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Sylvan Hills

Bounded by Lee Street, Langford Parkway, I-85, and avenues including Deckner and Arden, Sylvan Hills manages to be all about the porousness of borders. In the days when Fort McPherson still held a military presence, the sounds of ?Taps? would sometimes drift east, across Lee Street and the southern line of MARTA and multiple freight train tracks, at sunset. From within the neighborhood, the Nabisco plant that fronts on Murphy Avenue often suffuses the area with the scent of toasting sugar. In typical Atlanta fashion, an area with the most pastoral of names has homes on one street and light industry on the next. Alas, many examples of both such inhabitants seem derelict ? perhaps none more picturesquely so than an old RC Cola facility near the southwestern corner.

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["time"]=> int(1502543677) } [3]=> object(stdClass)#1210 (8) { ["author_name"]=> string(9) "Ryan Lash" ["author_url"]=> string(65) "https://www.google.com/maps/contrib/116755324765994123958/reviews" ["language"]=> string(2) "en" ["profile_photo_url"]=> string(122) "https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0SBvK2aLZfQ/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAACOA/iHYKELbT8t8/s128-c0x00000000-cc-rp-mo-ba3/photo.jpg" ["rating"]=> string(1) "5" ["relative_time_description"]=> string(12) "5 months ago" ["text"]=> string(152) "This place is great! I had a bunch of old paint and chemicals left in my home when I moved in, and this place accepted it all- first 5 gallons are free!" 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"https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-59KI_sNINFs/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAB4U/7dQ34gfcEFI/s128-c0x00000000-cc-rp-mo-ba3/photo.jpg" ["rating"]=> string(1) "5" ["relative_time_description"]=> string(11) "a month ago" ["text"]=> string(428) "Came here to help with my liquid detox. I did three sessions of colon hydrotherapy, V-steam, foot detox, biomat. Before my visit to Heal Thy Self I was experiencing headaches, nausea, bloating and I had not menstruated. The next day after using the biomat, I had my cycle back. The colonics helped me loose a couple inches from my waist. Lala was very helpful with helping me identify the toxins that were released from my body." ["time"]=> int(1517189689) } [1]=> object(stdClass)#1127 (8) { ["author_name"]=> string(14) "Zahra Tempeste" ["author_url"]=> string(65) "https://www.google.com/maps/contrib/104167928166780712611/reviews" ["language"]=> string(2) "en" ["profile_photo_url"]=> string(141) "https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-pMVVRxhD8S0/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/AGi4gfzG_TDweqHgXUY451BuIOI6FZhrsA/s128-c0x00000000-cc-rp-mo/photo.jpg" ["rating"]=> string(1) "5" ["relative_time_description"]=> string(12) "6 months ago" ["text"]=> string(384) "Wow. What a find! I originally went in for a colonic service and ended up learning about their massages and facials. Next thing you know, I treated myself to a whole spa day! The staff are extremely knowledgable and caring. Make sure to get a wellness consultation from Lala. Also ask for their package deals for the best price. You will come out knowing so much more about your body!" ["time"]=> int(1501867616) } [2]=> object(stdClass)#1128 (8) { ["author_name"]=> string(9) "Boss Lady" ["author_url"]=> string(65) "https://www.google.com/maps/contrib/117332505131052548192/reviews" ["language"]=> string(2) "en" ["profile_photo_url"]=> string(141) "https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UP6Dp2rPiWE/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/AGi4gfz5iWC486hFjMZ9k3HlNiOFvgbayw/s128-c0x00000000-cc-rp-mo/photo.jpg" ["rating"]=> string(1) "5" ["relative_time_description"]=> string(12) "3 months ago" ["text"]=> string(1523) "Lala is heaven sent! Heal Thyself Is nothing short of a safe haven and divine Miracle for me. I absolutely adore this impeccable place of healing! On my journey to full body, mind and spirit healing, I came across Heal Thyself from being interested in a V-steam. I had choices to choose from, and a Private room with loose leaf organic herbal tea. Lala was very hands on, beyond helpful! It was absolutely refreshing. I personally had never experienced just meeting someone who instantly cared about my health and well-being. Immediately after my colonics , a probiotic & chlorophyll water was given to me and I was asked how l felt, what can be done to make me feel better. I instantly felt loved, appreciated, cared for. I had never in my 26 years of living been to a business establishment that in my spirit, I felt a connection. Lala has changed my life. My back pain has extremely diminished, Lala has educated me about Colonics, herbs and how important detoxing my body was. I immediately felt lighter after my first colonics I experienced a rush of relief in every single part of my body after my first Amethyst Bio-mat, and it is now my favorite past-time. There is tension released in my entire body and mind after each service I receive at Heal Thyself, and I' am just getting started! Have you ever had a foot detox? My first time was at Heal Thyself, imagine all the things that my doctor couldn't figure out,my detox did!Your journey to healing starts at Heal Thyself, it starts with LaLa! It starts with you!" 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["time"]=> int(1501693432) } [4]=> object(stdClass)#1126 (8) { ["author_name"]=> string(14) "Ronita Madison" ["author_url"]=> string(65) "https://www.google.com/maps/contrib/106485371894875966771/reviews" ["language"]=> string(2) "en" ["profile_photo_url"]=> string(141) "https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-LtAPz3j7uJs/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/AGi4gfwEnop7gPpAt4t5kZ7mtP-w0Ve4EA/s128-c0x00000000-cc-rp-mo/photo.jpg" ["rating"]=> string(1) "5" ["relative_time_description"]=> string(12) "9 months ago" ["text"]=> string(251) "This is a beautiful peaceful place! The owner and her daughter were very kind and knowledgeable. They treated my daughter and I so graciously. I recommend this experience to anyone ready to take healing and purification to the next level. 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Articles on Sylvan Hills Neighborhood

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  string(91) "Quick Bites: Joy Cafe plans to leave Buckhead, Sylvan Hills gets a new restaurant, and more"
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  The team behind Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub plans to open Jefe's Tacos & Tequila, at TOWN Brookhaven, according to Tomorrow’s News Today. The new resto will focus on authentic Mexican cuisine and is slated to open this fall in the former Noche Tequila & Tapas Bar space.
  
