Today, we’re joined by John Moores who was the Mixed-Use Studio Director for Nelson Worldwide, has held several positions within the AIA from Chair of Young Architects Forum to Secretary of AIA Atlanta, and was more recently involved in the Urban Land Institute Center for Leadership, and is currently on the Creative Development Council.
John founded the firm Lupo Group, a third party real estate consulting practice exclusively engaged by Jamestown, LP, a global real estate investment and management firm, for the development of Buckhead Village, providing a multitude of services that help make developments the best they can be. Enjoy!
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Find helpful articles, download your free Project Planning Packet, even schedule your free Ask The Expert consultation. Whether you're an experienced developer, you just have an idea for a project, or you're simply curious what architects do, visit www.creativeinterface.design , Making Greener Design Practically Impactful.
In this insightful podcast episode of Not Complicated, Just Green, James discusses the importance of efficient and sustainable development. He highlights the need for collaboration and community engagement in the construction process. James interviews John Moores, a mixed-use studio director, who emphasizes the significance of green development and its impact on communities. They discuss the role of green spaces, the challenge of reducing waste in construction, and the increasing desire for outdoor spaces post-pandemic. They also touch on the importance of preserving natural resources and creating authentic, green environments in urban areas. Overall, the episode explores the intersection of sustainable development, community engagement, and innovative construction practices. These and many more are discussed during the episode.
#SustainableConstruction #GreenDesign #UrbanGreenSpaces #EnergyEfficiency #CommunityEngagement #ConstructionWaste #EcoTransportation #FutureOfDevelopment
[00:00:00] JOHN MOORE: But I'm just one of those folks that loves working through a solution without 15 RFIs, right? I want to get out there. Let's talk about it. Let's document it and let's move on.
[00:00:14] James: This is not complicated, just green. And it's time for another installment of Common Sense for Better Construction, bridging the information gap to help you reach a brighter future in the build world.
Welcome friends, I'm your host James, and I'm excited to bring you our fourth episode in our new series focusing on the impacts of development. If you're new to the podcast, welcome. And if you've been listening, you know that Not Complicated, Just Green is more than just environmentalists and tree huggers.
We're offering straight talk about the way that better buildings can make a positive impact on the planet, along with a positive impact on the economy and people. Last week, we talked to Desmond Johnson about the opportunities that come from his collaborations. Not just the collaboration of a design team, and even beyond the collaboration with builders and [00:01:00] developers. When you invite the community to be part of the conversation at the beginning of the process, you offer the public the chance to be your advocate alongside you instead of an obstacle in your path. Through Desmond's position as chair of the Urban Design Commission, this architect and developer is able to influence the growth of America's fourth largest city. And yet he's most excited by the fact that every citizen in the city has the opportunity to play a role in what happens and in what does not. The conversation made me take a step back and ask myself what roles I could be serving that I may have never thought about before. In the architecture trade, we tend to assume one of the few roles within a traditional architecture practice, working our way up from intern to draftsperson to project architect then project manager. Perhaps some may have a foray into business development, and others into practice management, and a few may find a niche in product research, or developing new construction strategies, or construction products, maybe even software, or implementing AI. And yet, some architects find themselves identifying more with their clients than their colleagues, [00:02:00] especially if your clients are developers. Other architects, in their journey from the drafting room to the boardrooms, Become closer and closer to their clients and find the relationship as rewarding as the project itself. That can be beneficial to a firm if it's a repeat client. But what if that architect decided to start a new kind of practice? Serving their clients in ways that traditional architecture firms fall short. Is it possible to rewrite the rules of the game and help the entire industry to find a better way forward? What if by identifying an innovative way to offer your services, you could also offer innovative pathways for making urban infill projects more successful? Better outdoor spaces in our communities. Destinations that create more connected neighborhoods and result in a healthier society. These are lofty ideals that most people desire, but few designers can achieve. Could it be that all these idealistic goals may be more reachable if we just try new ways to achieve them? Today we're joined by John Moores, who is a mixed use studio director for Nelson Worldwide, providing strategy and planning for large mixed use developments. John has held [00:03:00] several positions with the American Institute of Architects, from Chair of Young Architects Forum to Secretary of the AIA Atlanta, and more recently involved in a non profit, Urban Land Institute, or ULI Center for Leadership, and is currently on the Creative Development Council. He's taught architecture and interior design at multiple universities, and he has enough credentials for an entire alphabet to be listed after his name. His background of diverse experiences has helped shape the unique way he sees the development and construction industry. He clearly has the heart of a teacher, as he seeks not only to make his mark, but to help share knowledge and expertise with others to help them make a positive impact. Please enjoy.
This podcast is presented by Creative Interface Architecture and Interiors. Please visit Creative Interface Design.
[00:03:42] JOHN MOORE: So about 12 months ago, I started Luo Group, which is a real estate consultancy, and right now primarily focused on third party client representative for Jamestown. Is it just exclusive to Jamestown? Yes, we are 100 percent focused on [00:04:00] Jamestown at Buckhead Village. So on some projects I might work directly for Jamestown and other projects I work for the client or the tenant that is moving into the Jamestown property and therefore I can Again, wear those different hats. I think they'll get to a very solid point with an incredible vibe here in 12 months where they've reached very close to 100% Tenancy, which will be amazing. So I want to be part of that. I want to see it happen and we got at least four restaurants opening between January and July of this year and then some really big announcements coming pretty soon. So I'm pretty excited and again. Being here in that excitement is awesome, right? There's a reason to jump up and come into work every day and see those projects. So my hope and my goal is that Lupo group will continue with Jamestown, whether it's at Bucket Village or other sites, because they've seen that integrated design process, [00:05:00] right? Now quickly we can perform. And that relationship will only continue to grow while also Lubro Group is looking at other similar clients who have that same excitement and energy around their assets. Jamestown just has such a secret sauce that it's hard to say that another developer will be as great to work with as Jamestown. It seems like they have that architect design creative side as well as that really smart asset management side. The two really. Perfect sides of the coin that come together to create that vibe, these incredible projects.
So for me it's also become exemplary and something that I envisioned Lupo group really becoming. How do we start to become that really smart development company longterm that not only is helping people with their own assets, but where their assets, but [00:06:00] also really focused on our own assets and creating That vibe that is uniquely Lupo Group, that would be my long term vision.
[00:06:09] James: So less developing your client base and more evolving into sort of becoming the thing that your clients have been. Yeah. And so the consultancy side that you're doing now, is it that you are guiding Jamestown as a client towards certain things? Or is it, is there also an element, that might be the case, but there's also an element that you're learning everything that you can from Jamestown? So that Some of that secret sauce you get a little bit of that secret recipe.
