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Old 11-01-2012, 12:03 AM
 
6,795 posts, read 6,598,775 times
Reputation: 5411

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dichloromethane View Post
Places near underground/five points have especially gone downhill in the recent years. I remember when underground was a must-see for tourists. Now whenever someone is visiting and wants to go to underground. I cringe and struggle to explain to them that it's gone from hero to zero.

I use to enjoy going to underground. The parks are riffe with homeless people.
Now it's where a bunch of thugs and hoodrats hang out at....along with the mentally deranged homeless. That whole area, just south of Marietta st. is just terrible. It needs to be cleaned up now. It's trashy and brings down Atlanta's image. No city's core should be in that condition. You'd think you were in an inter-city neighborhood...not the downtown area.

It's actually worst then any of the inter-city hoods and that says a lot...
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Downtown Atlanta
112 posts, read 138,594 times
Reputation: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant131531 View Post
Now it's where a bunch of thugs and hoodrats hang out at....along with the mentally deranged homeless. That whole area, just south of Marietta st. is just terrible. It needs to be cleaned up now. It's trashy and brings down Atlanta's image. No city's core should be in that condition. You'd think you were in an inter-city neighborhood...not the downtown area.

It's actually worst then any of the inter-city hoods and that says a lot...
Then please contact Chief Turner, Mayor Reed, Councilman Hall, and the new head of MARTA. Tell them in a letter how you feel. I have lived south of Five Points for 12 years. That entire time, my neighbors and I have contacted the various Chiefs, Mayors, and Councilmen to address the decay of the area. Only Kwanza Hall has responded positively.

If the Mayor's office, City Council, and Chief Turner get complaints from other Atlanta citizens, especially a year before elections, then maybe they will do something about it.

First thing is to demand that Dan O'Leary's contract with Underground be terminated. His management of Underground is criminal.

Second is to demand that MARTA patrol the bus stops around Five Points. Right now, dealers tell APD that they are waiting for the bus, and the APD can do nothing about it. MARTA police will not leave the confines of the station.

Third, demand that building codes and vendor codes be enforced around Five Points. The third-world vendors at Five Points and the crappy signage on the once beautiful buildings around Five Points are embarrassing.

Fourth, demand that the APD foot patrols that were recently stopped around Five Points be reinstated. For 60 days ending last week, the APD had a officer on every corner along Peachtree from Marietta to Trinity. The thug population dropped significantly. Now Chief Turner has pulled them from the street.

Without complaints from citizens, the City will do nothing. They have implemented a policy of containment for a decade - keep all the dealers and mentally ill south of Five Points where they won't bother the businessmen and conventioneers. Well, those thugs and mentally ill are slowly wandering back up Peachtree like the Walking Dead.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:44 AM
 
Location: ATL
4,688 posts, read 6,408,610 times
Reputation: 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadStJudge View Post
Then please contact Chief Turner, Mayor Reed, Councilman Hall, and the new head of MARTA. Tell them in a letter how you feel. I have lived south of Five Points for 12 years. That entire time, my neighbors and I have contacted the various Chiefs, Mayors, and Councilmen to address the decay of the area. Only Kwanza Hall has responded positively.

If the Mayor's office, City Council, and Chief Turner get complaints from other Atlanta citizens, especially a year before elections, then maybe they will do something about it.

First thing is to demand that Dan O'Leary's contract with Underground be terminated. His management of Underground is criminal.

Second is to demand that MARTA patrol the bus stops around Five Points. Right now, dealers tell APD that they are waiting for the bus, and the APD can do nothing about it. MARTA police will not leave the confines of the station.

Third, demand that building codes and vendor codes be enforced around Five Points. The third-world vendors at Five Points and the crappy signage on the once beautiful buildings around Five Points are embarrassing.

Fourth, demand that the APD foot patrols that were recently stopped around Five Points be reinstated. For 60 days ending last week, the APD had a officer on every corner along Peachtree from Marietta to Trinity. The thug population dropped significantly. Now Chief Turner has pulled them from the street.