  Buckhead’s Joy Cafe will relocate to Midtown, “just a few blocks” from the Alta Midtown residential building by late summer or early fall, according to a comment on Alta’s Facebook page. The restaurant’s owners confirmed the move but have not released any further details. 
 
     Yeah! Burger co-founder and CEO Erik Maier, has changed the name of his upcoming restaurant from Juicy Green to upbeet, Tomorrow’s News Today reports. The new Westside resto, located at 1071 Howell Mill Road, will serve grain bowls, protein plates, acai and yogurt bowls, seasonal sides, organic juices and smoothies, and more, according to the upbeet website.
  
  Chef Carl Redding hopes to end the Sylvan Hills' status as a restaurant desert with his new concept, Redding’s Restaurant, which is slated to open by late summer. Redding signed a 15-year lease for a space near Atlanta Metropolitan State College and Atlanta Technical College where he plans to serve healthy Southern food and barbecue. Expect baked chicken with multi-grain waffles and 100 percent maple syrup and low sodium, low sugar barbecue rubs and sauces.
  
  Rumor mongering: Sources say that Sweet Auburn BBQ’s Howard Hsu and his mother are planning to open a resto in Krog Street Market.
  
Editor's note: This post has been updated to correctly identify the neighborhood in which Redding's Restaurant is located. It is located in Sylvan Hills. 
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  The team behind Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub plans to open __Jefe's Tacos & Tequila__, at TOWN Brookhaven, according to Tomorrow’s News Today. [http://www.tonetoatl.com/2016/04/exclusive-kaleidoscope-team-confirms.html#more|The new resto will focus on authentic Mexican cuisine] and is slated to open this fall in the former Noche Tequila & Tapas Bar space.
  
  Buckhead’s__ Joy Cafe__ will relocate to Midtown, “just a few blocks” from the Alta Midtown residential building by late summer or early fall, [https://www.facebook.com/altamidtown/photos/pb.722137061247508.-2207520000.1462806342./837587373035809/?type=3&theater|according to a comment on Alta’s Facebook page]. The restaurant’s owners [https://whatnowatlanta.com/joy-cafe-plans-midtown-move/|confirmed the move] but have not released any further details. 
 
     Yeah! Burger co-founder and CEO Erik Maier, [http://www.tonetoatl.com/2016/05/romaine-calm-new-yeah-burger-concept.html#more|has changed the name of his upcoming restaurant] from Juicy Green to __upbeet__, Tomorrow’s News Today reports. The new Westside resto, located at 1071 Howell Mill Road, will serve [http://upbeet.com|grain bowls, protein plates, acai and yogurt bowls, seasonal sides, organic juices and smoothies, and more], according to the upbeet website.
  
  Chef __Carl Redding__ hopes to end the Sylvan Hills' status as a restaurant desert with his new concept, __Redding’s Restaurant__, which is slated to open by late summer. [http://atlantarestaurants.blog.ajc.com/2016/04/29/will-this-new-restaurant-transform-atlantas-pittsburgh-community/|Redding signed a 15-year lease for a space near Atlanta Metropolitan State College and Atlanta Technical College] where he plans to serve healthy Southern food and barbecue. Expect baked chicken with multi-grain waffles and 100 percent maple syrup and low sodium, low sugar barbecue rubs and sauces.
  
  Rumor mongering: Sources say that Sweet Auburn BBQ’s __Howard Hsu__ and his mother are planning to open a resto in __Krog Street Market__.
  
''Editor's note: This post has been updated to correctly identify the neighborhood in which Redding's Restaurant is located. It is located in Sylvan Hills. ''
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  string(2168) "       2016-05-10T13:01:00+00:00 Quick Bites: Joy Cafe plans to leave Buckhead, Sylvan Hills gets a new restaurant, and more ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason James Oxendine 14413580 2016-05-10T13:01:00+00:00  image-1 
  The team behind Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub plans to open Jefe's Tacos & Tequila, at TOWN Brookhaven, according to Tomorrow’s News Today. The new resto will focus on authentic Mexican cuisine and is slated to open this fall in the former Noche Tequila & Tapas Bar space.
  
  Buckhead’s Joy Cafe will relocate to Midtown, “just a few blocks” from the Alta Midtown residential building by late summer or early fall, according to a comment on Alta’s Facebook page. The restaurant’s owners confirmed the move but have not released any further details. 
 
     Yeah! Burger co-founder and CEO Erik Maier, has changed the name of his upcoming restaurant from Juicy Green to upbeet, Tomorrow’s News Today reports. The new Westside resto, located at 1071 Howell Mill Road, will serve grain bowls, protein plates, acai and yogurt bowls, seasonal sides, organic juices and smoothies, and more, according to the upbeet website.
  
  Chef Carl Redding hopes to end the Sylvan Hills' status as a restaurant desert with his new concept, Redding’s Restaurant, which is slated to open by late summer. Redding signed a 15-year lease for a space near Atlanta Metropolitan State College and Atlanta Technical College where he plans to serve healthy Southern food and barbecue. Expect baked chicken with multi-grain waffles and 100 percent maple syrup and low sodium, low sugar barbecue rubs and sauces.
  
  Rumor mongering: Sources say that Sweet Auburn BBQ’s Howard Hsu and his mother are planning to open a resto in Krog Street Market.
  
Editor's note: This post has been updated to correctly identify the neighborhood in which Redding's Restaurant is located. It is located in Sylvan Hills. 
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  string(6654) "image-1Atlanta Habitat for Humanity has plans for a 10-acre parcel in Sylvan Hills located just blocks from the Oakland City MARTA station and practically across the street from the old U.S. Army fort that Tyler Perry wants to turn into Hollywood South. On the property between Langston Avenue and Evans Drive, the well-known nonprofit wants to build at least 27 homes on the parcel. 
?  
?  One problem: some residents of the historic southwest Atlanta community do not necessarily like the plan they see.
?   
?   The struggle to find the best use of such prime land is similar to discussions held in other parts of the city about how to build the “beloved community,” says Sylvan Hills resident Julie Borders, using a phrase popularized by Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. to describe communities of decency and goodwill.
?   
?   “How can we gentrify graciously?” she says.
?    
?    The property, which sits in a ZIP Code that’s working to dig itself out of the foreclosure crisis, was donated to Atlanta Habitat this summer. About five acres of the parcel is platted for 27 residential lots each sized around 0.20 acres.  The rest of the land is zoned industrial. (The acreage passed environmental studies, and no issues were found anywhere, according to Habitat.) If that zoning were changed, Habitat could build more homes, perhaps as many as 40 altogether.
?  
?    ???     
?   Habitat plans to show sketches of their design plans at a meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m at the nonprofit’s headquarters at 824 Memorial Drive.
?   
?   Would-be Habitat buyers must put in sweat equity before they can qualify to buy one of the nonprofit’s homes.  Atlanta homes have 3 or 4 bedrooms, and are sold at around $115,000 each on average. Homeowners pay no interest on their mortgages. 
?   
?   What makes some Sylvan Hills residents nervous is not the prospect of owner-occupied housing. First, they wonder whether the homes that Habitat builds will match the architectural character — think brick bungalows and cottages  — of the neighborhood. They also question if the Habitat proposal is  the best way to use the land in a place where there are already boarded-up houses, not enough jobs, and a huge new development on its way at Fort McPherson. Some neighborhood residents have already broached the subjects with Habitat.
?   
?   “Among many of the neighbors, one of the suggestions was, could Habitat come in and fix up some of our blighted homes,” said Robby Caban, a realtor who lives in neighboring Capitol View. She attended a meeting with Habitat both as a concerned resident and as economic development chair of Neighborhood Planning Unit X, which includes Sylvan Hills.
?   
?   The 30310 zip code was hit hard by mortgage fraudsters a decade ago. Even now, property prices do strange things. What would charitably be called a fixer-upper near the Habitat parcel recently sold for $25,000. Two blocks away, a restored home sold for $175,000.
?   
?   Ralph Long, a former state representative and realtor who restored the 1932 Sylvan Hills bungalow where he lives, says he thinks that houses priced at even $300,000 to $400,000 could sell if placed on Habitat’s land. A Habitat development, he says, “is not the highest and best use of the land.” 
?   
?   “We’ve got enough affordable housing,” he says.
?   
?   Long thinks the nonprofit should refurbish homes that already in the neighborhood if they want to do good. However, Atlanta Habitat's policies say the nonprofit renovates only houses that were built by Habitat or its volunteers. "If we acquire a property with a vacant house on it, we demolish that house and build to our own green standards," the nonprofit's FAQ says. 
?   
?   Borders said she would like to see something on the acreage that would help people become self-sufficient. She praises an idea like Club E, a facility in College Park that’s part co-working space, part incubator for local businesses.
?   
?   “We don’t want gentry to come in and throw people out.  Pick people up to help them, not to throw them out,” she says. 
?   
?   Months ago, NPU-X reviewed land throughout the planning group’s borders and identified places that they thought could be used to attract investments and jobs to the area.  
?   
?   The land now belonging to Habitat was one of those blocks. The NPU held meetings about the parcel, Caban says, and has gotten commitments to help from developers, investors, consultants, and philanthropists.
?   
?   “Local nonprofits and community advocacy groups, along with workforce programs, are also on board for a holistic approach to rebranding and ethically transforming” the area, she says.
?   
?   Atlanta Habitat has not yet presented any plan to the NPU, so the NPU has no official comment on it.
?   
?   The nonprofit’s officials stress that they are in the very early stages of planning and want to work with the NPU and the neighborhood association. But she notes that their lean building model is somewhat simple, and for a reason.
?   
?   “All of our houses are energy efficient and they do have standard floor plans,” says Melissa Klein, senior family services manager of Atlanta Habitat.  “We build our houses with volunteers and sponsors and staff so our floor plans have to be fairly straight forward,” she said.
?   
?   “We do build one-story homes, as are most homes in Sylvan Hills,” Klein says. “We have accepted working with the neighborhood association to talk about how our houses look and what could be done to help them complement the existing structures that are in the neighborhood.”
? 
? There might even be the possibility that Habitat could stray from its stated policy on not renovating non-Habitat homes. At an Atlanta Beltline Inc. board meeting on Wednesday morning, President and CEO Paul Morris said that he and Lisa Gordon, Habitat's CEO and a former Beltline chief operating officer, are exploring a partnership that could include rehabbing homes along the project. Sylvan Hills is considered a Beltline neighborhood. 
?
?UPDATE, 4:12 p.m.: Sarah Fedota, an Atlanta Habitat spokeswoman, says in an email:
?
???  Atlanta Habitat and the Atlanta Beltline are currently in conversation around the issue of affordable housing to advance the mission both organizations. We’re in the early stages of conversation, and no areas or neighborhoods have been identified. Our discussion with the Atlanta Beltline is not related to Creative Loafing’s recent inquiry about Sylvan Hills.
?? 
?Additional reporting by Thomas Wheatley
?   
? 
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  string(6958) "[image-1][http://www.atlantahabitat.org/|Atlanta Habitat for Humanity] has plans for a 10-acre parcel in [http://www.sylvanhillsatlanta.org/wordpress/|Sylvan Hills] located just blocks from the Oakland City MARTA station and practically across the street from the old U.S. Army fort that Tyler Perry wants to turn into Hollywood South. On the property between Langston Avenue and Evans Drive, the well-known nonprofit wants to build at least 27 homes on the parcel. 
