West End…One on One with Mayor Reed

The West End Merchants Coalition Invites you to share in dialogue with Mayor Kasim Reed regarding accomplishments and strategies that will positively effect our community.

 
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
The Empire Board of Realtists

686 Joseph E Lowery Boulevard, Southwest
Corner of Oglethorpe and Lowery Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30310-1890
404.753.4129

7:00 am – Full Breakfast Service and WEMC Meeting
8:00 am – Discussion and Q&A with Mayor Reed

WEMC Current Initiatives
Clean and Green • CID • Holiday Street Decorations

WEMC Contact Information 404-913-0901 • westendmerchants@gmail.com

It is important for businesses, organizations, and affiliates of West End to be present in support of our district. This is an
opportunity for us to reinforce how we can work with City Government to make West End the best that it can be.

…your zip code please..?

Why did the store clerk ask me for this?  More importantly, why was I embarrassed?  I don’t like providing stores with ANY of my information, however in 2006, I HATED to give out my zip code. Among the comments received, “Whoa isn’t that the top foreclosure location?”   Then I would get defensive and explain the mortgage fraud situation – that these homes were all empty and how our communities were robbed of values, neighbors leaving us blighted although it was no fault of our own.  (yes, the entire long story)

However, from the strictly informative side- forget the long story- when I looked up my zip code I was a bit shocked by what I read.  Believe me,I’m not  ignorant about my community but I do not think the numbers paint an accurate picture.  I think these numbers have actually slowed our economic development and revitalization efforts.  On the contrary, we do have resilient neighbors and I am proud to say, despite the Black/White numbers on paper- we are thriving in the Grays!

Here is  information on a few zip codes I service:

30309

30309 is a densely populated, upscale urban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. The population is primarily white, and mostly single. At $420,800 the average home value here is a bit higher than average for the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area, so this probably isn’t the place to look for housing bargains.The median age here is 33.4. There are 10,415 men and 8,324 women. The median age for men is 34.2 while for women the median age is 32.3.

30310

30310 is a urban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. Median household income here ($24,604) is significantly lower than US average ($56,604). The population is primarily African-American, and mostly single. The average house value here ($69,700) is significantly lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this is probably a great place to look for housing bargains.The median age here is 33.2. There are 16,121 men and 17,477 women. The median age for men is 31.3 while for women the median age is 34.9.

30311

30311 is a urban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. Median household income here ($27,512) is significantly lower than US average ($56,604). The population is primarily African-American, and mostly single. The average house value here ($94,400) is lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains. The median age here is 33.9. There are 15,704 men and 19,526 women. The median age for men is 30.7 while for women the median age is 36.4.

30318

30318 is a urban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. Median household income here ($28,589) is significantly lower than US average ($56,604). The population is primarily African-American, younger, and mostly single. The average house value here ($87,600) is lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains.

30327

30327 is an affluent (median household income: $114,674) upscale urban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. The population is primarily white, older, and mostly married couples. At $541,000 the average home value here is a bit higher than average for the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area, so this probably isn’t the place to look for housing bargains.The median age here is 42.4. There are 10,111 men and 10,892 women. The median age for men is 42 while for women the median age is 42.8

30331

30331 is a rural zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. The population is primarily African-American, and mostly single. The average house value here ($98,800) is lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains. The median age here is 32.6. There are 20,112 men and 24,332 women. The median age for men is 30 while for women the median age is 34.8

30344

30344 is a suburban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. The population is primarily African-American, and mostly single. The average house value here ($86,200) is lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains.The median age here is 30.4. There are 17,390 men and 19,363 women. The median age for men is 28.5 while for women the median age is 32.4.

30349

30349 is a rural zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. The population is primarily African-American, younger, and mostly single. The average house value here ($96,100) is lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains.The median age here is 29.3. There are 25,720 men and 29,519 women. The median age for men is 28.2 while for women the median age is 30.2.

Happy Thanksgiving from Area West Realty!

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Pottery Barn Turkey
Pottery Barn Holiday Home Decor

Thank you for allowing us to be apart of your life, and assist in one of the biggest transactions of a lifetime.

We are Thankful for the opportunity to serve within these great communities.

