Tag Archives: beltline

5 Fast Facts: Atlanta BeltLine by the Numbers Infographic

I love the Atlanta BeltLine and I’ve been writing about it a lot lately, here and for Coca-Cola. I thought I’d share in a different way a few of the fun facts given by the project’s communications staff, so I put together this little infographic.

I included many more numbers in the two articles I wrote about the BeltLine for Coca-Cola’s Journey website. The second part is up now, examining the challenges ahead and highlighting the enthusiasm Atlantans have for the “emerald necklace.” I hope you’ll go there to read it, share it and comment on it.


EARLIER: Part One of Coca-Cola’s Look at the BeltLine

EARLIER: Building the ‘BeltLine Culture’ VIDEO

EARLIER:  Journalists offer advice for the BeltLine

Krog Street Market Continues Atlanta’s Intown Redevelopment Buzz — PHOTOS

Krog Street Market, one of the many intown projects to turn old industrial space into fabulous retail/restaurant developments, is coming along smashingly.

Friends had a great dinner Friday at The Luminary, where the bar staff says they’ve been packing in diners for a couple of months. John Tarrant told me Saturday that he and his wife, Cindy, hope to open French Market Flowers next week. Folks at Little Tart coffee and bakeshop said the same thing.

Krog Street Market is next to the BeltLine and not far from Ponce City Market. From the engaging and informative website:

Krog Street market is a destination for Atlanta’s intown culture – those who are always searching for unique, specialty creations. It’s designed to be as authentic as the 1920’s warehouse it’s built into. With market stalls to sell produce, goods, and prepared food, along with a few southern-grown restaurants and retailers, the market will offer Atlantans a gathering place of sorts – a locale for taking in an extraordinary meal or picking up a few inspiring ingredients – a west coast-style market, right in the heart of Inman Park.

I enjoyed a quick walk-through Saturday, where renovations are concluding, and I look forward to Krog Street Market’s success. It’s another exciting addition to the neighborhood. And now I won’t have to drive so far for my Jeni’s Ice Cream fix.


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Building the BeltLine Culture in Atlanta: ‘I Want to Be a Part of That’

I just got in from a bike ride on the Atlanta BeltLine, where it’s no surprise that everyone loves it. I was curious if people had an opinion about something I heard this week from a top editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The BeltLine will be bigger for Atlanta than the 1996 Olympics were.

I was never a big believer in the scientific veracity of “man on the street” interviews. But they can be fun and, as was the case today, illuminating.

Atlanta, Atlanta BeltLine, BeltLine, North Avenue, bikes, bicycle, trees atlanta, jake's ice cream, Piedmont Park, Inman Park, Krog

Daniel Keiger is a big fan of the BeltLine and hopes it lives up to its full potential.

I found Daniel Keiger lounging in the sun outside Atlanta BeltLine Bicycle. He loves the positive, creative energy the trail fosters, and notes that it just keeps building on itself. Like others I spoke to (and the AJC’s senior managing editor Bert Roughton) he said the permanency of the project could mean it indeed will have a great effect on Atlanta. “There’s apartments going up everywhere here,” he said. “Everything leftover from the Olympics is going to be torn down. You know Turner Field is gonna be gone” with the Braves leaving downtown.

I stopped in for ice cream at Jake’s, because who wouldn’t, and I met a guy behind the counter who gave his name as just Kenya. “I love the BeltLine. It keeps it moving — that energy of it, people expending their energy getting around on their own. I love the area, period. It’s going to do nothing but get better.”

And my favorite quote came from Anthony Spina, who’s moving here from New Jersey to open a pizza shop in the same building as Jake’s (on the Irwin Street end). He told me he chose that location partly because of the trail, and he is proud to live without a car, noting the eco-friendly nature of the BeltLine. He likes seeing folks walking their dogs and jogging, but notes there’s more to it than just recreation. There’s real community, he said. “It’s the culture of the BeltLine. I want to be a part of that.”

EARLIER:  Journalists offer advice for the BeltLine

RELATED: The College Football Hall of Fame lights up downtown

RELATED: Honeysuckle Gelato coming to Ponce City Market

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4 Tips for the Atlanta BeltLine from Top Journalists

Atlanta Beltline, The Beltline, Atlanta, North Avenue, urban renewal project, transportation, bike trail, running trail, Ponce City Market

The BeltLine, one of the country’s most ambitious urban renewal projects, rises above North Avenue here.

The Atlanta BeltLine got some free advice from five journalists talking to a roomful of public relations professionals this morning.

  1. The BeltLine could become the biggest thing to happen to the city since the 1996 Olympics – bigger than the Games, maybe, since it will be permanent.
  2. The BeltLine might be too popular (crowded) for its own good.
  3. But residents are still going to be worried about security at night.
  4. And, finally, BeltLine neighbor Kroger “should just own (the nickname) ‘Murder Kroger.’”