[00:06:39] JOHN MOORE: A hundred percent Yeah, so much as much of that secret sauce I can skim off the top I will take and the incredible thing is and I'll say it's both Many incredible things about Jamestown and that relationship that you just expressed explained one is that they're very receptive So I can bring the craziest idea to a [00:07:00] meeting or something I'm seeing on site and there's a reception for it now. It may not necessarily happen immediately, but the conversation occurs around that idea. And everybody is welcome to bring their ideas on how to improve the customer experience on the property. Then I would say the second half is, you're exactly right, is that Even though I'm a consultant, they have brought me in and again, I'm in the house, right? I'm part, I'm not part of the family necessarily, but I'm hanging out on the holidays. And so they've been completely open on a lot of the aspects of the projects from business planning to Budgets, etc. So yes, trying to take and understand and learn as much as I can, especially since for the first time I've always worked with clients Who are mostly real estate people on multi site projects who had a certain focus for the first time. I'm really involved. And I always loved being [00:08:00] involved on certain accounts from development to asset, right? What happens when it transitions over to the team that needs to maintain it? And I love that process. I love being involved in the front end, but I also want to make sure that everybody's happy throughout, right? So the folks are happy on the development side and who's really happy as the folks who have to maintain it. After it's turned over. So I love that. And so for the first time, I wouldn't say that there was always barriers to those communications between folks, but we didn't start a project by talking to the facilities folks on a lot of my multi site projects, right? It was the development teams that ran it. I always would ask the facility folks out there. If there's a problem with the drinking fountain, then let's talk about the problem with the drinking fountain or water. Yeah. The sink is a high efficient energy rechargeable sink faucet, but the issue is no one ever uses the bathrooms, so therefore the sink doesn't recharge itself. Well, a faucet. That's an issue. [00:09:00] Let's talk about that. Let's pick a different faucet. So on a couple of my accounts, I actually grew to the point where I was informing. And part of that discussion and actually bridge the gap and got those folks on the same phone call, which is so important. Now fast forward to Jamestown, like they already meet all the time. So now I just get to sit in the room and be a, a wallflower, but an engaged wallflower and be part of that conversation that's going on between asset management, property management, facilities, as well as development.
[00:09:31] James: So what was it that made you want to get into? All of these different aspects, so you've been in interior design, you've been in architecture, you're now in development, in consultants, and all of these different aspects, you're getting a chance to be, to have a hand in a lot of different areas. How did you decide that this was the career, and how do you decide when these shifts have happened for you? How did you know that it was the time to make that shift?
[00:09:57] JOHN MOORE: Yeah, my wife will say I have a lot of initials after [00:10:00] my name, right? Maybe two, but yeah, from, I've also became a realtor in the last 24 months, signed on with the brokerage. So yeah, wear a lot of hats within that environment, but I think it's partly the, the architect wanting to take on all facets of the project, right? We start off learning. conceptualizing really big projects and owning all facets of it. And then you come out into the world and instantly it's broken up right from the different services of the developer, contractor, et cetera. And I just love all parts of the project and having input and influence from the beginning to the end.
[00:10:41] James: Is there something about working towards a greener development focus on? Low carbon footprint, or it could be operating cost or energy efficiency, or if it can be the sustainability of a community and helping people to continue to enjoy and thrive in a community where they already are. [00:11:00] What are the aspects of development, specifically green development, if we could just put a big broad category over all of it, that really appeals to you?
[00:11:09] JOHN MOORE: Yeah, so I look at it as bookends and then all the meat in the middle, right? All the books on the library shelf in between. So the one end is the community aspect and how to engage with the community from the idea, the strategy, to implementation, to how are they going to, how's the community use it? Afterwards, and how does it build a sense of community creating that sense of place and that engagement with the community so that it almost takes a life off its own. It doesn't become a development. I think so many times we look at now aspects and areas of Atlanta. We're losing that neighborhood feel because the developments become their own. Autonomy, right? Versus being intertwined into the local community in a local area. And then on the other end of the spectrum is... Tactically, [00:12:00] how do you do it, or how do we start to facilitate more of a focus on green from the parts and pieces of the project? Taking that high end consultancy community idea all the way down to the HVAC systems and the windows, right? And then how do you fill that in between? And each project obviously takes a different path between those two pieces, but I really enjoy... The community focus and creating that sense of place, urban infill, and then facilitating as best practices on energy efficiency on the back end.
[00:12:39] James: So if you can bring all of that together and check all of your boxes, obviously you're not going to create one of these buildings unless it provides profit. And people have to be a part of it, and on top of that, being able to do something that is good for the planet. What can great development do? And what are the benefits that people might not always think about?
[00:12:57] JOHN MOORE: A lot of great points there and a lot of great things to [00:13:00] cover. So I think it's important to state that at Lupo Group, what we're trying to achieve is sustainability across all projects in all ways, right? And I think Starting to set some of those goals as we talk about. I would love a day where we don't throw away any materials from the construction site and it's hard for me every time I walk onto a construction site and I see how much packaging and everything, even not just drywall, but how much packaging. All this stuff is, today I was walking and, floor tiles come in boxes, right? So you're throwing away all those boxes. And then what do you do with all the scrap tile that's been cut and pieces and not just attic stock, but all those remnants, right? And it's a lot of remnants. So how do we start to really look at a construction project or as 100 percent or at least getting as close as we can to 100 percent where we're not throwing anything away? Yeah. That would be obviously and honestly a great goal for us to achieve. With Jamestown, [00:14:00] what's interesting is I focus on Buckhead Village. So Buckhead Village is, to a certain extent, one of those points where it's an asset. We, they purchased it from Oliver McMillan back in 2019. And since then, we have been focused on improving that project. So that could mean a bunch of different things. Obviously, it means a lot. To the community where I'm starting to change up the tenant mix and the services that are provided or the products that are sold here that bring people the reasons that this is a destination, right? And it really takes on a vibe. So creating how do we create that vibe? And I think that's the special sauce that I see within any great developer like Jamestown is. Every single development is not going to be the same, but the thing that ties them all together is the vibe, the culture. What is it, what are the reasons that bring people there, and why is it exciting to go there? I used to live in Buckhead in [00:15:00] 2000 twenty, twenty three years ago. And it was incredible. It was the club district, it was incredible on a Friday or Saturday night, but it wasn't great. the rest of the week. So there was limitations there and ultimately that changed in 2003 or so and then sat for a long time and it's only I think in the last 12 months that we really started to see a resurgence in this area after almost 20 years of it not peeing. Having that vibe and so I'm excited to see what all the tenant mix and the new restaurants and the great excitement That's happening here because I think the next 20 years for this development are going to be absolutely amazing I think this past Mother's Day had some of the highest numbers ever for people visiting Buckhead Village District,
[00:15:50] James: It's obviously location plays a big part in this one, but there's got to be a lot about this Project a lot of the strategies behind this that have made it [00:16:00] successful That you can repeat in other opportunities.
