Spread the love! Spread the Mulch

Our median plants need a thicker blanket. Fortunately, DeKalb County is providing mulch.  Would you help us spread the mulch on Feb. 11, 10:30 a.m.?  We’re meeting at the median on S. Hairston. Please bring a rake and a shovel.  Many hands will make light work! We could be finished in an hour.   Contact GHHCDC@gmail.com for information and to volunteer.img_0737-crop

Happy New Year! Award! and Lidl Grocery Meeting

We accomplished a lot in 2016. We staged a storefront improvement contest, the second annual Battle and festival, and a beautiful installation of trees and shrubs in the median near S. Hairston and Redan. All of these things were made possible by the volunteer efforts and contributions of many residents and business owners.

The year ended on a particularly happy note for me when I received a Community Hero award, given by CEO Burrell Ellis.  Thank you Nadiaward-edit-bne Rivers-Johnson and Pauline Dailey for nominating me.  Several friends attended the Dec. 27 awards ceremony, and it was a pleasure to be there with them.

We wilaward-nadine-edit-bl continue working to make this area one that attracts high quality businesses. I look forward to 2017, and I encourage readers to get involved with our community.

The next meeting of the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation is Jan. 21, 10 a.m., at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park, Stone Mountain, 30088. Join us to discuss our next streetscape beautification plans and zoning requests in the area.

Public Meeting on a New Lidl Grocery Store

A grocery store called Lidl is asking for a zoning change on 5.4 acres at 6038 Covington Highway (near LA Fitness; currently Wings of a Dove Christian Academy). The developers are holding a public meeting January 4, 6:30 p.m., at the Redan-Trotti Library (1569 Wellborn, Lithonia), to discuss the proposal.  Please join us for this public meeting.

The developer provided the following information:

“Lidl US regarding its proposal to develop a grocery store on property located at 6038 Covington Highway in DeKalb County.   Lidl currently operates nearly 10,000 stores in 26 countries throughout Europe. It is part of the Schwarz Group, which is the largest retailer in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Lidl has a simple philosophy – focusing on offering customers top quality fresh goods and grocery products at the most competitive pricing in convenient locations. While customers receive amazing savings by choosing Lidl’s own great quality brands, they can still shop for their favorite branded goods, available at competitive prices.”

Right now, the property is zoned commercial and mixed use. The developers want to change it to commercial.

We did it! S.Hairston Median Beautification a Success!

Dozens of people contributed money and time. Keep DeKalb Beautiful provided expert assistance, heavy equipment, and volunteers. Local business donated money and in-kind support. We worked together and beautified the median on S.Hairston, just south of Redan.

It is planted with 10 crepe myrtle and 58 bushes — burning bush, ornamental grass, and gold mop cypress.

Our volunteers also picked up trash for close to one mile in each direction of the intersection.  DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis-Johnson came, and she helped pick up trash and dig!  Steve Bradshaw, Democratic nominee for Commissioner District 4 also attended and helped. Keep DeKalb Beautiful Director Gordon Burkette and his crew (all volunteering their time on Saturday) pitched in all day long.

Thank you, everybody, for the wonderful community spirit.  This project demonstrates our commitment to each other, high standards, and revitalized business districts.

I’ve put some pictures below.  We’ll put a slide show together soon and share it.

We’re Planting the Way to Better Business!

This fall and early winter, in conjunction with Keep DeKalb Beautiful and DeKalb Planning & Sustainability, the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation is inspiring business redevelopment. With your help, we will be planting trees and shrubbery at the S. Hairston/Redan intersection. Thousands of people drive through this intersection every day, taking their business elsewhere. Improving the streetscape will encourage people to take a second look at local businesses and will attract new development.

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Studies show that natural beauty pays off. When commercial areas have more trees and attractive landscaping, they get more customers and up to 12% more spending! *

You can:
Make a lasting impact
Make your drive more enjoyable
Make a contribution, by Sept. 15!

Let’s Get Planting

Your contribution to the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp., a 501(c)(3), is 100% tax deductible.

Every penny goes towards plants.

Send your check to:
Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp.
P.O. Box 1811
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Or, use GoFundMe. Follow this link:
https://www.gofundme.com/Plants-Streetscape

Volunteers — Help Plant the Way!

