Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CTBUH Atlanta Hosts Vertical Communities Panel Discussion
March 31, 2015
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ATLANTA – On Tuesday, March 31, CTBUH Atlanta hosted its inaugural event. Gensler kindly sponsored the well-attended networking session, which was followed by a lively roundtable discussion featuring a cross-section of leaders in Atlanta’s development community. Forty-four area professionals turned out for the event, signaling a promising beginning for the chapter.

The discussion panel was moderated by Dr. Eloisa Klementich from Invest Atlanta. The conversation revolved around several “big picture” concerns in the Atlanta area. Panelists fielded a wide variety of questions including, “What does the next generation high-rise in Atlanta look like?” and “Culturally, is Atlanta ready for a mixed-use high-rise tower?” The panel adeptly offered responses to these questions, drawing from experiences within their respective fields:
Discussion panelist addressing the attendees.
Chris Ahrenkiel, managing director at Tishman Speyer, showed particular energy and excitement surrounding the development of air-rights over the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) stations, touting the benefits of locating development directly adjacent to major transit lines.

Rex Hamre, senior sustainability manager at JLL, spoke about the environmental advantages of tall buildings when compared to a suburban development of similar capacity.

Heather Alhadeff, president of Center Forward, discussed the sustainable benefits of mixed-use buildings, as they facilitate mid-day excursions that happen outside typical trips to and from work.
Attendees watching intently.
David LeFevre, CTBUH Atlanta city representative and architect at Gensler, advocated for the gathering of multi-disciplinary thought leaders at the onset of a project in order to better understand everyone’s goals and objectives, and as a way to create holistically-designed and sustainably-executed projects.

Timothy Santi, principal at Walter P. Moore, added that Atlanta is experiencing a trend of rapid reurbanization, citing the numerous high-rise projects currently under construction in the area. He further noted that space for development is running out, while sites are becoming more challenging to build on. He pointed out that there is a need to create sustainable solutions to these problems in order to preserve the vibrancy of Atlanta’s neighborhoods.

All five panelists offered insight into the challenges that face Atlanta’s development, and presented their own unique and innovative solutions that would elevate the city towards a brighter, and taller, future.
Attendees:
Nthan Koskovich Atlanta Architecture and Design Center
Heather Alhadeff Center Forward
Lee Ayers Cooper Carry
Brian Dillman Gensler
Erica Garfinkel Gensler
Michael Hodge Gensler
Anastasia Kostrominova Gensler
James Krygel Gensler
David LeFevre Gensler
Sharon Lessard Gensler
Richard Macri Gensler
Carolina Montilla Gensler
John Moores Gensler
Meghan Plichta Gensler
James Puckhaber Gensler
Chantal Safi Gensler
Autumn Sikorowski Gensler
Cynthia Smith Gensler
Dr Eloisa Klementich Invest Atlanta
Jim Irwin Jamestown
Rex Hamre JLL
Norris Hunt John Portman & Associates
Matt Larson John Portman & Associates
Pierluca Maffey John Portman & Associates
John Nipaver John Portman & Associates
Gina Campbell Kimberley-Clark Professional
Emily Haar Midtown Alliance
Sarah Wilgus Midtown Alliance
Boyd Lewis Piedmont Realty Trust
Paul Monardo Pond & Company
Ashish Bagle Sustainability Investment Group
Chris Ahrenkiel Tishman Speyer
Chris Abree United Consulting
Martin Cuadra Uzun & Case
Yasser Salem Uzun & Case
Rob Weilacher Uzun & Case
Adam Bichir Walter P Moore
Keith Coleman Walter P Moore
Adam Karabenli Walter P Moore
Nathaniel Knight Walter P Moore
Connie Mackenzie Walter P Moore
Kyle Manweiler Walter P Moore
Doug Robinson Walter P Moore
Tim Santi Walter P Moore