Without complaints from citizens, the City will do nothing. They have implemented a policy of containment for a decade - keep all the dealers and mentally ill south of Five Points where they won't bother the businessmen and conventioneers. Well, those thugs and mentally ill are slowly wandering back up Peachtree like the Walking Dead.
So where will they take over next if they move from the underground?
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:49 AM
 
28,148 posts, read 24,679,387 times
Reputation: 9544
Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadStJudge View Post
Then please contact Chief Turner, Mayor Reed, Councilman Hall, and the new head of MARTA. Tell them in a letter how you feel. I have lived south of Five Points for 12 years. That entire time, my neighbors and I have contacted the various Chiefs, Mayors, and Councilmen to address the decay of the area. Only Kwanza Hall has responded positively.

If the Mayor's office, City Council, and Chief Turner get complaints from other Atlanta citizens, especially a year before elections, then maybe they will do something about it.

First thing is to demand that Dan O'Leary's contract with Underground be terminated. His management of Underground is criminal.

Second is to demand that MARTA patrol the bus stops around Five Points. Right now, dealers tell APD that they are waiting for the bus, and the APD can do nothing about it. MARTA police will not leave the confines of the station.

Third, demand that building codes and vendor codes be enforced around Five Points. The third-world vendors at Five Points and the crappy signage on the once beautiful buildings around Five Points are embarrassing.

Fourth, demand that the APD foot patrols that were recently stopped around Five Points be reinstated. For 60 days ending last week, the APD had a officer on every corner along Peachtree from Marietta to Trinity. The thug population dropped significantly. Now Chief Turner has pulled them from the street.

Without complaints from citizens, the City will do nothing. They have implemented a policy of containment for a decade - keep all the dealers and mentally ill south of Five Points where they won't bother the businessmen and conventioneers. Well, those thugs and mentally ill are slowly wandering back up Peachtree like the Walking Dead.
Great post.

I would like to write a letter and/or personally lobby the city about this.

Are the some examples of building code violations you could point out? Also, what are the specifics about Underground that need to addressed?
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:40 AM
 
472 posts, read 644,305 times
Reputation: 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygeorgia View Post
So where will they take over next if they move from the underground?
The "campus" of Georgia State University. GSU is already filled with homeless people and crimes. It doesn't help that their student body helps contribute to the problem.

Residents and businesses are one thing but, our students should be kept SAFE. It's not acceptable that homeless people roam the campuses of Tech, GSU and others. Emory is usually spared. I heard from a Tech student that one homeless person was carrying around a shotgun. The police never found him but there have been reports.

Sad. I hope downtown improves. It's a bad look. We have honey boo boo as it is we don't need to be known for the hoodrats of Atlanta on top of that.

Love hate situation with the state of Georgia.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Downtown Atlanta
165 posts, read 269,236 times
Reputation: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadStJudge View Post
First thing is to demand that Dan O'Leary's contract with Underground be terminated. His management of Underground is criminal.
True -- and when I read this year that the city gives an annual $8 million subsidy to Underground Atlanta, I flipped. Even with that much cash being handed over to him, this is the best he can come up with? Criminal is right.

Mayor Reed mentioned a couple of times this year that he'd like to see Underground used for cultural purposes to strengthen the arts community. This is a good idea and I want to see it happen. A downtown branch of the Atlanta History Center would be a great thing to happen here as well.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:41 AM
 
28,148 posts, read 24,679,387 times
Reputation: 9544
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATL Urbanist View Post
True -- and when I read this year that the city gives an annual $8 million subsidy to Underground Atlanta, I flipped. Even with that much cash being handed over to him, this is the best he can come up with? Criminal is right.
Could y'all clarify a bit what is being done wrong? I agree that Underground is a mess but are there specific management issues? I'd like to join the battle but don't know enough about the situation.

