In January, Buckhead CID’s board of directors unanimously voted to spend $705,000 on the addition of 30 cameras and 20 license plate readers for Operation Shield within the BCID boundaries. What does this mean for residents, workers and visitors to our part of town? Two words – safety and security.
Since 2011, the BCID has worked in partnership with the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF), installing a wireless network-based public safety surveillance system as part of Operation Shield that enables the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Police Video Integration Center to have better eyes and ears on the district.
The camera system, which through 2015 included 19 cameras, provides real-time situational awareness of key areas within the CID and records camera images for post-incident investigation.
I, and the BCID board, want those who live, work, play and shop in Buckhead to feel safe and secure, and I believe these added cameras and license plate readers will strengthen our crime prevention and improve our emergency preparedness.
To learn more about Operation Shield, read our press release. The added cameras and readers are fully supported by the Atlanta Police Foundation, as it helps them to efficiently oversee the community on an ongoing basis.
We anticipate the cameras will be installed throughout the district by this summer, including two additional cameras dedicated to Charlie Loudermilk Park in the heart of Buckhead.
WSB-TV covered the story, and you can see the story here.
On January 13, the Buckhead Shell gas station, located at the triangular junction of Roswell Road and Powers Ferry Road, shut down to begin remodeling to urbanize this historic and well-known establishment.
The gas station, owned and operated by Smita and Mahesh Patel, will be transformed from a congested building into an eco-friendly and one-of-a-kind convenience store. It will feature an energy efficient “Big Ass” fan, a Beer Cave and full-service carry-out only Dunkin Donuts and Subway.
Since parking is limited, there will be an underground parking garage with four spots and Georgia’s first “Auto-Lift,” an elevator uniquely designed to get cars in and out of the garage without drivers having to use a ramp. This design is unique and is the first to be placed in any building in Georgia.
The station will go green by only using LED lights and 50 plus solar panels on the building and canopy that will be tied into the power grid with an inverter. The building will feature a natural gas powered back-up generator to ensure the lights never go out, no matter what. Rain water will be collected in two underground vaults to be recycled, and there will be a state-of-the-art underground storm water system that will eliminate and/or tremendously reduce the water run-off into the Atlanta storm water system.
For electric car drivers, Georgia Power plans to install an Electric Vehicle DC Fast Charger with two parking spaces the community can use free of charge.
Smita and Mahesh tell me that their focus is to truly serve the community with all forms of alternative energy, while people enjoy a unique shopping experience with great convenience.
Ultimately, the station’s redevelopment will transform it into a stunning landmark and business model that will serve as an example to other gas station owners who may otherwise accept the status quo without question.
Buckhead Shell hopes to do business differently and incorporate the best practices that would benefit customers, staff and the community. The station plans to re-open in fall 2017.
The City of Atlanta and its staff have been helpful and supportive, as were the two area Neighborhood Planning Units.
Before Smita and Mahesh could remodel the station, they first had to find an architect that could help them create a design that was modern and worthy of Buckhead.
The challenges in design were numerous, starting with a triangular-shaped 1.5-acre lot, which limits parking and affects the size of the building. They consulted several architects, but international architect, Inato Sema, who designs buildings in tight spaces that are both functional and efficient, produced a unique rendering that won the day. The interior layout was designed by Paragon Solutions from Dallas, Texas. However, the challenge of the final drawings and construction documents fell on the shoulders of architects Randy Pimsler and James Cain from Atlanta who made everything fit and efficient. A lot of “out of the box” thinking created some brilliant ideas, which were truly a local and international effort.
The Buckhead Shell was first purchased by the Patels in 1998, which was originally known as the old Phillips 66 gas station. A few years later they built out on both sides of the original kiosk to sell grocery products and changed the brand to Shell.
In 2012, they decided to increase the size of the building again. The initial idea was to delete the car wash and enclose that space into a retail area, but that would mean the building would still be an outdated and inefficient building. After years of planning and reviewing designs, the remodeling is finally underway.
The Buckhead Community Improvement District is thrilled about this redevelopment project happening in the community. If you or your company are planning to redevelop a building or piece of land in Buckhead, please let us know so we can share your story on our blog and social media!