The forum at the Mandarin Hotel in Buckhead was put on by The Wilbert Group, a PR agency owned by two of my former colleagues at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tony and Caroline Wilbert. Another, ex-AJC Business editor Mark Braykovich, further shows the agency’s deep roots in news. The AJC’s senior managing editor, Bert Roughton, was on the panel, along with:

  • Melissa Long of 11 Alive TV News
  • Steve Fennessy, editor of Atlanta magazine
  • Richard Fausset, Atlanta correspondent for The New York Times
  • Anita Sharpe, Atlanta bureau chief at Bloomberg

Topics included top stories of the year, the upcoming elections, commercial real estate and more. Other highlights tweeted live from the audience included:

@SavannahBDuncan The @AtlantaBeltLine is an important project but security is a concern says @MelissaLong

@HadleyHCreek The Atlanta beltline has been huge in attracting companies and people back to the city core – @BloombergNews Anita Sharpe

@lianamoran “Younger people want a walking city” – @BloombergNews on the @AtlantaBeltLine

@CarolineWilbert “What is the big thought? That is always the question from New York Times.” — NYT bureau chief

@adahatzios Panel agrees that commercial real estate is back…more cranes in town, urban centers growing in places like Roswell & Woodstock

@conorsen  Atlanta, with no natural boundaries, is defined by [transportation infrastructure and] commercial real estate.

@JBryantFisher Will the new Buckhead work? #ATL‘s top newsies debate the new feel of a city grappling with transportation cramps. #coveringatlanta

@MaryJaneCredeur Surprised by how many young business professionals say they plan to vote for @carter4governor. -Anita Sharpe, Bloomberg.

@AR__PR  .@MelissaLong says you can get just as much traction from an online story as one on the air. #coveringatlanta

And here’s The Wilbert Group’s nice SlideShare about the event. Good stuff for anyone interested in news and its coverage in our city.

RELATED: The College Football Hall of Fame lights up downtown

RELATED: Photos from North Avenue

RELATED: Ponce City Market preview pics

If you enjoyed this post or anything on storycroft.com, please subscribe at the top of the right column, or by clicking “Follow” in the top left. And ask a friend to do the same. Thanks! 

Follow me on Twitter @JayCroft!

Wrapping up the Challenge: 3 (of Many) Positive Things about Life in Atlanta

college football hall of fame, atlanta, attractions

Atlanta’s newest attraction. Y’all come.

It’s been great to share good thoughts with the Positive Challenge, and I’ll keep up my attitude of gratitude. But today I’m wrapping my seven-day Positive Challenge with a look at three great things about my city, Atlanta.

1. Downtown rocks. With the newest addition of the College Football Hall of Fame following the Center for Civil and Human Rights by just weeks, we now have a bunch of great reasons for folks to spend all day, or more, downtown. Unheard of just a few years ago, and a boon for residents, tourists, conventioneers, businesses, etc.

2. The BeltLine Corridor. I enjoy starting a bike ride at the Inman Park end of the Atlanta BeltLine, riding past the soon-to-open Ponce City Market, and circling the loop inside Piedmont Park (the city’s crown jewel). Throw in a popsicle from the King of Pops or some Jake’s Ice Cream, and that’s a great afternoon.

3. Labor Day Weekend. Coming up fast again… Annual favorites DragonCon, the Decatur Book Festival, Black Gay Pride and … what else am I missing? This year, the Braves host the Marlins and the Phillies. And hometown superstar Jennifer Nettles plays Chastain… Who has time to grill? Dang.

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No Ice Bucket Needed for This Challenge — Just Make the Positive Choice

Atlanta BeltLine, public art, sculpture, overpass, North Avenue, Ponce City Market, Positive Challenge, civic improvements, Atlanta is getting better all the time, Nicole Brodeur

Nicole Brodeur

When Nicole Brodeur does something, I notice. She’s a great journalist, super-smart and one of my favorite friends.  She’s a columnist at The Seattle Times and, if you don’t read her, start now, even if you’re nowhere the Space Needle. She wrote yesterday about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and a former NFL player who has the disease and still participated in the popular social media money- and awareness-raiser.

But what moved me to action personally was Nicole’s Facebook posts about The Positive Challenge. I asked her about it. Here’s what she said:

The Positive Challenge was thrown down by Jacqui Banaszynski. I’m not clear on the rules, but I believe that you have to write three positive things about your life, or that happened in your life, every day for a week. And you can tag someone to take over when you’re finished. I’m almost finished, so you start on Monday. Tag, Jay Croft, you’re it!

