Trend of adaptive-reuse food halls in Atlanta suburbs shows few signs of slowing

It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s the case, Krog Street Market should be beaming from compliments, thanks to the number of similar food hall developments popping up OTP.

First announced in 2017, Marietta Square Market will soon open the doors to an 18,000-square-foot venture along Church Street in that city’s downtown, although just when is uncertain.

Instead of welcoming patrons this month as planned, city officials told the Marietta Daily Journal it looks like opening day will come in February or possibly March as tenants continue to wrap up construction.

Curbed.com

Millions approved for three Atlanta affordable housing ventures

During Invest Atlanta’s first meetings of 2019, the city’s economic development agency and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms approved millions of dollars of funding to build three new affordable housing projects in neighborhoods in need.

The initiatives “represent the type of thinking needed to make affordable living in the city an option for many more residents,” said Eloisa Klementich, Invest Atlanta CEO and president, per a press release.

“Longterm ground leases, land trust models, and layered financing strategies give us a bigger toolbox to work with and opportunities to address more of the affordability spectrum,” she added.

The first development, called CityPlace, earned a loan increase of up to $1 million from the Vine City Housing Trust Fund, which will help Place Properties build five new single-family residences in English Avenue and Vine City.

Curbed.com

Micro-homes pitched as a solution to Nashville’s affordable housing crunch

A bunk squeezed between a window and the ceiling serves as the guest bedroom, and the work desk is jammed between the washer-drier combo and refrigerator.

The 450-square-foot “micro-home” isn’t large enough for a family. But one Nashville affordable housing developer sees big potential in the little houses.

Eddie Latimer, CEO of nonprofit Affordable Housing Resources, is developing a “micro-village” of 13 small modular houses in North Nashville.

They will rent for about $1,000 a month – nearly $200 less than the average efficiency in Davidson County. In the immediate downtown area, median studio apartment rent is even higher at $1,545 a month, according to Zillow.

The Tennessean

Which U.S. Cities Have the Most Families With Kids?

Look around a hip neighborhood in Lower Manhattan or downtown San Francisco, and you’ll see lots of young people, and Baby Boomers whose kids have left the nest. There are also some stylish moms (or nannies) pushing tots in strollers. But you won’t see many traditional nuclear families with school-age children.

There’s a growing consensus that our cities are becoming “childless.” This past October, Axios ran a story on the ”great family exodus,” showing data that the share of families with children under the age of 20 has fallen in 53 large cities across the country. As far as I can tell, the phrase “childless cities” was first advanced in 2013 by Joel Kotkin in an essay of that title for City Journal.

Several factors are said to be pushing families with kids out of cities: the expensiveness of city living; the lagging performance of urban versus suburban public schools; and the preference of immigrant families for the suburbs over urban locations. But just how childless are our cities, really?

CityLab.com

One of America’s best places to retire is right here in Georgia

A comfortable retirement depends a lot on location, according to a new report from SmartAsset.

Experts over at the personal finance tech company sought to find America’s best places to retire and live out your golden years by first comparing state and local income and sales tax rates.

The rates, according to the report, are based on a typical retiree earning $35,000 per year from savings, Social Security or part-time work,and take into account disposable income spending on taxable goods.

SmartAsset researchers also looked at the number of doctors’ offices, recreation centers and retirement centers per thousand residents in each area and, lastly, the number of seniors in each area as a percentage of the total population.

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Walmart confirms plans to add hundreds of tech jobs this year

Walmart continues to staff up its massive technology arm known as Walmart Labs. The retail giant added roughly 1,700 tech-related jobs in fiscal 2019 which ends Jan. 31. There are roughly 2,000 more jobs to be added to its nine tech centers located across the globe this next fiscal year, according to Jenn Ericksen, a corporate spokeswoman with Walmart Labs.

She told Talk Business & Politics the new technology jobs will include data scientists, software engineers, designers and other professionals who will expand the technology division by roughly 25%. The jobs will support Walmart’s store technology, online commerce as well as data and cloud services.

TalkBusiness.net

Coal Ash Is Contaminating Groundwater in at least 22 States, Utility Reports Show

The clearest picture yet of coal ash contamination in the United States is emerging, with utilities reporting serious groundwater contamination in at least 22 states.

At dozens of power plants across the country, including many in the Southeast, utilities have found coal-ash pollution severe enough to force them to propose cleanup plans. Those plans will likely become the next front in a decades-long battle over how to manage one of the nation’s largest industrial waste streams—one tainted by toxic heavy metals.

InsideClimateNews.org

Lead in School Water: Less Than Half the States Test for It, and Fewer Require It

Five years after the Flint water crisis reminded Americans about the danger of lead in drinking water, nearly half of U.S. students are attending schools in states that don’t have programs or requirements to test tap water in schools, according to a new report.

And the 24 states, plus the District of Columbia, that do require testing for lead or have programs to conduct that testing lack uniformity in how they go about it, researchers from Harvard University and the University of California pointed out in the report, released Wednesday. Only seven states and D.C. require water tests in schools; in the other 17 states with programs, participation is voluntary.

Governing.com

Report: East Texas coal plants leaching pollutants into groundwater

As the Trump administration considers weakening Obama-era safeguards for disposal of toxic coal waste, a new report shows groundwater near all of Texas’ 16 monitored coal-fired power plants is contaminated with pollutants — including known carcinogens — linked to so-called coal ash. That includes four plants in Northeast Texas.

The report from the Washington D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project analyzed on-site groundwater monitoring data that power companies are required to report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under an Obama-era regulation known as the “Coal Ash Rule.”

News-Journal.com

The U.S. Coal Sector

The 40 percent decline in U.S. coal-fired power generation over the last decade accounted for 75 percent of the total reduction of 800 million metric tons in U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions between 2005 and 2017.[1] The shift away from coal was mainly driven by lower natural gas prices due to the shale revolution and stagnant U.S. electricity demand, and to a lesser extent by policy-supported growth in wind and solar generation. With power generation accounting for over 90 percent of U.S. coal use, there was a comparable reduction in U.S. coal production over the last decade.

Brookings.edu