David Hughes
Dale Hughes

Perimeter business leaders are starting a new organization – the Perimeter Business Alliance –they say will address problems that cross city and county lines in the area.

The new group is “a partner” of the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts, according to a press release June 29 announcing creation of the PBA.

The PCID, an organization that tackles transportation problems in the area, is composed only of commercial property owners, who impose a tax on themselves for transportation improvements. The new group will include businesses and institutions that now cannot join the PCID, officials said.

“The Perimeter Business Association in its structure will provide a way to include non-businesses in the Perimeter area and to give them a voice and a forum,” said John Heagy, Hines senior managing director and a board member of the new organization.

The organization also will address issues other than transportation, said PCID CEO and President Yvonne Williams.

“This [group will be] more into quality of life and business issues,” she said. “This creates more a brain trust of business leaders and executives.”

Local non-profit institutions such as hospitals will be able to join the PBA, said PBA co-chairman Dale Hughes, Cox Enterprises Inc. senior vice president for legal affairs and strategic investments.

The new organization will “try to be cross-jurisdictional,” Hughes said.

“Sandy Springs is independent. Dunwoody is independent…We need something that goes beyond those different locations. It is a way to broaden our discussion of our community,” Hughes said.

Hughes said the new association of business leaders would not compete with existing groups, such as the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce and the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce.

He said the new group would address issues in the 4-square-mile Perimeter area, which includes portions of both cities and a piece of north DeKalb that could be included in a city of Brookhaven, if the city is approved by voters July 31.

The PCID listed members of the board of the new organization as Heagy; Hughes; Bob Voyles, Seven Oaks Co.; Chuck Altimari, UPS; Diane Calloway, Specialized Title Services; Russ Davis, Northside Hospital; Adam Orkin, Orkin & Associates Investments; Dean Patterson, Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc.; David Spotts, AutoTrader; and Kay Younglove, Jones, Lang, LaSalle.

Five more trustees will be added in coming months, the PCID said in a press release.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.