Replied Jacqui: Post three positive thoughts or events each day for seven days. Tag two people a day to do the same. All that is optional, of course.

Atlanta BeltLine, public art, sculpture, overpass, North Avenue, Ponce City Market, Positive Challenge, civic improvements, Atlanta is getting better all the time, Nicole Brodeur, Jacqui Banaszynski

Jacqui Banaszynski

Well, all right. I’ve always found it a good idea to do what smart, beautiful women suggest. So I accepted the challenge. Today is Day Four. I’ll keep updating it on my own Facebook page.

What about you? Do you make a point to practice gratitude or positivity every day? Someone once said something like, “Happiness doesn’t bring gratitude — gratitude brings happiness.” I like that.


Here goes.

Atlanta BeltLine, public art, sculpture, overpass, North Avenue, Ponce City Market, Positive Challenge, civic improvements, Atlanta is getting better all the time, Nicole Brodeur

New sculpture on the BeltLine


  1. I’m grateful for awesome friends like you.
  2. Can I say something as simple as coffee? Because I’m drinking it right now and would be useless without it.
The words, the words… always, the words.



  1. I was pleased to see new public art on the BeltLine overlooking North Avenue last night on my way home. Today I shared a photo of it here that Atlanta BeltLine put up. Yay. Love public art. Love the Atlanta BeltLine. Love civic improvement and community involvement.
  2. I reconnected with an old friend this week. Great to catch up. Hope I can see him again soon.
  3. I’m healthy. Everything works. No physical problems. And I’ve been sleeping great the last year, which was not the case for a long time. So: thankful for my health, every day.


  1. I love that my job is so close to my house. I can come home for lunch. In fact, I’m home for lunch right now. In the craziness of metro Atlanta traffic, this close proximity is no small blessing.
  1. I love cheat days. Not because I love to cheat so much (except for ice cream), but because it’s inevitable that at least one day a week will be chaotic or, yes, tempting, and the cheat-day concept is a nice reminder that it’s OK to be, you know, imperfect. Dadgummit.
  1. I’m grateful that today is my friend Tony’s 50th birthday and that my friend John, Tony’s partner, will be celebrating his 60th soon. Because I’d go crazy without them and, you know, I like nice round numbers like 50 and 60… which is why I’m staying 40 forever! Bah-da-bing!


Something a little different today: Three pics from a great Sunday evening watching the Braves win (!!!) at Turner Field. Ya gotta believe in The Boys. Still, even this late…

Atlanta Braves, positive challenge, Turner Field, Braves leaving Atlanta for Cobb, Jay Croft, storycroft, Byron Whitt, Atlanta, friends at a baseball game

At a Braves game with my buddy Byron Whitt, enjoying Turner Field and its proximity IN THE CITY OF ATLANTA while we still can.

Atlanta Braves, Chris Johnson, Turner Field, best ass in baseball, best butt in baseball, sexiest baseball player, most handsome baseball player

My favorite Brave, Chris Johnson. OK, my baseball BF, right Trish Buswell? Chris, you can email me here on the blog. Or Facebook or Twitter. Or just wave next time you’re at bat, and I’ll know you’re thinking of me.

Nicole Brodeur, Seattle Times, Positive Choice, Jay Croft, Atlanta, Braves, ice cream, Turner Field

Ice cream + baseball = summertime bliss.

RELATED: Honeysuckle Gelato coming to Ponce City Market

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Fun, Sun and Keeping It Real: 9 Business & Marketing Tips from Atlanta’s King of Pops — PLUS: PICS

King of Pops, Atlanta, Inman Park, Steven Carse, Nick Carse, popsicles, entrepreneur, brothers, laid off, lost job started own business, followed dream

Steven Carse

Atlanta’s King of Pops just turned 4, its origin tale almost as familiar around town as it is irresistible. But there’s more to the company’s story since the now-fabled beginning. Here’s a list of 9 things you probably don’t know about or can learn from The King, aka Steven Carse, the laid-off corporate worker who started selling organic, homemade popsicles in fun flavors (chocolate sea salt, Arnold Palmer, mango habanero, apple ginger…) on a street corner in 2010. Since then, brother Nick left his career as an attorney to join the enterprise, and it has become a case study in successful small-business marketing: strong emotional connections; pitch-perfect branding; resonant storytelling; savvy use of social media; and more.

And who doesn’t love a popsicle?

Since the origin story has been told so often, and is available on the company website, let’s start with some new items.

Berry-growing will be a focus of the new farm near Douglasville.

Berry-growing will be a focus of the new farm near Douglasville.