Photos Courtesy of Vinny Bose
On January 25, the Buckhead Community Improvement District (BCID) board of directors unanimously approved the purchase of 30 cameras and 20 license plate readers for Operation Shield within the BCID boundaries at a cost of $705,000.
Since 2011, the BCID has worked in partnership with the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF), installing a wireless network-based public safety surveillance system as part of Operation Shield that enables the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Police Video Integration Center to proactively provide police services to the community. The camera system, which through 2015 included 19 cameras, provides real-time situational awareness of key areas within the CID and records camera images for post-incident investigation. With the approval, the number of cameras will increase to over 50.
“It’s critical that people who live, work, play and shop in Buckhead feel safe and secure at all times. We believe these added wireless cameras and license plate readers will create a force-multiplier for crime prevention and emergency preparedness,” said Jim Durrett, executive director – BCID.
The Atlanta Police Foundation and The Atlanta Police Department, in partnership with the Atlanta Security Council, Central Atlanta Progress, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and Midtown Alliance launched Operation Shield in April 2007. Its three-pronged approach includes a Video Integration Center, emergency text alerts and COMNET, an exclusive and dedicated two-way radio security communications network. This approach enables members to effectively bridge communication gaps between the Atlanta Police Department and the City’s business communities.
“We could not be more pleased with the BCID board’s decision to increase their video integration, which will allow us to provide a more comprehensive view of the community on an ongoing basis,” said Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO – Atlanta Police Foundation.
The BCID cameras are expected to be installed in June 2017 and will be located throughout the district, including two cameras dedicated to Charlie Loudermilk Park in the heart of Buckhead.
By: Jim Durrett
I was energized by the turnout at the BUCKHEAD REdeFINED public workshop on Thursday, Jan. 19 at the Atlanta International School, as well as the potential projects and plans that were presented to a crowd of more than 100 citizens interested in reshaping Buckhead’s future.
The goal was to get feedback on big ideas for multiple prospective projects. Below is a recap of those ideas that were discussed at the meeting:
According to a BUCKHEAD REdeFINED survey, 34 percent of people said it is unsafe to walk along Lenox Road. The designers behind the Lenox Road scoping study discussed that they want to focus on making it a signature street by increasing safety and making it easily accessible, not only for people in cars, but also for pedestrians and cyclists.
The consultants considered the following character areas on Lenox Road, as well as suggested opportunities for improvements:
- East Paces Ferry to Peachtree – create a multi-use boardwalk along the western edge of Lenox Road
- Peachtree to Phipps Boulevard – simplify and clarify the confusing ramps and lanes
- Phipps Boulevard to Piedmont – consider a Diverging Diamond Interchange at Lenox Road and Ga 400 to better process traffic flow
The overall effect would be to humanize intersections, beautify and activate areas alongside Lenox Road, rationalize traffic and pull people out of their cars in this corridor.
Activating Public Spaces
This presentation discussed taking semi-public spaces, which are parking lots, green areas around buildings, plazas and more, and redeveloping them into more active and inviting spots. For example adding parks, playgrounds, plazas and squares or placing pop-up retail spaces, vendors, artwork, hosting temporary activities and more.
Park Over Ga 400
The consultants shared that once the concept is fully developed later this year, that should the concept be pursued the design, engineering and other steps for the park will take up to 36 months to complete. In the meantime, the BCID plans to keep conversations with the public going in hopes of gaining more support and creative ideas
Walking Audit Presented by Dan Burden
Dan Burden and Samantha Jones of BlueZones presented findings on their Buckhead walking audit, which took place on January 18. The audit consisted of a 2.5-hour walk along several road corridors.
Burden mentioned that by creating spaces and places – like shops, stores and restaurants in a denser environment within a quarter mile of residences – people would be more likely to skip getting in their cars and walk more often. Of course that translates to fewer cars on the road and less congestion.
What are the next steps for Buckhead REdeFINED? To make these projects and plans a reality within the next five to seven years with the support and help from the community.
If you want to join in on the conversation and give us your feedback, make sure to attend the next public meeting on February 27 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Atlanta International School’s main auditorium.
Photos by Paul Muldawer
Buckhead police will have increased surveillance capability with the addition of 50 security cameras and license plate-readers.
Read full article here.
Automated police surveillance of central Buckhead will get a big increase this year, with an installation of 20 cameras and 30 license-plate readers.
Read full article here.