[00:16:03] JOHN MOORE: The big thing and the thing that I love about Buckhead Village, especially as we're starting to see malls and some of that discussion, right? Is people want to be outside, especially in an environment like Atlanta. The weather is what, so the weather is huge. And I think that opportunity to engage with the outdoors is paramount. Us being in the area neighborhood of Buckhead, that's walkable and connected to the. Outdoors, obviously, you're engaging with the weather, whatever it wants to do. And it's interesting now because it's getting a little warmer out, right? So we're going to see how it changes. But it was amazing to even see from winter to spring how much that changed the vibe. Where people now, they just shed those winter clothes and they're ready to get out for spring and summer. So it's been amazing to see people engaging much differently now that it's spring and summer. I, one of the things that we've [00:17:00] seen, and I think it starts to almost become formulaic within mixed use developments, which is the piece that I want to identify, but I also want to say, okay, what's next and how do we adjust is the large green space, right? We see this large green space Surrounded by retail and obviously we got to handle traffic because these places are Destinations and right now people are getting there But by a vehicle and typically it's a personal car and we have one for one, right? We don't have a lot of carpoolers. So how do we change that paradigm? How do we change that for folks that are just getting to that destination in a vehicle? Getting out and I think the green spaces are awesome. But how do they start to? even become different and unique amongst them. I can look at five or six mixed use developments that have even been created around Atlanta, and that green space is very similar amongst them. Here, it's very [00:18:00] different. We have a restaurant right in the center, that engagement, and it creates a different vibe, right? And I think we're going to start to look at how developers, because they are taking these large swaths. of land, hundreds of acres in creating these new destinations, really think about vehicular traffic and how we deal with cars.
How do we get people there that maybe doesn't have to be for a car? And then, once they're there, how do they engage with that? Is it always a green space? How does that green space change? We've started to see some of, maybe what's next is... Through branding and identity, creating that vibe around wellness. So instead of it being a green space that on Friday nights has a band and, folks can come out and picnic and bring drinks, etc. What is that green space doing during the week? Okay it's yoga, etc. Okay, now do we start to [00:19:00] activate the retail around that park and it becomes doggy daycare and it becomes athleta. Or different retailers that are focused on health and wellness around that green space. And I think that's what one of the pieces that might be next. And I'm interested, always fascinated to look around corners and see what's beyond that. How does that green space really change? One iteration or opportunity might be like our friends over at CELIG at the works who really allowed the existing green space to remain. So it became. 50 year old trees, right? True. Full grown trees, I should say, in a stage that's put in that didn't have to be a carved out, really municured space, trying to leave it a little bit more natural. And I think maybe that's a potential new iteration of these mixed use developments where they save some of the existing and just let it remain So that [00:20:00] people can get closer to nature versus a carved off, really specific green turf, easy to maintain plaza. Yeah. I think we want to move away from that.
[00:20:13] James: So less synthetic, more authentic. That's right. That's right. Yeah, that's interesting. And I'm brainstorming through Atlanta and there are so many examples of courtyards or green space that is, it's where people take their lunch, it's where people take their laptops, but then they'll have a movie night, dogs will walk there. I've seen it where it was reserved and I've seen it where people just got together. Everybody showed up and just, that group was the loudest. So they took over. I don't even think they had any sort of a reservation because I just stood and was a part of it. Nobody asked me to leave. Do you think that this is a result of what we went through in the pandemic when we were so isolated and we did? Have so little access to get out and be part of public spaces that included other people? Or do you think that just brought it to the surface and it was always [00:21:00] there? When people are in an urban environment, everything is so synthetic and concrete. They really have this natural craving to touch a leaf or a blade of grass. I know that as an architect, we focus a lot on the fact that you spend so much of your life inside of a building and most buildings are bad for your health. To spend time outside is good for your health. Give people a reason to go out there and a reason to stay out. Is this something that you think has always been there, and the pandemic just brought it to our attention? Or do you attribute this rise in the awareness of this to something else?
[00:21:29] JOHN MOORE: And that's a very good question, I think. It's human nature, first and foremost. But I feel like it also is partly the fear that we're losing it, right? Is bringing people out there. I remember when I first moved to Atlanta and there was the Peachtree Creek and I'm so thankful that the Peachtree Creek has gotten its awareness heightened versus going away. Because at one point, the idea was let's just cover it up because developable. But I always saw Peachtree Creek as a huge asset. Oh my gosh, Atlanta does [00:22:00] have water. It's, it's a creek. It's not really a river. People love, being on a river like Chicago. Okay, but we also haven't really promoted or supported the creek. Most people don't even know it's there. They drive over it every day, and it's hidden, and then what happens? It becomes a place for the homeless to hang out, and there's not a lot of paths along it. But you start to find some paths along it, and it's really quite incredible that you can be... In the city of Atlanta and all of a sudden feel like you're an absolute oasis. I certainly feel like there's a lot more sporting goods stores than there's ever been that focus on it. Or maybe I just see them now more Patagonia REI. It feels like we want to get out there more. My fear is also, okay, now everybody's going out there. We're losing every day, or it feels like there's less and less of it every day. Part of the draw, I think, is that fear with climate change and everything else that's going on that we're losing it. So how can we start really being good shepherds of making sure that it's remains and it even increases. So I start [00:23:00] to turn that where we're not just getting rid of it. We're actually building it back. And I think that's one of the toughest questions. How as developers do we. To that intelligently.
[00:23:10] James: Atlanta is so known for sprawl. You would think that in that sprawl and in our abundant tree canopy, there would be a lot of these natural spaces. These leftover pockets of the city. But so often it's either a very organized and Manicured Park, where it's a completely neglected patch, often times has a fence around it. There is a good bit of canopy, and there is a good bit of open space, but it isn't utilized. It isn't capitalized on, and I don't mean capitalized, I mean making money off of, but giving people this opportunity to go and enjoy themselves out there, enjoy nature, without having to leave the city.