?  
?  One problem: some residents of the historic southwest Atlanta community do not necessarily like the plan they see.
?   
?   The struggle to find the best use of such prime land is similar to discussions held in other parts of the city about how to build the “beloved community,” says Sylvan Hills resident Julie Borders, using a phrase popularized by Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. to describe communities of decency and goodwill.
?   
?   “How can we gentrify graciously?” she says.
?    
?    The property, which sits in a ZIP Code that’s working to dig itself out of the foreclosure crisis, was donated to Atlanta Habitat this summer. About five acres of the parcel is platted for 27 residential lots each sized around 0.20 acres.  The rest of the land is zoned industrial. (The acreage passed environmental studies, and no issues were found anywhere, according to Habitat.) If that zoning were changed, Habitat could build more homes, perhaps as many as 40 altogether.
?  
?    ???     
?   Habitat plans to show sketches of their design plans at a meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m at the nonprofit’s headquarters at 824 Memorial Drive.
?   
?   Would-be Habitat buyers must put in sweat equity before they can qualify to buy one of the nonprofit’s homes.  Atlanta homes have 3 or 4 bedrooms, and are sold at around $115,000 each on average. Homeowners pay no interest on their mortgages. 
?   
?   What makes some Sylvan Hills residents nervous is not the prospect of owner-occupied housing. First, they wonder whether the homes that Habitat builds will match the architectural character — think brick bungalows and cottages  — of the neighborhood. They also question if the Habitat proposal is  the best way to use the land in a place where there are already boarded-up houses, not enough jobs, and a huge new development on its way at Fort McPherson. Some neighborhood residents have already broached the subjects with Habitat.
?   
?   “[Among] many of the neighbors, one of the suggestions was, could Habitat come in and fix up some of our blighted homes,” said Robby Caban, a realtor who lives in neighboring Capitol View. She attended a meeting with Habitat both as a concerned resident and as economic development chair of Neighborhood Planning Unit X, which includes Sylvan Hills.
?   
?   The 30310 zip code was [http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/fulton-assessors-board-member-cited-for-negligent-/nQryW/|hit hard] by mortgage fraudsters a decade ago. Even now, property prices do strange things. What would charitably be called a fixer-upper near the Habitat parcel recently sold for $25,000. Two blocks away, a restored home sold for $175,000.
?   
?   Ralph Long, a former state representative and realtor who restored the 1932 Sylvan Hills bungalow where he lives, says he thinks that houses priced at even $300,000 to $400,000 could sell if placed on Habitat’s land. A Habitat development, he says, “is not the highest and best use of the land.” 
?   
?   “We’ve got enough affordable housing,” he says.
?   
?   Long thinks the nonprofit should refurbish homes that already in the neighborhood if they want to do good. However, Atlanta Habitat's policies say the nonprofit renovates only houses that were built by Habitat or its volunteers. "If we acquire a property with a vacant house on it, we demolish that house and build to our own green standards," the nonprofit's FAQ [http://www.atlantahabitat.org/faq/|says]. 
?   
?   Borders said she would like to see something on the acreage that would help people become self-sufficient. She praises an idea like Club E, a facility in College Park that’s part co-working space, part incubator for local businesses.
?   
?   “We don’t want gentry to come in and throw people out.  Pick people up to help them, not to throw them out,” she says. 
?   
?   Months ago, NPU-X reviewed land throughout the planning group’s borders and identified places that they thought could be used to attract investments and jobs to the area.  
?   
?   The land now belonging to Habitat was one of those blocks. The NPU held meetings about the parcel, Caban says, and has gotten commitments to help from developers, investors, consultants, and philanthropists.
?   
?   “Local nonprofits and community advocacy groups, along with workforce programs, are also on board for a holistic approach to rebranding and ethically transforming” the area, she says.
?   
?   Atlanta Habitat has not yet presented any plan to the NPU, so the NPU has no official comment on it.
?   
?   The nonprofit’s officials stress that they are in the very early stages of planning and want to work with the NPU and the neighborhood association. But she notes that their lean building model is somewhat simple, and for a reason.
?   
?   “All of our houses are energy efficient and they do have standard floor plans,” says Melissa Klein, senior family services manager of Atlanta Habitat.  “We build our houses with volunteers and sponsors and staff so our floor plans have to be fairly straight forward,” she said.
?   
?   “We do build one-story homes, as are most homes in Sylvan Hills,” Klein says. “We have accepted working with the neighborhood association to talk about how our houses look and what could be done to help them complement the existing structures that are in the neighborhood.”
? 
? There might even be the possibility that Habitat could stray from its stated policy on not renovating non-Habitat homes. At an Atlanta Beltline Inc. board meeting on Wednesday morning, President and CEO Paul Morris said that he and Lisa Gordon, Habitat's CEO and a former Beltline chief operating officer, are exploring a partnership that could include rehabbing homes along the project. [http://beltline.org/about/the-atlanta-beltline-project/neighborhoods/|Sylvan Hills is considered a Beltline neighborhood]. 
?
?__UPDATE, 4:12 p.m.__: Sarah Fedota, an Atlanta Habitat spokeswoman, says in an email:
?
???  Atlanta Habitat and the Atlanta Beltline are currently in conversation around the issue of affordable housing to advance the mission both organizations. We’re in the early stages of conversation, and no areas or neighborhoods have been identified. Our discussion with the Atlanta Beltline is not related to ''Creative Loafing''’s recent inquiry about Sylvan Hills.
?? ''''
''?Additional reporting by Thomas Wheatley''
?   
? 
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  string(6969) "       2015-08-12T15:23:00+00:00 Habitat for Humanity's plan for Sylvan Hills draws neighborhood's ire ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason Maggie Lee 8729632 2015-08-12T15:23:00+00:00  image-1Atlanta Habitat for Humanity has plans for a 10-acre parcel in Sylvan Hills located just blocks from the Oakland City MARTA station and practically across the street from the old U.S. Army fort that Tyler Perry wants to turn into Hollywood South. On the property between Langston Avenue and Evans Drive, the well-known nonprofit wants to build at least 27 homes on the parcel. 