Send us your email, and we’ll let you know when Planting Day is. Even though the County is providing heavy equipment, we’ll need lots of help. Individuals and groups are welcome.  Write to:  GHHCDC@gmail.com

 

Please click here to download a flyer and contribution form: Fundraiser

T-Mobile has the Winning First Impression

T-Mobile won the first annual Wow! Winning First Impression Award, given by the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation. This is the T-Mobile next to Kroger, at Redan and S. Hairston.

T-Mobile won a beautiful planter for its storefront. Potted plants and attractive window displays attract customers.

Nadine (2)Nadine (6)-captionNadine (4)Nadine-2 (3captioni)Fred (4)-captionRainbow and WholeCare Pharmacy were finalists in the contest.

The contest is part of Greater Hidden Hill CDC’s effort to encourage all businesses in the community to improve their storefronts. Curb appeal matters!

Curb appeal is simple and inexpensive. It will

  • increase customer traffic
  • boost revenue
  • attract residents and visitors

GHHCDC thanks Kroger for donating a cake and balloons for the ceremony.

“We ask all businesses to remember that it only takes a second to form a first impression,” says GHHCDC President Jan Costello. “Now is the time to dress up storefronts with planters, window displays, and benches. These improvements will encourage people to shop in the community.”

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3), is committed to improving economic development and quality of life.

This contest was made possible by a grant from the Neighborhood Fund. The Neighborhood Fund, an initiative of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, empowers community members to positively impact neighborhoods at the local level. Building upon grassroots ideas and energy, Neighborhood Fund provides grants and support to community groups to build relationships, develop leadership and change communities within the 23-county region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Create Parklets at Shopping Centers

Los Angeles has a great idea for turning streets into pedestrian-friendly environments, and I believe we can do the same thing with our strip malls.

The strip malls are uninviting to consumers and businesses because they are tucked far behind large parking lots. We would love to create new development that brings the shops closer to the street, but in the meantime, let’s do something attractive and productive now.

Let’s borrow LA’s parklet idea and apply it to the strip malls.

Imagine how appealing it would be to have a seating area outside the shops! You could sit there and eat and visit with friends! LA has shared its manual, parklet kit, and technical drawings. You are going to be hearing more about this idea. Look below to see some of the neat concepts.

Update on Community Improvements, Upholding the Overlay Code, and Economic Development

Biffle Park Blooms with Generous Support

On Saturday, a group of volunteers planted dozens of perennials in three planters at Biffle Park. We planted drawf gardenias, Coral Bells, Japanese surge, Coral Bell, Carpet bugleweed (ajuga), black-eyed Susan,  variegated vinca, paperwhite narcissus, and crocus.  The plants will bloom in different seasons and provide greenery all year long.  We moved a butterfly bush to a better location.

Lowe’s Home Improvement on Fairington Road donated $125 to the effort, a contribution made possible because of a grant request by the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp., (GHHCDC), a 501(c)(3). We were able to buy the plants half-price, as a sale was going on when we shopped. Thank you Lowe’s Manager Michael Pitchford and Assistant Manager John Perkins for giving our community the plants.

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And thanks to several people who helped with this effort:

  • Wayne Scaturro for helping repair tIMG_4464he pot that wouldn’t drain
  • Sherrie Walker and Karen Smiley-Speas for helping select the plants, transport them, and plant them.
  • Lois Dunlap and Fred Plummer for helping with the planting
  • Leroy Sampson for letting us use water from his spigot

 

Biffle Park is a wonderful amenity in our community. I’ve spent many hours walking my dog there, visiting with neighbors, and enjoying the happy sounds of kids on the playground. It was a pleasure to give back to this beautiful spot.

 

 

Gas Station/Alcohol Retail Proposal – Public Hearing – Nov. 11, 7 p.m, Karma Bistro, 1179 S. Hairston

One of the primary purposes of the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation is to make sure our overlay code is enforced. You can help.  On Nov. 11, 7 p.m, the community is invited to hear from a
businessman who wants to build a gas station with an alcohol retail component at 4736 Redan Road, one lot west of the Boston Market. This meeting will take place at Karma Bistro, 1179 S. Hairston (the shopping center behind Los Arcos). New gas stations are prohibited in the commercial tiers of the Greater Hidden Hills District because we have enough of them. If you are able, please join us at this hearing. The GHHCDC will be speaking out against the development.

 

Code Enforcement Aske to Stop Illegal Street Corner Vendors

The gas stations at Covington and S. Hairston and Redan and S. Hairston have become micro flea markets, and such activity is prohibited in the commercial tiers of the overlay. We have joined other neighbors in asking DeKalb County Code Enforcement to crack down on this illegal activity. Interim CEO Lee May answered an email and stated that he would pursue swift action.  If you see vendors conducting business on the corners, please take a picture and send it to GHHCDC@gmail.com.  Let us know where the picture was taken, the date, and time.

 

Dress for Success – a Better Business Model

Another key purpose of the GHHCDC is to encourage better business development. We are working on an initiative to reward business owners that beautify the exterior of their establishments. The initiative will include information on how to dress a business for success and a contest.  If you would like to help with this effort, contact GHHCDC@gmial.com

 

Investigation of Discriminatory Home Appraisals and Lending Practices

The Hidden Hills community and surrounding neighborhoods are still suffering from the discriminatory and unethical practices of mortgage lenders and appraisers, activity that sent the market into a tailspin in 2008. The SDIA is working with a Washington Post reporter to cover the impact of the low property values as determined by appraisers.  Wayne Early, the Chair of the SDIA Housing Committee, would like to hear from those who “have been unable to sell or refinance their homes dues to being “under-water.” This also includes people who may have been denied a mortgage modification, were forced into a short-sale or lost their home due to foreclosure because of low property values.”

If you think you have been affected by discriminatory practices, please contact Wayne Early, 404 643-5082, or wayne@early-economics.com   .

 

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is Nov. 21, 10:30 a.m., at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park, Stone Mountain. Please join us.

 

Submitted by Jan Costello, GHHCDC@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recap of Successful Battle of the Bands

Redan Village rocked Aug. 22. Redan High School Band showed tremendous community spirit as they marched and performed for the crowd.

Nadine-2 Photos Battle-Bands (8) Nadine's Photos Battle-Bands (4)DeKalb County District 5 Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson and Super District 7 Commissioner Stan Watson kicked off the event with warm greetings and commitment of support for economic development in the greater Hidden Hills area.

“This was a wonderful celebration of the neighborhood’s creative students and local businesses,” said Jan Costello, president of the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation. “We are building alliances between the community and businesses, and advocating for the types of businesses our community wants.”

To see a video of the day’s events, click https://youtu.be/vFuY5WJvILw  .

Four young men received free haircuts from Nick’s Barbershop, and the crowd voted that Justin “Peewee” Ford gave the best haircut (to Kentrell Walker).  Owner Vance Harper opened this barbershop 27 years ago, making his one of the longest running businesses in the area.

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Nadine-2 Photos Battle-Bands (9)Little Caesar’s staged a Shaker Board competition and gave five pizzas each to the two prizewinners. And, the managers provided samples to the crowd.

Zaxby’s gave away six bags, stuffed with school supplies and coupons. Kroger provided water, balloons, and gift certificates. Brusters provided a gift certificate.

Jay Betts provided let the organization stage the event in front of Jay’s Place. Manager Rod Jackson cooked hamburgers and hotdogs and deejays Hype, Red, and “C” ke3Nadine-Battle (8)pt the music pumping.

Nadine-2 Photos Battle-Bands (14)Keep DeKalb Beautiful Director Gordon Burkette brought information about the Roll Forward to One and recycling campaigns.

The crowd met the owners of half-dozen local businesses:
MedPost Urgent Care, Taryn Lawrence State Farm, V-Shuttle Taxi Services, B-Street Sixty-One, and Corliss Sheffield United Credit Education Services answered questions and provided information.

The Redan High School Booster Club and Friends of the Hairston-Crossing Library also participated.

Nadine Rivers-Johnson did a terrific job orchestrating one contest after another. Numerous people helped staged the event, including Marion Long, Lois Dunlap, Pauline Dailey, Neia James, Charlene Taylor, and Fred Plummer.

To see a video of the day’s events, click https://youtu.be/vFuY5WJvILw  .