We are grateful to have your support as we grow, and  humbled by your willingness to give countless hours to develop our brand.

Area West Realty will continue to work hard and continue to be committed to developing communities!

Are you an Atlanta native?

If so, you may remember many of the street name changes Atlanta went through. I’m always curious about our streets, and how they came to be, such as Boulevard Granada or Boulevard Lorraine (for some reason I picture a Brothel and over dressed corset wearing prostitutes when I say these names) but I was informed that many of the names are from either Civil Rights activist or former military Generals. With all due respect….BORING

Me, being a story-teller and lover of most things creative, I enjoy hearing the meaning behind names and circumstances surrounding the naming of a child, pet or object (yes, many people still name their car)  

While touring homes, I do notice some unique names in certain areas- for instance, up Benjamin E. Mays- many streets are named after birds. And recently, off Cleveland Ave and Browns Mill- I drive through Linda (my mother) Drive to get to Lydia (my daughter) Lane and saw Leah (my 2nd daughter) Road on the way back. It was an amusing home tour with my clients in the car and me taking pictures of the street signs with my cell.  Obviously these were not military generals.. so how, who and why were they named this?  Somethings will remain a mystery.  

Below is a list of  the many name changes in Atlanta. Some were definitely needed and at least have improved at the mental associations of the area.   What do you think of them?

