that employees and others at the nude dancing club offered cocaine,  marijuana and prostitution.
  • APD booked the general manager, a floor manager, a bartender, and 16  dancers into the Fulton County jail, according to the report.
  • Floor manager was arrested after officers found 23.4 grams of  packaged marijuana on the floor between him and customer, the report  states.
  • Sixteen of the 20 dancers did not have permits, according to the  report. Several of the dancers told police that management told them  they didn’t need permits. Two dancers also had outstanding warrants for  theft and failure to appear, according to the report.
  • The bartender also didn’t have a permit to sell alcohol, police said.
  • Police said they also found a 19-year-old, who tested positive for  alcohol, with a drink in his and in the VIP room. He also gave police a  fake ID.
  • Officers seized marijuana, cocaine, pills, used condoms, cash and a stolen car from the club.

In October 2006, the license review board found the club guilty of  selling alcohol to minors and staying open too late. The board suspended  Bliss’ liquor license for six months.

“Having a liquor license is a privilege not a right and our community  expects those who hold liquor licenses within this city to be familiar  with and abide by its Alcohol Code,” the letter said. “Failure to do so  should result in harsh penalties, particularly when these are such  egregious and repeated failures. Our community grows weary of the  continued disregard for this City’s Alcohol Code at this location.”

Bliss is located at 2284 Cheshire Bridge Rd., across the street from Landmark Diner.

January 19, 2012 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

Iconic Adult Store on Cheshire Bridge Closes

from Patch

A legendary adult entertainment store on Cheshire Bridge Road will close its doors for the last time on Thursday.

The owner of Poster Hut, an adult entertainment shop with a 40-year history in the city, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that rent and the economy made it tough to stay in business.

“Maybe if we had a website we could have survived,” owner Mike Abbott told the AJC. “I had a guy who’s been saying for four years he was going to do it but he never did.”

Abbott, who bought the store four years ago, said he received the final eviction notice last week.

Though Cheshire Bridge is known for strip clubs and adult stores, residents in surrounding neighborhoods have pushed to bring in more sophisticated businesses.

from AJC

The limp economy will accomplish what many a vice agent could not, shuttering the city’s most iconic adult entertainment emporium after 44 years.

The owner of the Poster Hut, where many Atlantans of a certain age bought their first suggestive bumper sticker, bong, fake piece of vomit, or adult, uh, euphemism, blamed the store’s demise on his failure to keep up with the rent — and the times.

“Maybe if we had a website we could have survived,” said Mike Abbott, who bought the store four years ago, just before the financial meltdown. “I had a guy who’s been saying for four years he was going to do it but he never did.”

Alas, the Poster Hut, located smack dab in the middle of Atlanta’s most notorious addresses on Cheshire Bridge Road, was never able to advertise its recent designation as a “great place to buy underwear,” according to a blog dedicated to men’s undergarments.

Abbott was given his final eviction notice last week, leaving him little time to advertise a going-out-of-business sale.  But word has spread throughout the day, attracting “a lot of people in their 40s who were teenagers when they first came here,” said Abbott, who remembers his first time fondly.

“I had heard Alicia Bridges (of “I Love the Nightlife” fame) was working here and, sure enough, there she was behind the counter,” said the native Atlantan, now 51. Bridges was perfectly pleasant, Abbott recalled, which bears notice since the disco star’s stint as a store clerk came well after she topped the music charts.

The Poster Hut will close for good Thursday at 9:30 p.m., though Abbott said “I don’t ever turn anyone away.”

Better hurry — the double entendres are going fast.

December 16, 2011 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

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