?  
?  One problem: some residents of the historic southwest Atlanta community do not necessarily like the plan they see.
?   
?   The struggle to find the best use of such prime land is similar to discussions held in other parts of the city about how to build the “beloved community,” says Sylvan Hills resident Julie Borders, using a phrase popularized by Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. to describe communities of decency and goodwill.
?   
?   “How can we gentrify graciously?” she says.
?    
?    The property, which sits in a ZIP Code that’s working to dig itself out of the foreclosure crisis, was donated to Atlanta Habitat this summer. About five acres of the parcel is platted for 27 residential lots each sized around 0.20 acres.  The rest of the land is zoned industrial. (The acreage passed environmental studies, and no issues were found anywhere, according to Habitat.) If that zoning were changed, Habitat could build more homes, perhaps as many as 40 altogether.
?  
?    ???     
?   Habitat plans to show sketches of their design plans at a meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m at the nonprofit’s headquarters at 824 Memorial Drive.
?   
?   Would-be Habitat buyers must put in sweat equity before they can qualify to buy one of the nonprofit’s homes.  Atlanta homes have 3 or 4 bedrooms, and are sold at around $115,000 each on average. Homeowners pay no interest on their mortgages. 
?   
?   What makes some Sylvan Hills residents nervous is not the prospect of owner-occupied housing. First, they wonder whether the homes that Habitat builds will match the architectural character — think brick bungalows and cottages  — of the neighborhood. They also question if the Habitat proposal is  the best way to use the land in a place where there are already boarded-up houses, not enough jobs, and a huge new development on its way at Fort McPherson. Some neighborhood residents have already broached the subjects with Habitat.
?   
?   “Among many of the neighbors, one of the suggestions was, could Habitat come in and fix up some of our blighted homes,” said Robby Caban, a realtor who lives in neighboring Capitol View. She attended a meeting with Habitat both as a concerned resident and as economic development chair of Neighborhood Planning Unit X, which includes Sylvan Hills.
?   
?   The 30310 zip code was hit hard by mortgage fraudsters a decade ago. Even now, property prices do strange things. What would charitably be called a fixer-upper near the Habitat parcel recently sold for $25,000. Two blocks away, a restored home sold for $175,000.
?   
?   Ralph Long, a former state representative and realtor who restored the 1932 Sylvan Hills bungalow where he lives, says he thinks that houses priced at even $300,000 to $400,000 could sell if placed on Habitat’s land. A Habitat development, he says, “is not the highest and best use of the land.” 
?   
?   “We’ve got enough affordable housing,” he says.
?   
?   Long thinks the nonprofit should refurbish homes that already in the neighborhood if they want to do good. However, Atlanta Habitat's policies say the nonprofit renovates only houses that were built by Habitat or its volunteers. "If we acquire a property with a vacant house on it, we demolish that house and build to our own green standards," the nonprofit's FAQ says. 
?   
?   Borders said she would like to see something on the acreage that would help people become self-sufficient. She praises an idea like Club E, a facility in College Park that’s part co-working space, part incubator for local businesses.
?   
?   “We don’t want gentry to come in and throw people out.  Pick people up to help them, not to throw them out,” she says. 
?   
?   Months ago, NPU-X reviewed land throughout the planning group’s borders and identified places that they thought could be used to attract investments and jobs to the area.  
?   
?   The land now belonging to Habitat was one of those blocks. The NPU held meetings about the parcel, Caban says, and has gotten commitments to help from developers, investors, consultants, and philanthropists.
?   
?   “Local nonprofits and community advocacy groups, along with workforce programs, are also on board for a holistic approach to rebranding and ethically transforming” the area, she says.
?   
?   Atlanta Habitat has not yet presented any plan to the NPU, so the NPU has no official comment on it.
?   
?   The nonprofit’s officials stress that they are in the very early stages of planning and want to work with the NPU and the neighborhood association. But she notes that their lean building model is somewhat simple, and for a reason.
?   
?   “All of our houses are energy efficient and they do have standard floor plans,” says Melissa Klein, senior family services manager of Atlanta Habitat.  “We build our houses with volunteers and sponsors and staff so our floor plans have to be fairly straight forward,” she said.
?   
?   “We do build one-story homes, as are most homes in Sylvan Hills,” Klein says. “We have accepted working with the neighborhood association to talk about how our houses look and what could be done to help them complement the existing structures that are in the neighborhood.”
? 
? There might even be the possibility that Habitat could stray from its stated policy on not renovating non-Habitat homes. At an Atlanta Beltline Inc. board meeting on Wednesday morning, President and CEO Paul Morris said that he and Lisa Gordon, Habitat's CEO and a former Beltline chief operating officer, are exploring a partnership that could include rehabbing homes along the project. Sylvan Hills is considered a Beltline neighborhood. 
?
?UPDATE, 4:12 p.m.: Sarah Fedota, an Atlanta Habitat spokeswoman, says in an email:
?
???  Atlanta Habitat and the Atlanta Beltline are currently in conversation around the issue of affordable housing to advance the mission both organizations. We’re in the early stages of conversation, and no areas or neighborhoods have been identified. Our discussion with the Atlanta Beltline is not related to Creative Loafing’s recent inquiry about Sylvan Hills.
?? 
?Additional reporting by Thomas Wheatley
?   
? 
             13084357 15099122                          Habitat for Humanity's plan for Sylvan Hills draws neighborhood's ire "
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  string(64) "Neighborhoods - Atlanta Public Schools looks to a charter system"
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  string(8271) "Perkerson Elementary in Sylvan Hills is a case study in the uneven relationship between neighborhoods and Atlanta Public Schools. The current principal delivered the school's pioneering dual-language immersion program. But a former principal made Perkerson one of the poster children for the lingering betrayal of the APS cheating scandal. Active parent groups work hard to build the community via the school, but young couples are still fleeing for suburban districts after they have kids.

Perkerson parents are among those expressing cautious excitement about APS' proposal to revolutionize the relationship between schools and communities. APS is applying to become a state-approved charter system, a decentralized governing model that hands a sizable amount of power to parents and communities. This proposed change is in addition to reforms under Superintendent Meria Carstarphen that have such input at their core. But the million-dollar question is whether a charter system will help boost the school system of a diverse city that is very much divided between the haves and have-nots.

"What I really love about the idea is that the community can come in and have more say about their school," says Perkerson parent and longtime Capitol View Neighborhood Association activist Paul Benson. He says it could change the literally old-school APS ability to "dictate to the community or shut out the community."

A charter system is frequently confused with charter schools. Unlike charter schools, a charter system does not involve privatizing schools or placing them outside the APS board of education's control. The system is similar to charter schools in its local autonomy and flexibility. It offers the ability to tailor the curriculum and school operations to suit specialty programs or other educational goals. In fact, such innovation is an expectation of the system.

Under the charter-system model, a governance team of parents, teachers, and community members makes major decisions at each school. That includes creating a strategic plan, setting the budget, and selecting the principal. The governance teams would replace the current, toothless Local School Councils and would be considered government bodies subject to open meeting, public records, and ethics laws.

The 2016-2017 school year will also introduce a new cluster system that essentially formalizes APS's feeder-school set-up. It was developed with extensive public input and will include its own form of governing board as well. If a charter system passes, clusters will be a key part of tailoring it in distinctive ways.

APS is already seeing huge interest from parents and neighbors, says Angela Smith, the APS official overseeing the charter system planning and other system-wide restructuring. Public meetings on the charter system have drawn 150 or more attendees, she says. Parents will show up and plug in "when you give people genuine input and engagement, and are not just talking about prom colors," she says.

The school system's new five-year strategic plan makes community engagement a pillar of APS decision-making. The charter system is the biggest and also the least certain of the coming changes, as the state could ultimately reject the application. But the entire reform discussion is happening because the state essentially demanded APS and other school districts adopt new systems if they want to maintain money-saving waivers to such state rules as class-size limits.

APS chose the charter system option in November, partly because it meshes with Carstarphen's agenda, and partly because parents and community members involved in a public input process supported it, Smith says. APS' application is due June 30. If it's approved, a year of planning would follow and 2016-2017 would be the first charter-system school year. APS would sign a five-year contract with the state to operate as a charter system, and would have to show improved student achievement over that time. Standardized testing would be one of many benchmarks used to determine success.

There are concerns about how powerful and representative governance teams would be in a city marked by strong racial and economic disparities.

"Everything within our school system has to be looked at through the lens of equity," says Erica Long, president of the Perkerson Parent Teachers Association and a member of the APS task force that chose the charter system model. "In many ways, we have two systems in APS," Long adds. She says that gap can be overcome with outreach to — and training of — parents.

Fulton County Schools' three-year-old charter system is a primary model for APS' application. Engagement has been high, says FCS Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Ken Zeff, with every seat in the 100-school system filled, most in competitive elections.

"The popular narrative that parents won't be involved" in lower-income neighborhoods was false, Zeff says. "The challenge is really building that capacity and that skill set among the council members," he adds, but that's what extensive, state-mandated training is for.

image-1
But the new system's flexibility also raises questions, Smith adds, such as how diversity is defined. It's also unknown how individual school governance teams will dovetail with another new form of governing body created to oversee each cluster.

The lack of details has triggered some anxiety. At the Feb. 11 annual gathering of APS parents and elected officials at the school system's Downtown headquarters, one resident noted that the phrase "local control" was once a code-word of segregation, and that many APS schools are still "light years apart" in resources. He echoed a frequently heard concern that the change is happening too quickly.

Smith says APS has little choice but to make some kind of rapid change if it wants to keep its waivers and stave off the state's newly announced school-takeover regime. She says that the charter system was chosen last year after extensive public meetings and that it meshes with Carstarphen's vision.

"The new superintendent is moving toward reforms like this, and this is not going to go away," Smith says.

At the Feb. 11 gathering, Georgia's School Superintendent Richard Woods acknowledged that the charter system is still a novel approach with many details to be worked out. But, he noted, it is an increasingly popular model with several examples around the state for APS to learn from, including systems with high poverty rates.

"We're on the same uncharted boat trip together, but I assure you we will navigate and arrive together," Woods said at the meeting.

Jarod Apperson, a Georgia State University economics grad student who monitors APS on his Grading Atlanta blog, says APS still needs to play a big role at the school level.

"Parents don't always bring professional educational expertise to the table," he says. "Also, parents don't always agree. ... A greater role for parents may be a step in the right direction, but in order for it to work, parents have to be working with a strong school leader that they can trust."

Perhaps the biggest wound to mend is the cheating scandal, when many parents were told their children were doing well when the opposite was true. Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell says the new system is an "opportunity to reset the relationship between schools and neighborhoods."

Smith says she's hearing from parents at the planning meetings that the reform "makes them feel like they could begin to trust the system again." Beyond being a "healing process," Smith says, the charter system has a practical advantage: The state measures its progress more holistically rather than focusing on test scores.

"Under late Superintendent Beverly Hall's tenure, the whole cheating scandal was tied to testing targets," Smith says. "People were incentivized to do the wrong thing."

"In a lot of our problem schools, the big dividing line isn't the quality of instruction," Long says. "It isn't the quality of teachers. Where you really see the difference is parental involvement in public education."

APS plans further meetings on the charter system. For more info, see atlantapublicschools.us/strongschools."
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  string(8587) "Perkerson Elementary in Sylvan Hills is a case study in the uneven relationship between neighborhoods and Atlanta Public Schools. The current principal delivered the school's pioneering dual-language immersion program. But a [http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/13-principals-named-in-cheating-scandal-leave-aps/nQJtC/|former principal] made Perkerson one of the poster children for the lingering betrayal of the APS cheating scandal. Active parent groups work hard to build the community via the school, but young couples are still fleeing for suburban districts after they have kids.

Perkerson parents are among those expressing cautious excitement about APS' proposal to revolutionize the relationship between schools and communities. APS is applying to become a state-approved charter system, a decentralized governing model that hands a sizable amount of power to parents and communities. This proposed change is in addition to reforms under Superintendent [http://clatl.com/atlanta/picking-up-the-pieces-of-atlanta-public-schools/Content?oid=11620860|Meria Carstarphen] that have such input at their core. But the million-dollar question is whether a charter system will help boost the school system of a diverse city that is very much divided between the haves and have-nots.

"What I really love about the idea is [that] the community can come in and have more say about their school," says Perkerson parent and longtime Capitol View Neighborhood Association activist Paul Benson. He says it could change the literally old-school APS ability to "dictate to the community or shut out the community."

A charter system is frequently confused with charter schools. Unlike charter schools, a charter system does not involve privatizing schools or placing them outside the APS board of education's control. The system is similar to charter schools in its local autonomy and flexibility. It offers the ability to tailor the curriculum and school operations to suit specialty programs or other educational goals. In fact, such innovation is an expectation of the system.

Under the charter-system model, a governance team of parents, teachers, and community members makes major decisions at each school. That includes creating a strategic plan, setting the budget, and selecting the principal. The governance teams would replace the current, toothless Local School Councils and would be considered government bodies subject to open meeting, public records, and ethics laws.

The 2016-2017 school year will also introduce a new cluster system that essentially formalizes APS's feeder-school set-up. It was developed with extensive public input and will include its own form of governing board as well. If a charter system passes, clusters will be a key part of tailoring it in distinctive ways.

APS is already seeing huge interest from parents and neighbors, says Angela Smith, the APS official overseeing the charter system planning and other system-wide restructuring. Public meetings on the charter system have drawn 150 or more attendees, she says. Parents will show up and plug in "when you give people genuine input and engagement, and [are] not just talking about prom colors," she says.

The school system's new five-year strategic plan makes community engagement a pillar of APS decision-making. The charter system is the biggest and also the least certain of the coming changes, as the state could ultimately reject the application. But the entire reform discussion is happening because the state essentially demanded APS and other school districts adopt new systems if they want to maintain money-saving waivers to such state rules as class-size limits.

APS chose the charter system option in November, partly because it meshes with Carstarphen's agenda, and partly because parents and community members involved in a public input process supported it, Smith says. APS' application is due June 30. If it's approved, a year of planning would follow and 2016-2017 would be the first charter-system school year. APS would sign a five-year contract with the state to operate as a charter system, and would have to show improved student achievement over that time. Standardized testing would be one of many benchmarks used to determine success.

There are concerns about how powerful and representative governance teams would be in a city marked by strong racial and economic disparities.

"Everything within our school system has to be looked at [[through] the lens of equity," says Erica Long, president of the Perkerson Parent Teachers Association and a member of the APS task force that chose the charter system model. "In many ways, we have two systems in APS," Long adds. She says that gap can be overcome with outreach to — and training of — parents.

Fulton County Schools' three-year-old charter system is a primary model for APS' application. Engagement has been high, says FCS Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Ken Zeff, with every seat in the 100-school system filled, most in competitive elections.

"The popular narrative that parents won't be involved" in lower-income neighborhoods was false, Zeff says. "The challenge is really building that capacity and that skill set among the council [[members]," he adds, but that's what extensive, state-mandated training is for.

[image-1]
But the new system's flexibility also raises questions, Smith adds, such as how diversity is defined. It's also unknown how individual school governance teams will dovetail with another new form of governing body created to oversee each cluster.

The lack of details has triggered some anxiety. At the Feb. 11 annual gathering of APS parents and elected officials at the school system's Downtown headquarters, one resident noted that the phrase "local control" was once a code-word of segregation, and that many APS schools are still "light years apart" in resources. He echoed a frequently heard concern that the change is happening too quickly.

Smith says APS has little choice but to make some kind of rapid change if it wants to keep its waivers and stave off the state's newly announced school-takeover regime. She says that the charter system was chosen last year after extensive public meetings and that it meshes with Carstarphen's vision.

"The new superintendent is moving toward [[reforms] like this, and this is not going to go away," Smith says.

At the Feb. 11 gathering, Georgia's School Superintendent Richard Woods acknowledged that the charter system is still a novel approach with many details to be worked out. But, he noted, it is an increasingly popular model with several examples around the state for APS to learn from, including systems with high poverty rates.

"We're [[on] the same uncharted boat [[trip] together, but I assure you we will navigate and arrive together," Woods said at the meeting.

Jarod Apperson, a Georgia State University economics grad student who monitors APS on his [http://gradingatlanta.tumblr.com/|Grading Atlanta] blog, says APS still needs to play a big role at the school level.

"Parents don't always bring [[professional educational] expertise to the table," he says. "Also, parents don't always agree. ... A greater role for parents may be a step in the right direction, but in order for it to work, parents have to be working with a strong school leader that they can trust."

Perhaps the biggest wound to mend is the cheating scandal, when many parents were told their children were doing well when the opposite was true. Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell says the new system is an "opportunity to reset the relationship between schools and neighborhoods."

Smith says she's hearing from parents at the planning meetings that the reform "makes [[them] feel like [[they] could begin to trust the system again." Beyond being a "healing process," Smith says, the charter system has a practical advantage: The state measures its progress more holistically rather than focusing on test scores.

"Under [[late Superintendent Beverly Hall's] tenure, the whole cheating scandal was tied to [[testing] targets," Smith says. "People were incentivized to do the wrong thing."

"[[In] a lot of our problem schools, the big dividing line isn't the quality of instruction," Long says. "It isn't the quality of teachers. Where you really see the difference is parental involvement in public education."

''APS plans further meetings on the charter system. For more info, see [http://atlantapublicschools.us/strongschools|atlantapublicschools.us/strongschools].''"
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  string(9259) " Cover Schools9 1 48  2019-02-20T02:03:05+00:00 cover_schools9-1_48.jpg    neighborhood issue 2015 atlanta public schools Can the community-focused approach help an education system plagued by cheating and inequality? 13866  2015-03-26T09:00:00+00:00 Neighborhoods - Atlanta Public Schools looks to a charter system ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason John Ruch 10222569 2015-03-26T09:00:00+00:00  Perkerson Elementary in Sylvan Hills is a case study in the uneven relationship between neighborhoods and Atlanta Public Schools. The current principal delivered the school's pioneering dual-language immersion program. But a former principal made Perkerson one of the poster children for the lingering betrayal of the APS cheating scandal. Active parent groups work hard to build the community via the school, but young couples are still fleeing for suburban districts after they have kids.

