atlanta forward 2015

Successes: Centennial Olympic Park

Metro Atlanta seeks next wave of game-changers

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For decades, metro Atlanta’s growth was a story of suburban sprawl, of turning raw tracts of what developers call “greenfield” — acres and acres of untouched forest — into the shopping centers, swim-tennis communities and burger drive-thrus that dominate the area landscape today.

Many of them changed the game. The 1984 opening of Gwinnett Place Mall, for instance, transformed the sleepy, pastoral but land-rich neighbor to Atlanta’s north into the state’s second most populous county virtually overnight.

packin' for a trip

Hartsfield-Jackson No. 1 in guns
Kent D. Johnson

Hartsfield-Jackson No. 1 in guns

Hartsfield-Jackson leads the nation’s airports in the number of guns — 92 — caught in carry-on bags this year.

It’s a challenge being the world’s busiest airport in one of the world’s gun-loving-est places. Firearms confiscated at Hartsfield-Jackson so far this year are closing on the total for all of last year, 109.

The most common guns found at checkpoints are 9mm pistols, said Mark Howell, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, and they’re often found nestled among clothing at the bottom of a bag.


matt kempner's 'unofficial business'


A power company innovating? Shocking!

Maybe you’ve dropped your home phone line and your cable TV. But are you ready to cut your electric connection to the big local utility?

(I’m writing figuratively. Don’t climb a pole and use your hedge trimmer on a live line. I suspect it would fry you, knock out neighborhood power and ruin lots of frozen dinners.)

Big changes are roiling the industry that supplies us with electricity.




Gas prices headed down, group predicts

You may have a little extra cash in your pocket when you pull away from the gas pump in coming months.

Gas prices are set to dive this fall, according to, which monitors and analyzes the market across the country.

“Before Christmas, as many as 20 states could have average gas prices below $2 per gallon,” the group projected on Friday.

big bucks


First Data IPO could top the charts

First Data chief executive Frank Bisignano got one of the biggest pay packages in Georgia corporate history soon after he was hired — $76.4 million in 2013.

Now the Atlanta company is attempting to notch another eye-popping superlative by pulling off a public stock offering that at least one expert thinks could rival UPS’s 1999 IPO as the biggest ever by a Georgia company.

improving the view


GWCC seeks to buy, raze Chamber building

Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta could soon get more open space.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority agreed Tuesday to begin “purchase option” discussions with the Metro Atlanta Chamber to buy its headquarters, which sits on the park’s border near the new College Football Hall of Fame on Marietta Street.

The authority since last year has been eyeing the chamber building, which it wants to demolish in order to create more greenspace.

corporate ladder



People moving up and around at metro businesses:

Eric Schimpf has been appointed regional managing director for the Southeast Private Banking Investment Group.

David Connell has been reappointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the Department of Driver Services’ board of directors and will serve as chairman.

Ken Cornell recently joined JE Dunn Construction as a general superintendent, overseeing all field aspects on assigned projects.



‘Underwater’ homes weigh on state, region

If the metro Atlanta housing market has been having trouble gaining speed, it could be because so many homes here are still underwater.

Despite years of choppy improvement, the damage done by the housing crisis continues to be a heavy drag, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac, a California-based real estate research firm.

new prescription

AJC file

Southern Regional in Chapter 11, sale still planned

The nonprofit owner of Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Georgia.

Clayton County’s lone hospital said in an announcement that it will remain open and operating while Southern Regional Health System officials consider a proposed sale of the medical center to a California-based nonprofit.


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Gain an insider’s perspective into the unique neighborhoods of in town Atlanta. Our lifestyle magazine explores all the things that make in-town living so appealing – from restaurants and attractions to the neighborhoods and their distinct personalities. Available on your desktop, tablet and smartphone and at select outlets around town.

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AJC launches Breakdown, a new podcast series

AJC launches Breakdown, a new podcast series

Follow the twists and turns of a case that some say landed an innocent man in prison. Subscribers get exclusive access to new episodes each Sunday - plus digital extras including character backgrounds, video interviews, photo galleries, court documents and timelines.

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