  1. Farming Future. The King’s popsicles are made with fresh fruit, herbs, honey and other essentials he soon will grow at a 65-acre farm near Douglasville. Carse plans to use the farm for composting, tours/awareness of farming, and eventually start other food-related businesses.
  2. No ‘Shark Tank.’ Carse isn’t looking to sell the business. But every time it’s featured in national media, he gets calls from folks all over who want to open their own King of Pops stand.
  3. Growth in the Numbers. In his first year on the corner of Highland and North avenues, Carse estimates he sold 50,000 popsicles, for $2.50 each. The exotic flavors and organic cane sugar/honey/agave sweeteners, along with his low-key pitch, were a hit. This year, he expects to sell 600,000.
  4. Value Your Employees. “We attract and hire interesting people,” Carse says. “We get a lot of applicants, people who are musicians or artists or students. Initially, it just worked out that way, but now we like it and look for it.” The company has a dozen full-time employees, plus 30 part-time “slingers” who sell at parks, corners and festivals, based out of a 3,700-square-foot production facility in trendy Inman Park.
  5. Stay Focused. They deliver weekly to 50 or 60 locations around the Southeast and plan to keep the regional focus. Most of the retail locations, which include Whole Foods, are around Atlanta.
  6. Show Some Emotion. Popsicles appeal to a sweet place in our collective consciousness, memories of childhood, summer fun… and the business model focuses on that by trying to be in what Carse calls “the right places.” That could be a church festival one week and gay Pride the next. “From a very abstract perspective, it’s wherever people want to be happy, where they are going in order to be happy and have fun.”
  7. What’s Your Story? “We make a very good product, and the product is important,”Carse says. “But more important is our creation story and people’s idea of who we are. I don’t know how we cultivate that more or how we created it to begin with, except by being authentic and trying to be very honest about everything. That seems very simple, but I don’t think people are actually used to that from businesses. They’re used to getting a pitch. I don’t feel like we have a pitch. We’re just some guys trying to do a good thing. We would never have a meeting and say, ‘All right, what are we going to do to be more authentic?’ But I’ll say to five random people, ‘Go do something nice that’s pop-related while you’re on the clock.’ ”

    Nick and Steven Carse

    Nick and Steven Carse

  8. Make Connections. “People were really able to connect with us initially, and after that it was momentum. Atlanta is on an upswing with things like the Beltline and the food scene, and we are a part of that. People are proud of the city, and they talk about how much they love it. I still work at the old corner once or twice a week – and I like that vibe, the 10-second interaction with people I don’t really know but I’m familiar with, kids I’ve seen grow up … I love that.”
  9. Keep It Real Online. The King of Pops is ideal for social media. Nick Carse says the business makes the most of it by being useful, telling followers where vendors are every day and showing what is available. “Anybody can have social media,” he says, “but it’s gotta be smart.” So linked is the company’s identity with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, that he says the King has never spent a dime on advertising.

RELATED: Honeysuckle Gelato, local ice creamery, coming to Ponce City Market

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‘Atlanta Streets Alive’ Rolls into West End This Sunday

Atlanta Streets Alive, West End, community activities, close the streets, bicycles, bikes, walking, family events, community events, Easter Sunday, Easter, Sunday, Ralph David Abernathy, BeltlineSeems like most of the story about Atlanta’s cool intown projects and events focuses on the Midtown-Inman-Poncey triad. And while there’s a lot going on to justify that, it’s nice when other areas if the city feel some of the love, too.

So bravo to Atlanta Streets Alive for heading to West End this Sunday for one of the group’s fun and inspiring community events. Streets Alive will close to automobiles 2.7 miles of road in the heart of West End from 2-6 p.m. to encourage folks to walk and ride bicycles in the area. You can read see more about activities, parking and plans for the day on the Streets Alive website.

“We’ll close the streets to cars and open them to people,” Streets Alive says. “Bring your bicycle or just your feet, and get ready to explore your community streets on a safer, healthier, more livable way.”

We sure need more of that in our city. And previous Streets Alive events have been a blast, including one in my Poncey-Highland neighborhood a couple of years ago, with food trucks, lots of families and pets, and community groups sharing their information.

Plus who in Atlanta isn’t looking for a good reason to just get out of the car?

The event this Sunday, which is Easter, of course, is organized by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition in partnership with City Council President Ceasar Mitchell and the West End Neighborhood Association. Churches are sharing their parking lots after services.

More from Streets Alive:

The vision of Atlanta Streets Alive is to encourage Atlanta to develop living streets — streets that appeal to pedestrians, bikers, businesses and neighbors. Streets are publicly owned assets but on most days are used mainly by cars. On this day, people can regain ownership of the streets they pay taxes to build and maintain — and transform them into crazy fun healthy, living streets for all to enjoy.

And here are some of the group’s shots from previous events: