Saturday, August 31, 2013

UPDATE: Winter's Chapel Renaissance

Years ago I blogged that the Winter's Chapel side of Dunwoody has the greatest potential for growth.    Today I saw the beginning of a full-fledged renaissance.  Attractive new shopping and destinations show that Dunwoody Point can be just as valuable and desirable as any other community or shopping center in Dunwoody.  The developers are even paying attention to landscaping and planting trees, just as some segments of our community have demanded for years.  This looks to be just the beginning for the Winter's Chapel city gateway.

1)  Goodbye Supremo, Hello Walmart Neighborhood Market

Full disclosure:  I am not a Walmart fan, for a litany of reasons.  Mainly having to do with the corporate culture that arose after Sam Walton died.  But when your shopping development consists of an abandoned international supermarket that closed suddenly overnight, leaving the half-Dunwoody parking lot to become a trucker's rest stop, Walmart starts looking pretty good.

Rather than the stereotypical "big blue box" and all of the police drama that goes along with it (cf, Dunwoody PD police blotter) Walmart built a "neighborhood market" - a scaled-down version focusing on groceries.  Even though the actual store is in Peachtree Corners, it still borders our city and affects our residents.

Here's some photos I snagged while stopping by this afternoon.

Nice, clean front w/ new pavement.  The landscaping is toward the property's perimeter, behind me.

Inside the front door, pointed toward the produce department.

From the front door, opposite produce.  Walmart kept their promise this time - it's a small scale neighborhood market.

Lots of people from all around the area - Dunwoody as well as Peachtree Corners - peacefully shopping for their needs.  I had no qualms wandering around at all.  Truth be told, there isn't the same wide brand selection as you will find in the Georgetown Kroger or the Dunwoody Hall Publix,  But if you're on the Peeler/Tilly Mill side of town and you need a closer venue to make an uber-quickie trip for your standard groceries, it's a good option.  Walmart isn't fibbing about their prices, either.

Hint to the management:  invest heavily in stocking Halloween candy and decorating supplies in the next couple of months.  Trust me.

2)  Empty Lot to AutoZone

First, there was Glaze's Groceries and hardware.  Then there was an empty lot.  Today there's AutoZone.  I've heard one or two fine folks moan that the presence of an AutoZone is the sign of a bad neighborhood.  I respectfully disagree.  As bicycle and pedestrian advocates point out, our community is "auto centric".  They're right.  We all drive, even if some also like biking and walking at times.  I don't see that deviating too far in the decades to come, even as roads are (re)built to accomodate more bikes and walkers.  And since we all drive, we're all going to be in need of one of these shops sooner or later.

This particular Dunwoody housewife likes to duck in somewhere to pick up power steering fluid (where does it go and why do I sometimes need to top it off?) replace my wiper blades (usually during a driving rainstorm, natch) or stock up on fix-a-flat for those times I can't limp to my favorite mechanic.  Or track down replacement floor mats for the ones my kids managed to destroy.  (Don't ask.)  It's all the more convenient if I don't have to haul it all the way down to Peachtree Industrial and try to line up the car to the right dealership.  Plus, this shop is open well into the evening and on Sundays.  Most independent mechanics are not.  Don't miss the car care section of the site above.

3)  Another Growler in Town - and they're hiring!!

The old "Pizza K" (and a Vietnamese restaurant) in Dunwoody Point is transforming into Empire State Pizza and Growlers.  Work was ongoing and the windows papered over so everything I've heard is right on their website:  local family owned and operated, opening in a couple of weeks (in theory) and they're accepting job applications right online.
The new sign is up over the entrance and construction continues.

Didn't see anyone else around otherwise I would have poked around more and asked about their opening.

The sign says hiring servers, the website says they're hiring everyone.  The PizzaK banner will probablly be the last to go.

Anybody who has the garbanzos to present themselves as "empire state" pizza is going to have a high bar to clear.  I'm more than willing to give them a shot.  They've also just joined the Dunwoody Chamber, so clearly they are investing in our community.

Their domain name is an SEO dream: Says it all.   And it's easy for a human (read:  this human) to remember.

Empire State is joining Gyro Gyro ( a very friendly Greek-style shop), Maximos (another Mediterranean-style shop across the street).

More Dunwoody Point News

Dunwoody Barber Salon in Dunwoody Point recently updated its storefront and is promoting itself as a barber/salon for all ethnicities as seen in the photo gallery on their website.  The shop is also hiring new employees - visit the "About" page for more info.

In related news, the owner, Jermaine Muhammad, recently filed civil rights charges against Dunwoody PD for racial profiling. Details of the results are in the news report link above.

The barber shop, has great reviews on its Facebook page.


Who are the landlords for Winter Village and Dunwoody Point shopping centers?

Winter Village is owned by M&P Shopping Centers.  They operate several neighborhood nodes around the SE, including across metro Atlanta.  Spaces are available, per the website.
Here's the info page for Winter Village.  (Holy moly, that photo is out of date....)
Property manager is Jeremy Rosenthall.  (LinkedIn Profile)

Dunwoody Point does not seem to have a website.
The property owners are Dunwoody Point Entrepreneurs, LLC.  There are two possible office contacts for them.

ALPHARETTA, GA 30022-8441

5000 Winters Chapel Rd, Suite 2
Atlanta, GA 30360
Phone: (770) 409-0518

Who Else Saw This Coming? Anyone paying attention to discussions about Dunwoody Apartments, that's who.

Apartments focus of controversy in Dunwoody  (AJC)

(I caught someone using the AJC servers lurking around on this blog a few days ago.  Now we know why....)

Federal fair housing suit filed against Dunwoody, code enforcement (Crier)

(AJC article has comments about code violations and opinions of Dunwoody Glen and Lacota residents.)

Articles lurked by the local news media in advance of these articles:

What exactly is Dunwoody being "transparent" about?

Dunwoody City Council wants to buy the "Northchase" apartments....

(Highlight was the YouTube mashup of Star Wars vignettes "I've got a bad feeling about this...."

Here's an article no one is talking about.
Because it doesn't fit the legal agenda at hand.

Christmas For Kids Returns Early in 2013

Lawyers can be hired and cries of "racism" can be thrown around like candy on Mt. Vernon at the 4th of July.  But when the chips were really down - when families in these apartments lost their homes and belongings in a fire, it was Dunwoody Police and Dunwoody residents who stepped up to provide for their needs.  I know this because I was there.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Inspiration

I learned graphics the old-fashioned way:  apprenticing at the School of Hard Knocks.

My Uncle Charlie has been a commercial artist in New York City since I was born.  He always made sure I had art supplies to play with and to learn from.  Professional-grade markers and paper to calligraphy sets.  I learned how to draw different fonts, create effects with just ink and paper, and how to blend colors and draw what I could see:  either with my eyes, or just what was behind them.

It wasn't until years and years later that his influence became my living instead of just something to play with.  In fact, it was Chaz who developed the first draft of SDOC's corporate logo when I was just getting off the ground.

Chaz is (finally....) on Facebook.  (Thank you Cousin Janet for dragging your dad into this century.  How big was the monkey wrench????  ;-P   )