  • Current name
    • Former name(s)
  • 10th St.
    • Bleckley Ave. (alternative name, 1890s, Piedmont to Peachtree); Madison (between Crescent and West Peachtree)
  • 11th St.
    • Harrison Ave. (alternative name, 1890s, Piedmont to Peachtree); Davis (between Crescent and West Peachtree)
  • 12th St.
    • Downe St. (alternative name, 1890s, Piedmont to Peachtree); Stewart (between Crescent and West Peachtree)
  • 13th St.
    • Center St. (alternative name, 1890s, Piedmont to Peachtree); Cleveland Street (between Crescent and West Peachtree)
  • 14th St.
    • Wilson Ave. (alternative name, 1890s)
  • Andrew YoungInternational Boulevard
    • International Boulevard
    • Cain Street (for pioneer John J. Cain)
    • Magnolia Street (1886 map, one block section between Marietta St. and railroad tracks)
  • Argonne Ave. (Midtown)
    • Bedford Place (Bedford Place continued south to Forrest Ave., now Ralph McGill; that portion is now called Central Park Place)
  • Atlanta Student Movement Boulevard
    • Fair Street (Pertains to the 14 blocks of Fair Street between Northside Drive and James P. Brawley Drive (formerly Chestnut Street).
  • Auburn Avenue(as of April 17, 1893)
    • Wheat Street (for Augustus W. Wheat)[1]
  • Barnett Avenue (Virginia Highland/Poncey-Highland)
    • Kearsarge Avenue[3]
  • Benjamin E. Mays Drive
    • Sewell Road
  • Briarcliff Road (Atkins Park/Virginia Highland)
  • Bolton Road
    • River Road
  • Boulevard
    • Rolling Mill Street (north of the railroad) from late 1860s to about 1880, for the Confederate Rolling Mill, which the Federal army had already destroyed in 1864
    • See also Monroe Drive below
  • Cameron M. Alexander Blvd. (English Avenueneighborhood)
    • Kennedy Street (until 2010)
  • Capitol Avenue (as of 1885)
    • McDonough Boulevard (for the town it eventually reaches)
  • Centennial Olympic Park Drive (from North Avenuesouth to around Mitchell Street)
    • Techwood Drive (from North Avenue into Georgia Tech campus)
    • Orme Street (from around North Avenue south to Cain St. (now Andrew Young Intl. Blvd.)
    • Walker Street (from around Mitchell Street south to Peters Street)
  • Central Park Place (Old Fourth Ward)
    • Bedford Place
  • Charles Allen Drive (Midtown)
    • N. Jackson Street
  • Courtland Street(as of September 20, 1886)
    • North Collins Street (for pioneer James Collins[1] — renamed because of South Collins Street’s reputation as a red light district)
  • Crescent Avenue
    • Macon St., Old Peachtree Rd.
  • Donald Lee HollowellParkway
  • Felton Drive (for Rebecca Felton)
    • Summit Avenue
  • Hamilton E. HolmesDrive
    • Hightower Road
  • Hank Aaron Drive (from Fulton Street south to McDonoughBoulevard/University Avenue)
    • Capitol Avenue
  • Hosea L. WilliamsDrive
    • Boulevard Drive
  • Ivan Allen Jr.Boulevard (from West Peachtree Street west to Marietta Street)
    • Simpson Street (for Leonard C. Simpson, Atlanta’s first lawyer), Jones Avenue and Alexander Street (for Dr. James F. Alexander)
  • James P. Brawley Drive
    • Chestnut Street
  • Jesse Hill Jr.Drive
    • Butler Street
  • John Portman Boulevard At Historic Harris Street (as per Atlanta City Councilvote May 16, 2011)
    • Harris Street – (for Fulton County’s first elected legislator)
  • John Wesley DobbsAvenue (for John Wesley Dobbs, African-American civic and political leader, “mayor of Auburn Ave.”
  • Joseph E. BooneBoulevard (as of March 24, 2008″, for the civil rights activist)
    • Simpson Street/Road (for Leonard C. Simpson)
  • Rev. Dr. Joseph E. LoweryBoulevard
  • Maiden Lane (Virginia Highland)
    • Grove Street
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.Drive
    • Hunter Street, Gordon Road
  • Memorial Drive
    • Fair Street (for the South Central Agricultural Society fair, which moved to facilities on Fair St. in 1850)
  • Metropolitan Parkway
    • Stewart Avenue (renamed because of redlight district reputation)
  • Monroe Drive (to honor the Monroe Landscaping Company which did extensive plantings in the area)
    • N. Boulevard
  • Moreland Avenue, after Major Asbury Fletcher Moreland (1828-1909), father-in-law of architect Willis F. Denny.Moreland’s house still stands at 326 Moreland Ave. The Moreland Park community also named after him is now part of Inman Park.
    • County Line Road
  • Park Avenue West (as of April 20, 2001)
    • Foundry Street and Luckie Street (south of Baker Street – formerly Thurmond Street)
  • Parkway Dr. (Old Fourth Ward)
    • Jackson St.
  • Peachtree CenterAvenue
  • Peachtree Street(south of railroad gulch)
    • Whitehall Street (for the Whitehall Tavern, a tavern/inn established in the 1830s)
  • Peachtree Walk
    • Centre Street (from 1895 map)
  • Piedmont Road
    • (Lindbergh/Buckhead area): Plaster’s Bridge Road (or Plaster Bridge Road) for Benjamin Plaster who owned land between Piedmont and Peachtree around Lindbergh. Renamed Piedmont around 1915-1920.
    • (Midtown area): For the 1895 Cotton States Expo, Plaster’s Bridge Road south of 10th street was rerouted to connect to an extension of Calhoun Street from downtown, all of which was renamed Piedmont Road.
  • Ralph David AbernathyBoulevard
  • Ralph McGillBoulevard (for the Atlanta Constitution publisher who won the Pulitzer Prize for his anti-segregation editorials in 1969)
    • Forrest Avenue (for Civil War lieutenant-general and first Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan Nathan Bedford Forrest)
    • eastern portion just west of the BeltLine was Fortune St.
  • Sidney MarcusBoulevard
    • Marian Road
  • Spring Street (south of Alabama — for Walton Spring)
  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Way (as of May 10, 2010)
    • Raymond Street
  • Trinity Avenue
  • Washington Street
    • South Collins Street
  • West Peachtree Street
    • Atwood Street (alternative name on 1895 map)
  • William Holmes Borders Drive
    • Yonge Street

If you could rename a street in your community, which one would it be and what would you change it to?

“the City Too Busy to Hate”

Sometimes remembering hurts but it’s always good to know how far we’ve come. I found the history of Cascade Heights to be bitter-sweet, as what occurred was not very long ago. As per Wikipedia:

Cascade Heights is an affluent predominantly African-American neighborhood in southwest Atlanta. Along with Sandtown and other portions of unincorporated South Fulton County, the area has a reputation as having a high concentration of the African-American elite in the city.

Cascade Heights, or simply Cascade, can refer to a large area that is bound by I-20, on the north, I-285 on the west, South Utoy Creek on the south, and the Adams Park and Beecher Hills neighborhoods to the east. By this definition, this area also includes neighborhoods such as Peyton Forest, West Manor, and Mangum Manor to name a few. This situation can be paralleled to Midtown’s role in Northeast Atlanta; each neighborhood is separate and distinct but the area is still known by one generic name.

Here’s the interesting part:

In the early 1960s the area was a predominantly white neighborhood. After an African-American physician bought a home in Peyton Forest, white residents in the area feared that their neighborhood would become a victim of blockbusting,a business practice in which real estate agents would profit from the racial fears of white residents while changing the racial makeup of a white residential area.

Stop here.

Now, let’s not go on a Real Estate Agent bashing session, these were ignorant greedy people who happen to be agents and making their fortune from playing on the fears of their people (as they were also White). Every culture and race  have a few evil, greedy self-serving people. I remember reading how some Blacks sold other Blacks into slavery (another crazy history lesson for another day…)

Continue:

“When African-Americans moved in to a neighborhood, their presence resulted in lower residential property values because many whites considered an integrated neighborhood to be undesirable. Real estate agents stirred up racial tension and benefited from the commissions they earned when fearful homeowners sold their properties, often at a loss, in order to escape the area.”

But are you kidding me? I understand greedy sales people, but et tu brute– Mayor? —- Read on! 

“In a 1962–1963 episode that came to be called “the Peyton Road affair”, Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen responded to residents’ fears of blockbusting by directing city staff to erect barricades on Peyton Road and Harlan Road to restrict access to Cascade Heights, thus preventing African-American home seekers from getting to the neighborhood from Gordon Road. He took the action at the urging of white residents of southwest Atlanta(in particular, one of his high-level employees who lived a short distance from Peyton Road). After the barricades went up, December 18, 1962,the incident quickly drew national attention. The barrier was compared to the Berlin Wall and nicknamed the “Atlanta wall”. Some newspapers in other parts of the country questioned Atlanta’s motto “the City Too Busy to Hate.” The walls were torn down when, on March 1, 1963, a court ruled them to be unconstitutional.

This event is considered to have helped spur the growth and prominence of Collier Heights, the first affluent community in the nation built by and for African-Americans.”

Whoa! DRAMA- can you imagine living through that?  I can’t, – just thinking,  my mother was alive during this time. Thank God for growth and progress. I  must constantly  remind myself-this was a different time, a different world and that maybe the Mayor did what he thought was best for the overall good??? (I was not there so….)

Notable residents of Cascade Heights include: former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, baseball legend Hank Aaron, former UN Ambassador and mayor of Atlanta Andrew Young, and past national president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and founding member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Ozell Sutton, Dr. Howard W. Grant, current Executive Director/Administrator of the Atlanta Board of Education, and Kandi Burruss, singer/songwriter, record producer, and cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta ( Kandi recently bought a new house in a Cascade gated community-Go Kandi!!)

Today, what’s sad are the home values. Cascade Heights was hit  hard in the bust. The wonderful Veltre Estates still has a sign at the corner of Cascade  and  Veltre Circle.  During their development, I knew these would be a treat in Cascade Heights, with only 24home sites!  I found the quality of this builders to be like none other, in a time when everyone under the sun was building out Cascade and Camp Creek.  Throwing up homes in a month, on lots too close for anyone. Jones & Minear Homebuilders left no stone unturned when it came to the details.

Unfortunately home sales went from $599K down to $355K  last in 2011; what an amazing deal on these estates of 5 Bedrooms, 3sides brick and 3 car garage  homes.  This may be a great area to keep an eye on for a future short sale.

Here’s an old sales website– see how drastically they were reduced…

No worries, Cascade Heights will rebound. It’s a perfect location- perfect for those wanting to live close to the city, but maybe a bit tired of living in a really urban area.  The land is cheap enough for investors to purchase and rebuild new construction-although, to really have an impact on value the builder will need to do more than a few homes. I love the look of the older homes on Boulevard Granada and Boulevard Lorraine, but I can picture many new single family homes on these streets similar to what was done in Washington Park, since there are a few without character. – Don’t sleep on Cascade Heights- a good investment area!