The annual subsidy is ridiculous. $8 million is a ton of money for a city like Atlanta.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Downtown Atlanta
165 posts, read 269,236 times
Reputation: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Could y'all clarify a bit what is being done wrong? I agree that Underground is a mess but are there specific management issues? I'd like to join the battle but don't know enough about the situation.

The annual subsidy is ridiculous. $8 million is a ton of money for a city like Atlanta.
I actually don't know much about O'Leary or his management. I was generally agreeing that Underground is a mess, and by that I mean financially. My main beef with him was his idea to turn it into a video lottery deal, which just sounded awful.

Taking that huge annual subsidy and not producing enough revenue to make UA profitable is a ridiculous waste -- not only of money, but of this transit-connected location that has so much potential to be something profitable and enriching for the city.

To be fair to O'Leary, though, there's probably not much that can be done to improve UA in it's current format as a shopping mall and pedestrian plaza. It's an outdated setup. The whole space needs to be re-imagined with a different set of uses with retail as one element, but not the only one. Just not re-imagined as video lottery, please.

In reference to the OP, Midtown does indeed have a big financial advantage over downtown in that it isn't saddled with a money pit like Underground Atlanta. That downtown still has a level of success despite this considerable handicap is impressive.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Downtown Atlanta
112 posts, read 138,594 times
Reputation: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Could y'all clarify a bit what is being done wrong? I agree that Underground is a mess but are there specific management issues? I'd like to join the battle but don't know enough about the situation.

The annual subsidy is ridiculous. $8 million is a ton of money for a city like Atlanta.
My use of "criminal" is the meaning that it is shameful or disgraceful. The place has not been updated since 1989, and O'Leary took over management in 1999 so he should have started with a new coat of paint. The same color-scheme of baby blue, dusty rose, and purple are still there twenty three years later. Security at the Upper Alabama/Peachtree entrance was a joke until the APD started stationing a beat cop at that corner two months ago. Until then, drugs were being sold in plain sight all day long. The owner of the Fairfield Inn at Underground had to call the Mayor to get the area secured - it is better now, but a bit of a way to go still before the perception is gone.

My opinion about O'Leary's management is based on how his contract with the City is written. According to the ABC article dated 6/3/2000 "Investors are betting on rebirth of Underground" by Tony Heffernan: In 1999, O'Leary and Tom Aderhold paid $2.5 million for a 50 year lease to control Underground. Then O'Leary set up O'Leary Partners, of which he is 75% owner, to manage the property for a fee of 3.5% of total revenue collected by tenants.

Meanwhile, O'Leary and Aderhold were to pay $933,333 for three years in annual rent to the City. As of 2003, the annual rent to the City dropped to $100,000 a year. To offset that expense, O'Leary and Aderhold get the first $325,000 of rent and a percentage of sales revenue collected each year from tenants. The City would get the next $400,000 collected, and then they would split any collected revenue above that amount.

After the initial sunk cost of $5.3 million paid from 1999 to 2003 which will probably be amortized over 50 years, O'Leary et al really had no incentive to make improvements, let alone make an effort to keep Underground fresh with new, upscale tenants that would appeal to residents, workers, and visitors. As long as they get $325,000 of tenant rent and revenue from low-end vendors, they have positive cash flow after paying the City $100,000. It's a 50 year annuity for very little work!

For fiscal year 2012, the City's proposed budget for Underground was $8 million for bond debt and $3 million for purchased services. What are those, if O'Leary et al have control of Underground? Fred Williams, City of Atlanta Audit Committee Chair, in a letter to the Mayor and City Council on 9/28/11 stated about the Underground Atlanta lease - "past allegations suggested that tenant leases were structured in a way that was unfavorable to the city." Even the City questions the management of Underground.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:24 PM
 
27,786 posts, read 24,814,471 times
Reputation: 16505
Quote:
Originally Posted by dichloromethane View Post
Sad. I hope downtown improves. It's a bad look. We have honey boo boo as it is we don't need to be known for the hoodrats of Atlanta on top of that.
Atlanta tends to have a very different image from the rest of the Georgia in the national consciousness.
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