Perkerson parents are among those expressing cautious excitement about APS' proposal to revolutionize the relationship between schools and communities. APS is applying to become a state-approved charter system, a decentralized governing model that hands a sizable amount of power to parents and communities. This proposed change is in addition to reforms under Superintendent Meria Carstarphen that have such input at their core. But the million-dollar question is whether a charter system will help boost the school system of a diverse city that is very much divided between the haves and have-nots.

"What I really love about the idea is that the community can come in and have more say about their school," says Perkerson parent and longtime Capitol View Neighborhood Association activist Paul Benson. He says it could change the literally old-school APS ability to "dictate to the community or shut out the community."

A charter system is frequently confused with charter schools. Unlike charter schools, a charter system does not involve privatizing schools or placing them outside the APS board of education's control. The system is similar to charter schools in its local autonomy and flexibility. It offers the ability to tailor the curriculum and school operations to suit specialty programs or other educational goals. In fact, such innovation is an expectation of the system.

Under the charter-system model, a governance team of parents, teachers, and community members makes major decisions at each school. That includes creating a strategic plan, setting the budget, and selecting the principal. The governance teams would replace the current, toothless Local School Councils and would be considered government bodies subject to open meeting, public records, and ethics laws.

The 2016-2017 school year will also introduce a new cluster system that essentially formalizes APS's feeder-school set-up. It was developed with extensive public input and will include its own form of governing board as well. If a charter system passes, clusters will be a key part of tailoring it in distinctive ways.

APS is already seeing huge interest from parents and neighbors, says Angela Smith, the APS official overseeing the charter system planning and other system-wide restructuring. Public meetings on the charter system have drawn 150 or more attendees, she says. Parents will show up and plug in "when you give people genuine input and engagement, and are not just talking about prom colors," she says.

The school system's new five-year strategic plan makes community engagement a pillar of APS decision-making. The charter system is the biggest and also the least certain of the coming changes, as the state could ultimately reject the application. But the entire reform discussion is happening because the state essentially demanded APS and other school districts adopt new systems if they want to maintain money-saving waivers to such state rules as class-size limits.

APS chose the charter system option in November, partly because it meshes with Carstarphen's agenda, and partly because parents and community members involved in a public input process supported it, Smith says. APS' application is due June 30. If it's approved, a year of planning would follow and 2016-2017 would be the first charter-system school year. APS would sign a five-year contract with the state to operate as a charter system, and would have to show improved student achievement over that time. Standardized testing would be one of many benchmarks used to determine success.

There are concerns about how powerful and representative governance teams would be in a city marked by strong racial and economic disparities.

"Everything within our school system has to be looked at through the lens of equity," says Erica Long, president of the Perkerson Parent Teachers Association and a member of the APS task force that chose the charter system model. "In many ways, we have two systems in APS," Long adds. She says that gap can be overcome with outreach to — and training of — parents.

Fulton County Schools' three-year-old charter system is a primary model for APS' application. Engagement has been high, says FCS Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Ken Zeff, with every seat in the 100-school system filled, most in competitive elections.

"The popular narrative that parents won't be involved" in lower-income neighborhoods was false, Zeff says. "The challenge is really building that capacity and that skill set among the council members," he adds, but that's what extensive, state-mandated training is for.

image-1
But the new system's flexibility also raises questions, Smith adds, such as how diversity is defined. It's also unknown how individual school governance teams will dovetail with another new form of governing body created to oversee each cluster.

The lack of details has triggered some anxiety. At the Feb. 11 annual gathering of APS parents and elected officials at the school system's Downtown headquarters, one resident noted that the phrase "local control" was once a code-word of segregation, and that many APS schools are still "light years apart" in resources. He echoed a frequently heard concern that the change is happening too quickly.

Smith says APS has little choice but to make some kind of rapid change if it wants to keep its waivers and stave off the state's newly announced school-takeover regime. She says that the charter system was chosen last year after extensive public meetings and that it meshes with Carstarphen's vision.

"The new superintendent is moving toward reforms like this, and this is not going to go away," Smith says.

At the Feb. 11 gathering, Georgia's School Superintendent Richard Woods acknowledged that the charter system is still a novel approach with many details to be worked out. But, he noted, it is an increasingly popular model with several examples around the state for APS to learn from, including systems with high poverty rates.

"We're on the same uncharted boat trip together, but I assure you we will navigate and arrive together," Woods said at the meeting.

Jarod Apperson, a Georgia State University economics grad student who monitors APS on his Grading Atlanta blog, says APS still needs to play a big role at the school level.

"Parents don't always bring professional educational expertise to the table," he says. "Also, parents don't always agree. ... A greater role for parents may be a step in the right direction, but in order for it to work, parents have to be working with a strong school leader that they can trust."

Perhaps the biggest wound to mend is the cheating scandal, when many parents were told their children were doing well when the opposite was true. Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell says the new system is an "opportunity to reset the relationship between schools and neighborhoods."

Smith says she's hearing from parents at the planning meetings that the reform "makes them feel like they could begin to trust the system again." Beyond being a "healing process," Smith says, the charter system has a practical advantage: The state measures its progress more holistically rather than focusing on test scores.

"Under late Superintendent Beverly Hall's tenure, the whole cheating scandal was tied to testing targets," Smith says. "People were incentivized to do the wrong thing."

"In a lot of our problem schools, the big dividing line isn't the quality of instruction," Long says. "It isn't the quality of teachers. Where you really see the difference is parental involvement in public education."

APS plans further meetings on the charter system. For more info, see atlantapublicschools.us/strongschools.    Eric Cash PUBLIC SCHOOL BLUES: Some Perkerson Elementary School parents are hoping a charter system approach with help strengthen the neighborhood school after the APS cheating scandal.      "neighborhood issue 2015" "atlanta public schools"  13082287 13832734        http://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/mediaserver/atlanta/2015-17/cover_schools9-2_48.jpg Joeff Davis INDEPENDENT THOUGHT: APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen's strategic plan is focused on autonomy and flexibility for local schools.                Neighborhoods - Atlanta Public Schools looks to a charter system "
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Wednesday May 12, 2010 10:05 pm EDT