[00:23:44] JOHN MOORE: Certainly I love to promote it, and I'm out there, I live on the Beltline. I'm connected to a lot of parks, and my wife and daughter and our puppy, who's 10, so she's not really a puppy anymore, but she'll always be our puppy. We try not to get in the car on the weekends. We try to stay on the bow line [00:24:00] and cruise everywhere we can go, and that can take different modes of transportation, which I think... Ties back into the conversation around destination and how people get to these mixed use developments. I think that we're on the cusp of an amazing time where if you count how many different modes of transportation there are on the Beltline, and again, I know it's some folks is dismay, but to me, I love it because people are taking 20 different ways to get somewhere, right? They're riding scooters or my daughter. One day we are on roller skates. The next day we're biking, the next day we're just walking, right? Different modes of transportation that I think are fantastic, and to your point, are allowing you to engage with the Beltline or those spaces in a different way. If we're going on roller skates, arguably I'm not going very far. That's a half mile journey, but if we're on our bikes now that's a four mile journey, right? So we gauge one or the other, right? It's either the motor transportation decides where we're going and how far we're [00:25:00] going or the destination determines the motor transportation We're going to take and obviously with a family that's a variable that changes Constantly and one of the great things about where we are today is just that availability of even ride share and Scooters Bikes, that I think could be encouraged more and along with promotion of those parks and green spaces. Maybe it was last summer we went to the Blue Heron Reserve up in, it's only a mile from here. Right up Roswell Road. There must have been 40 kids playing in Nancy Creek, we had never been there, but it was obviously something we were missing out on. And I think that's one of the gems of Buckhead and Atlanta, but we don't really promote the parks. We don't generally speaking, sit around. We talk about the great restaurant we've been to, but we don't talk about necessarily the fantastic park or Morningside Preserve for all the different. Nature parks in and around [00:26:00] that reserve space that you're talking about in and around our city. The big discussion that we're hitting on right now, which I didn't even know about, and I live right there so it was news to me. The Beltline was always planned to have public transportation. At the time, 20 years ago, was light rail. Now we have a rail car over on Auburn Avenue, right? That was the test, and it started, went back to the one that was there 80 years ago or a hundred years ago, right? It was almost like taking out a hundred years to the day or some Interesting story to connect the 22 miles around the Beltline and all the communities like in a perfect world That would be amazing to have a way to get around the Beltline more quickly If I'm going 22 miles, okay. That might just change my mode of transportation. Does it go all the way to a rail car? I'm not necessarily sure. I think that there's some things in between and if we're designing for the future is the smartest thing to be putting in public transportation that requires a significant amount of [00:27:00] infrastructure, or is there some other happy medium now? I believe that some of the conversation that's going on around the public transportation piece is you've got the old guard, the upswell of folks that kind of created or started it. The beltline early on that envisioned it with rail car and Stryer with rail car. But people have now fallen in love with the beltline as it is. So to use some of our sentiments around NIMBYs, etc. They don't want it to change. And the great thing about the beltline in my mind is that ownership, right? Who does it belong to? Yeah. The thing I love about it is that I think everybody feels like it belongs to them. And everybody wants a part of it. That's a great thing.
[00:27:40] James: Just the magnetism of it. The properties. 3, 4, 5 blocks away from it are still saying on Beltline, because everybody wants to be apart. So it's not like there's extra space adjacent to the Beltline all the way where we could add to it. Everybody's just been clamoring with it as it is.
[00:27:56] JOHN MOORE: It'll be interesting to see what the future holds. I think to your [00:28:00] point, there's a logistical issue with a right of way all the way around, right? And even the Beltline itself doesn't. Actually looped as a couple places where it has to transfer. And again, I'm not the expert on it, but it'll be interesting to see where the conversation goes. I know that there's a lot of federal funding and things get tied into infrastructure like rail that you can't necessarily get the same federal funding for scooter share. And it'll be interesting to see where it all ends up. I think what I would like to see is not just development along the Beltline, but other Beltlines along the Beltline. Other pedestrian cores, like how amazing would it be if all of a sudden along North Avenue there's the High Line. Now, it can't be the High Line because the High Line was based on old railroad tracks, but something that engages with the public. But isn't right centered on top of the belt line, right? And what we have, so what we have is we have the wheel, but we don't [00:29:00] really have the spokes yet where people are creating incredible pedestrian ways that aren't right on the belt line and maybe right now it might take away. Some from the Beltline, but I think there's an incredible opportunity to add to the Beltline with some other pedestrian ways that create a completely different experience and also increase the connectivity. Right now, we are mostly limited to traveling on the Beltline with alternate transportation. So if my daughter puts on roller skates, we're probably sticking to the Beltline. If we get off of the Beltline, You could imagine the terrain gets much more treacherous, certainly compared to the Beltline. So there's no transverse way that we can take that takes us into a different direction or a different way. It's basically we are limited to, okay, honey, do you want to take a left or a right? Versus having a much more meandering path around the city that gives us an entirely [00:30:00] different experience. So I think what you will see in the future will be more of what we call The spokes versus the wheel. I think that we're going to see some things that, and I don't want to say that it's exactly that diagram. I'd actually like to see it not be that diagram.
[00:30:14] James: As the beltline has developed and we see the clustering and the clamoring to get property close to the beltline. Similarly, we try to find that walking, biking, roller skate pathways. You're creating an invitation for people to do something healthier.
[00:30:28] JOHN MOORE: Or yeah, it's a little easier for us to go to the grocery store in the car, because then we don't have to carry the bags up the belt line or take the cart. So we do have to make a decision. Hey, this isn't as easy, but it's better for us to walk. A lot of times, we are trying to find the solution that is easiest. That way, people will use it, it'll start to build momentum. And then it becomes a constant, right? And I go back to the scooters where it almost came as, again, the dismay of many people that all of a sudden scooters got so popular. Oh, they're everywhere. I loved it because you didn't have to [00:31:00] tell people what to do with it or how to do it, right? It didn't have this big federal funding. It didn't have to have this big marketing campaign. Yeah. You dropped them off. It was wildfire. Organically happens. People used them. So I'm constantly pivoting between that idea and what's next. Now I worked on Peachtree Street for a number of years. You can't get between downtown and midtown conveniently or more than a comfortable walk right of a mile without getting in your car. Or, hopping on the train, right? Which, unfortunately, you almost have to go down further than you do to get to your destination. Just a few stops. Yeah, so a few stops, and they're down so far, they're really inconvenient. Versus like Chicago, you walk up 20 feet and you're on a train. I thought, what if there was an autonomous car or vehicle that kind of looked like a troll? You could hop in, hop off. It looks maybe like the real car. Going in a place that people go, finding those destinations, I think they thought some of that connection happens between them. Auburn Avenue and downtown and maybe with Georgia State, maybe I'm completely wrong in that real [00:32:00] cars ridden all the time. But I'd like to find a solution reducing the amount of cars on the road in the city. The highway will handle a different way. Coming to work, I would love to come to work on my bike or scooter, alternative method of transportation, but there's a couple of roads and a couple of paths that limit that from occurring. Right? There's, it's it's so close to occurring that I can almost get here, taking the belt line, getting on path 400, and I can almost go six miles without having to really engage with 60 mile an hour traffic. And I still have some pinch points. At least it puts up roadblocks in my mind, right? Where again, it isn't the easiest solution. I can just take the car. And I can get there. I don't have to really think about my path and how I'm going to get there and then cross some treacherous roads. But I think we're inching ever closer. So what are those solutions that can limit traffic and provide opportunities for folks that, to [00:33:00] me, don't require a significant amount of infrastructure. I've often thought, what if MARTA just made smaller buses, and they were quicker, they were faster, and maybe they're unlimited, there's some way to handle it where it's via phone or via quicker card or just some interaction that you don't have to get on at the front and walk all the way through, right? It gets rid of that middle aisle. You can just hop on. There's one seat on either side. So you either hop on the left or you hop on the right. Just make it a lot easier. We're so in tune to, and it needs to be 35 seats. And, these monsters. I don't like driving on the routes with the MARTA buses. I want them to be smaller. Yeah. They take over an entire lane and they pinch you down. And there's areas in Atlanta where, especially around Peachtree Street, you're getting pinched into the curb.
[00:33:47] James: Yeah. Developers. Visionaries. We see what it can be next and what it should have been all along and without just the criticism, but with analytical perspective of things. I do want to [00:34:00] take a different direction about start to focus on the collaboration and on working as a team. When you work with developers work with architects, contractors, civic leaders you work with people from all different walks of life who are all contributing. Sometimes it's even just the citizens who show up to a town hall meeting or a zoning appeals hearing and those sorts of things. And I know that as an architect, there are certain aspects of being a good collaborator that oftentimes we're taught in school. That we need to be ready to collaborate and understand the Owner of the building, which is typically our client. And most of the time, the relationship between an architect and a developer is portrayed or is characterized as a contentious relationship.
And I, I think that a lot of architects have an idea of developer as this spreadsheet driven project killer, this villain who interrupts great design. And I know [00:35:00] that a lot of developers have the idea of architects as with their head in the clouds. And they want something really beautiful without really thinking about whether or not it's financially viable and it's actually going to make them money someday.
So from your perspective, what makes a good collaborator? And how can we mend these inherently contentious relationships so that the entire industry can be better at working together? I want to take a moment and tell you this podcast is presented by Creative Interface Architecture and Interiors. To learn more about the ideas of this podcast, please visit creativeinterface. design. Find helpful articles, download your free project planning packet, or schedule your complimentary ask the expert phone consultation. Whether you have an idea for a project, you're an experienced developer, or you just curious about what architects do, visit creativeinterface. design, making eco positive buildings practical and impactful.
[00:35:54] JOHN MOORE: I love that, and I love the idea that looking at a relationship through a certain [00:36:00] lens and then, how can we make it better? And I would say that I'll take a long road to answer it, but I'll go back through some of my history, again in school or... Giving these visionary ideas and big ideas and basically we want you to we're going to give you the box And my thing was what they really want you to do is destroy the box, right?
Now some people will play nice with the box and play inside the box and create a beautiful box but I think what they really wanted you to do was destroy the box and see what You can create a new, and then you get into working for a firm. And I've had some great experiences at Gensler and Nelson and working on some really incredible large accounts.
But to your point, you're balanced between spreadsheets and clients and customers that have a certain result that they want that isn't necessarily always the most [00:37:00] visionary. And you're there at the table to bring as much as you can. To that collaboration, and I think we always bring more than probably they want, but that's the goal, right?
That you can continue to have more than what is requested and what I started to see even back When I was working at Gensler, I remember we were at 999 Peachtree Street, which is Empire State South and things people might know which unfortunately recently closed but What happened is that building took over this old courtyard, and that courtyard was an awkward courtyard.
And if you're walking from the parking deck to the building, the lobby of the building, to me, it was a wind tunnel. It was basically like this barrier. Oh it's a cold, chilly day in Atlanta, and I'm good because I'm parking on the parking deck, and I'm walking to the building, right? Oh, but I got that wind alley that I have to walk through.
Where? It's just going to be chaos. They really changed it and re envisioned that [00:38:00] area and added a bocce ball court, which, to me, to a certain extent was something having just been in Europe was like, Oh my gosh, absolutely. But this also, feels like most architects would have said, Oh, let's put a bocce ball court there.
And somebody would have laughed at the table. Why would we do that? You're not going to make any money off of that space, right? We can't capitalize that space, but. Visionaries saw it as creating a vibe and an energy, giving some green space back and invigorating a courtyard that was otherwise just a passage versus creating a sense of place.
And then when Empire South... Started to really embrace or, started to utilize that courier and I think that people really went down there and some of the greatest memories I have from my time at Gensler was having bocce ball tournaments actually had a couple and they were fantastic and it was great to engage in that area.
Then. [00:39:00] That was very clear how a small intervention could take on and create a very different vibe. It wasn't only later that I learned that Jamestown had purchased the building and had actually infused it with a new restaurateur and created that green space outside. What was also interesting is they did as I think as part of the requirement with Hugh is they did...
And I thought breakfast was like a lost leader in Atlanta. Nobody eats breakfast. Oh my gosh, this is it. There's no place to get a nice breakfast in Atlanta. There are limited, no offense to anybody out there. There are limited places to enjoy a nice. Business breakfast,
[00:39:42] James: right? We obviously have houses and drive through biscuits, but to actually sit down for a nice breakfast.
[00:39:47] JOHN MOORE: That's right We have the silver skillets and as you said waffle house Yeah, which are great and have a place but it's very difficult to go and have a very nice sit down Especially with a group in a quiet Inviting setting and [00:40:00] you saw I having going into the building every day Was able to experience Empire State South go from that sort of introductory people learning What's going on to all of a sudden four days out of the week having a private event in one of their spaces Because groups had started to learn Oh Empire South does a breakfast We can have a breakfast meeting at Empire State South and it was fantastic, but it was pretty amazing And again, I had this very cool vibe so much so that it was a great place that I would commonly go so talking about collaboration. So again, the fast forward to where we are today and what was interesting about Gensler compared to my experience today is I saw myself always getting closer to the client, right? And that kind of happens through attrition at a firm. When you go from [00:41:00] drafter to, architectural intern, project manager. Okay, now I'm starting to get engagement with the client. Now I'm a client engagement. person all the time, right? That's mainly my job is making sure that the client is happy. So I'm a bridge between the client and my team. As I'm getting to those clients, I'd always thought, how do we get closer? How do we get closer? That's thought every day. We should be answering their concerns or their questions before they have them, right? We should be anticipating. We know what their concerns are going to be. How do we get closer to them? So all of a sudden, two years later at Jamestown as a third party representative as creating Lupo Group, I now sit in the Jamestown offices. And I am able to wear different hats every day and work with different groups every single day. And I absolutely love it. It's... [00:42:00] For me, it's the first time that it's really been fulfilling work where you're working with all the stakeholders every day. And if you need to stay cool, you like your you're at the table. You're in their house, right? You're hanging out. So on any given day, I can put on my consultant, my real estate agent, my project manager, or my architect hat. And it depends on what they're looking for. But I come into Buckhead Village. Almost every day of the week, we have several construction projects going on. So I'm here all the time. And I have found that my partners here have engaged really collaborative contractors. So on any given project, whether I'm a consultant, whether the project manager or the architect, it's very much a design build or on the fly. Answers collaborative, a very collaborative environment [00:43:00] on the go. And a lot of that has contributed to meeting in person. And I know folks out there love zoom and we love being remote, but I'm just one of those folks. That loves being in person or working through a solution without 15 RFIs and three ASKs, right? I want to get out there. Let's talk about it. Let's document it and let's move on with the next item.
And to me that builds a really clever environment. So for me, it's been One being positioned within Jamestown as a third party consultant, I'm like in the house, but I'm not quite part of the family, right? But I know the inner workings and I'm learning the inner workings and then having partners. That are also very well connected and all driven for that same goal, right?
Of building the project, completing the project. I think being here in the office, and I say this because I encourage the [00:44:00] architects that are out there that feel like they don't. Need to always communicate and connect with their client. I feel like that's a disservice. You need to be their best friend.
They need, you guys need to be best friends and contact, communicating all the time, even talking about other things that aren't project related. Because it's gonna bring your heightened awareness of their Questions and concerns before they occur and solving their problems before they become problems and that really and collaborative environment that you talked about.
And to me, that's when you start working as a well oiled machine. And that's what we're trying to achieve here is from soup to nuts from asset management. Or creative has a project that they want to do here on site. That's going to make the community better, heighten that vibe, create a better customer experience.
Okay. How do we go and facilitate that and get it done? Okay. Now we've got to bring in the car. And [00:45:00] again, here at Jamestown, it's very collaborative. Let's bring in all the folks, let's get them at the table. Let's talk through what we're trying to achieve and let's talk about the best way to achieve it.
And that takes on many different. Aspects from capital improvement projects around the property, how to improve the customer experience from when they park or they walk on site to engage and walk around stores, to then even tenancy and a mix of tenancy, how can we get tenants open faster? I've always loved the idea that, or, when I was working in an office, A couple years ago and then now in retail, what fascinates me is that, if you're a retailer and you're shopping for a space, it's probably 12 months before you actually physically open that space.
If you're a 20, 000 square foot office tenant and you're looking for office space it's probably 12 months before you're actually going to [00:46:00] occupy that office space. How do we start to decrease that? Because we know how time is money and people want. Immediate returns nowadays that cycle is getting short and shortened and where does it come out of right now?
It comes out of the architect's schedule in my mind. We'll just we'll do it when can you have permit drawings next week? How do we start taking it out of other pieces of the process not just? The drawing schedule, but how do we also get folks faster delivery on those offices and those retail spaces so that it isn't taking a year now, obviously construction is going to have a certain amount of time.
Each part of the process has a certain schedule or a certain critical path, but if you can start to look at each piece and start to carve off days, okay, maybe our goal should be from the minute they signed the lease. They're in within six months, right? Okay. What is that? Now? What does that mean?
And even that sounds long, right? But that's an aggressive schedule to [00:47:00] get somebody open within six months. So how do we start that process and look at it differently to try and increase that efficiency and get that tenant, that customer, that new vibe? happening more quickly.
[00:47:14] James: Love what you're saying that you need to be best friends with the client. We are the conduit that get their vision out into the world and we need to be able to speak on their behalf, to bring the vocabulary to their vision, that they might not be able to express for themselves. What are those pitfalls or problems? To help avoid and guide the project in the right direction
[00:47:33] JOHN MOORE: in my experience from a developer standpoint, I think it's about respect that goes a long way and that's where it starts. And I know folks out there might feel like everybody's respected, but really respecting their ideas, what they're bringing, what they're contributing to the table, their schedule, their personal lives, right? Then lead with a little bit more and Yes, and problem solving. Yes, they have certain ideas in their own mind around [00:48:00] what something should be. But when that hits a roadblock, how do we say yes? I'm gonna put it in terms of schedule. We always had folks to us and say, okay, how can we get in for permit next week, right? Genso was the largest firm in the world. How can we not get in for permit next week? Now there are limitations obviously and you can't necessarily get in for a week, but let's not start with a no Let's start with it. If we could how can we get in for permit as soon as possible? Maybe it isn't a week. Maybe it's three weeks, but we're cutting it down from six weeks But how can we take that idea that somebody has or that requirement and turn it into an opportunity? This is an opportunity for us to show that we can streamline this process and get in quicker.
Now, that's just one example. Obviously, there's several others. How can we take their pavilion and make it more significant or whatever the project might call for. But I encourage the folks on the team out there to Come in with a much more open attitude on everything. And how can we may, [00:49:00] especially where there's a huge roadblock, right?
Something like that. And how can we see it as an opportunity to deliver better or create a new process that we're going to do? When you talked about some of the red flags or the pitfalls, we've all become really specialized these days, right? That you're going to go to somebody who only does restaurants or only does retail and does.
I think that there's an opportunity for us to be much more stewards Of some of the easy stuff within each of those verticals, right? There are certain standards and requirements within restaurants. There's certain requirements and standards within retail, et cetera. I think as a profession, we have not been as good as we could be about.
Inducing all of these standards and technical information that makes it easier for our practitioners to be able to step in and say, Hey, I have really great [00:50:00] ideas. There's some things I just want solved, like how many, how big does the vegetable sink need? Or do I need a veggie sink in a kitchen, right? In a restaurant.
What else is required by the health code? What is the health department requirements, right? Versus right now, it feels very much. That it's on the practitioner to go ask those questions ahead of time and go find that information and even with Google, it's still difficult to find that information that I feel like the professional organizations as could make some of that information a little bit more accessible.
So far, so at the moment, what I'm going to say, unfortunately, one of those red flags is firms. folks with that information to make it more accessible. We don't need the restaurant professional that gets to work on every single restaurant and he's, they're the only one who gets to work on restaurants. How do they start to influence the rest of the office and the rest of the team [00:51:00] to answer some of those questions so that there's trust and respect.
If you are meeting with a restaurateur and they tell you That, or they have to tell you that the meat and fish sink needs to be separate from the veggie sink. Obviously that's a red flag and they're going to go, I don't know how to do a restaurant, but how can the experts start to share their knowledge with other practitioners so that they have it when they're going into a project like that.
And it isn't reinventing the wheel each and every time. So that to me would be some of those. Red flags from the developer.
[00:51:38] James: What's the vision that you have, if you had a magic wand and everybody got on board? Lock and step. Your mindset, your philosophies around development, construction, design, and what a city needs and what a community needs.
What would that vision look like?
[00:51:52] JOHN MOORE: Yeah, that's an amazing question. So how do we take older, aging assets and bring them [00:52:00] back so that they become new destinations? The worst thing that hurts my heart is movie theaters. And these great little towns that are sitting empty. I passed by one yesterday and I thought, man, what would it take to really create all movie theaters are a little tough. They're not that engaging, right? There's a lot of people sitting in there for two hours that aren't really talking. They don't have the excitement of restaurants, et cetera. Okay. Then what vibe, how can you bring that vibe out so that people still carry it through a movie, right? That hour and a half that they're disconnected from one another. And maybe that's the inherent. Issue today is that they don't feel like they're experiencing it together with everybody. But those are the things I think about. How do we engage better? So I'm constantly thinking about how we take existing assets, areas, neighborhoods, developments, single buildings look cool as hell, but they aren't performing or as cool.
As I think they could be and how do we [00:53:00] bring them up to have that full life, right? And then knowing how it or even having a vision for how that's going to change. We're very focused on what's the life of the development day one. Oh, let's get these multifamily projects in this apartment building.
Let's get it leased up and ready to go. Okay. That's day one. What happens in 20 years when the stucco starts looking like shit? The building starts falling into disrepair. How much is the upkeep? What's a major renovation in 20 years gonna look like that's gonna make that project really cool?
And how are we Putting that kind of building that into the ethos of that project from the beginning versus let's just make it super cool day one. And then hopefully they make money off of it or they, sell it and make money off of it or have a great story to tell. But then what does it look like 20 years later?
And I don't think we're putting as much investment time and energy in that 20 year story as we are that day one story.[00:54:00]
[00:54:04] James: The structure developments are financed really encourages a very short sightedness. A lot of times the people who paid to have it built, they're selling it before it's occupied or as soon as it's occupied. Yeah. And when people first sit down at that team for collaboration, and you're first trying to pull from the owner their success criteria, can we make sure that's in that conversation?
Not only what is your timeline, but what's the basis of that time? Are you trying to sell it right away? And if they are trying to sell it right away is it incumbent upon us as the designers and developers and just as good citizens to try and create something that doesn't just have a short shelf life?
Or if it doesn't appeal later on, it can be adapted, so the building has an inherent resilience that those theaters are a perfect example. When it's no longer viable as a theater, what do we do with this building? And if the answer is tear it down and build something else. Then we've really missed the mark,
[00:54:58] JOHN MOORE: right?
So it's first [00:55:00] starting with the idea that the building itself is built to the quality that it's going to be there a hundred years from now or 200 or 500 years, right? And then the second piece is functionally programmatically, how can it adapt and change? And what we're seeing now with the resurgence of lofts and all these things was really great built.
Buildings a hundred years ago what happens to all those stick frame apartment buildings in a hundred years from now, right? i'm not going to make predictions on that, but I agree with you a hundred percent that I think That, where I was going to go with it is, or also, let me finish that thought first, is, I think that all buildings should be built with that idea that in a hundred years, they aren't at the end of the lifespan, they've just begun, and they can be repurposed into something else.
[00:55:52] James: We've certainly lost that. Yeah, we've known how to build five hundred year buildings for a very long time. We just... For economic reasons or just [00:56:00] short sightedness. We have it. We need to build better, right?
[00:56:03] JOHN MOORE: Yeah, you're preaching to the choir with me. So I hear you. Yeah, what else? And then I think the other piece is playing well together. What we don't see necessarily a lot of is landowners Developers playing well with each other. There's this autonomy of what their property doing what is their property doing? What is their development doing? Versus how does it integrate with the bigger whole, with the bigger environment? Or how did two properties support each other?
And I think that's really why we see. Large mixed use developments coming in as one primary developer taking over a whole lot of land And developing it and getting into well, are they the best to do retail and office and a movie theater and a dog park And parking decks, right? Or wouldn't it really be better to split it up 10 different ways and have 10 different developers that all [00:57:00] really understand those areas?
And have teams that understand Different pieces of the puzzle have them work on it, but then the difficulty is you lack, lose control. So how do we take that concern of control from a 500 acre developer, right? Development developer to then an urban environment where. You have two properties next to one another.
I can't think of too many properties in Buckhead or in Atlanta that play well with each other, right? That really went out of their way to connect. There might be one or two, I'm thinking Westside, and I think they were still owned by both sides, but I actually think there was an agreement before and it's connected to Jamestown, so I apologize, but it was like Westbridge Partners or something I think developed.
It might have been Matt Brofman originally developed. Westside provisions and before that on the other side of the railroad tracks was where Bacchanalia [00:58:00] was where I worked back in 2000 and I remember at some point the proposal was to put a bridge across now My hope is that it was two different developers to just plate nice together in truth It might be that the developer for Westside Matt purchased the other piece and said I'm gonna connect them with a bridge But to me that would be an example of where two different property owners should have gotten together and created a bridge between their properties.
But how many times have we seen that? And again, the world has moved to an environment where we close off from everything around us versus embracing the community a lot. Now that's again why I love Buckhead Village is when most people ask where I work and I say Buckhead Village, they don't necessarily understand.
Where that is they don't associate because we don't have walls up around our development, right? We're not a specific closed off area that [00:59:00] you know, it's got a big sign when you drive in that says Oh, you're now entering the district We've purposely jamestown has purposely. Encouraged the community in the connection with bucket that there is no line Of separation between now if you start to look at the properties around our development There is a strong wish that they would certainly pick themselves up and dust themselves off and make themselves Equal or even better in caliber to what we're producing here.
And that's a mixed bag We don't have control over all the other Jamestown doesn't have control over the other parcel So as I go out and I walk around the property, I look right and it's gorgeous I look left and I go oh man, there's an opportunity that really needs to be Cleaned up or changed or what can we do there?
And obviously my hope is that we can pick those up and more, but I think the opportunity there is to play well with one another and have connections across and say, Hey, [01:00:00] why aren't you developing your property? How are you just letting it sit there and disrepair? And how can we work together so that your properties and amenity For us and vice versa so that we're playing well together.
I haven't seen a whole lot of that in and around Atlanta. So that's why I think you have projects that, take over these entire blocks versus what I'm just doing. One building and now I got two neighbors. They're a pain. I don't want to deal with them I'm just gonna buy them out and now I own the whole block Okay, but now that whole block it's not five different little unique buildings We're trying to make it all one.
So I think we're losing that a little bit that difference, especially in our urban cores
[01:00:52] James: Yeah, I see that too You'd wish it would become contagious and that you set the example and everybody around you goes, [01:01:00] Oh, great. Now that it's, now that it's happening nearby and it's proven to be financially viable, let's get on board and let's move in this direction. I think that it's possible. And I'd like to think as a designer that when people see good design, they don't just look at the spreadsheet to make their decision, but they look at how does that make my community in my neighborhood. Better. I want to be a part of that so we can move this thing forward. So I would hope that it was contagious But let's shift the conversation.
I got one last question for you if we weren't talking about somebody who owns property, we weren't talking about developers, contractors, architects We're just talking about the average person. They hear this podcast They hear what we're talking about and they say I believe in all of this stuff, but I'm not about to start a project I don't have any seat at that table.
How can I play a part? Where's my opportunity to get involved and to participate in this movement? I believe in what these people, [01:02:00] you and I trying to do for communities, we're trying to do for commerce and we're trying to do for the planet, but I don't have a part to play.
[01:02:09] JOHN MOORE: Where's my part? Yeah. Or even worse, they have somebody that they feel like doesn't have their concerns at heart. Waiting to develop a project next door to them, right? Yeah, but obviously I think there's an opportunity. One of the great things about Atlanta is to me is the NPU system, which was developed and now it might be reworked, right? They're currently looking at it, but it's was developed a long time ago. I forget which Mayor Hart's one of them, Jackson, maybe. And developed the NPU or Neighborhood Planning Unit system where The local neighborhood stakeholders could get more involved and come out and hear about projects and can vote. So I think, to me, that's the easiest way to get involved because the meetings are monthly. And most NPUs in Atlanta have been really great that I have visited. So I strongly encourage, [01:03:00] especially people in Atlanta or any area, to find what is your local organization that kind of oversees That development in Atlanta, we got lucky and have the NPU process, which I think is a really amazing. It was cumbersome for sure. When I was going through as an architect, trying to get a project approved.
And it was amazing to me that other people could tell me what I was going to do with my piece of property, right? Put these restrictions on. But on the other hand, I do enjoy. Engagement and it's really about education and I believe a lot of developers come in or a lot of discussions occur on those meetings where projects are just presented the wrong way, right?
I don't care what your proforma looks like as I'm talking now as a citizen. I used to live in Chozo Park, South of Grant Park, and I knew there was going to be a huge wave of development. Come there, and it started in 2006 and died in 2009. And I knew coming out of 2015, there was a part of me that wish I had a [01:04:00] stake in a lot of that neighborhood because I knew it was gonna turn fairly quickly. And then all of a sudden we blink and I think there was 4,500 units or some phenomenal, crazy number Yeah. Of apartments planned in that community. And of course, what happened? You had a lot of folks that didn't have a great strategic plan. At one point, I had actually proposed to ULI that we do a plan that talked about what is the proper density for this area, how many units could this area hold, by area, I'm saying, a specific area of Chosewood Park, could we designate it and almost do a zoning overlay that basically didn't necessarily just regulate the What people did, but provided suggestions and recommendations for the developers. Is this parcel really right for 2000 units versus this unit next door or vice versa? So could we collectively come in and look at a area use plan for all [01:05:00] those properties and what would be the right. Density mix and write a monetization, right? And the pushback was you're dealing with 10 different developers or property owners, right?
Oh, then that begs the question. I'll just get one, right? But no, how do we push through that process? So as a local citizen, not just being a NIMBY coming in and understanding what is the process? I think now the big phrase is YIMBYs, right? Yes. In my backyard, how to turn that. And so from. Stakeholders on both sides.
Of the river looking to come together and meet midway in that bridge. How do we start to influence the process of understanding and education around what that project will really mean? Not just basis points or I don't like it because it's dense, right? And we hear that a lot. And we, I laugh sometimes when there was a someone I dealt with in [01:06:00] the past that, one day didn't like.
Duplexes, the next meeting he didn't like townhomes, the next meeting and it was like you just don't like development at all or change or or maybe it's, hey, what is your issue here? What are you trying to solve for? What is your concern? My concern is they're going to become section eight.
Okay, so your concern is development at all. Okay, so how do we start to attack the concern around it becoming Section 8 housing and what are the concerns with Section 8 houses versus let's not just say no to duplexes and townhomes and shut down everything. You heard the term cave people?
[01:06:37] James: Citizens against virtually everything.
[01:06:39] JOHN MOORE: I love it. Yes, I had a few cave people in my past.
[01:06:44] James: Yes, I think if we show up at enough NPUs,
[01:06:47] JOHN MOORE: we're all going to find those people. Yeah. They come out, yeah. Yeah, I have one anecdote there, maybe included or not, is I remember when I was living in Chosewood Park, we were just hoping to get any [01:07:00] infusion of investment.
And this is 2009 when development left the area or any sort of momentum around development left the area because of the Great Recession coming. And I remember being at meetings for Chosewood and we were just hoping for anything. We would go to different Groups and organization from trees, Atlanta.
We were looking for influence and and opportunity across several different organizations. We, it was, and it was hard, it was difficult because we didn't have the right mix of this, or we didn't have, have enough people and we didn't have enough momentum to go gain more momentum. And I remember at that time, the Beltline going and talking to folks.
In Lindbergh area because the Beltline was going to extend through their neighborhood to the Path 400 connection, and they were adamantly against it. And I was actually there asked to be there as a calming source, right? I don't want to say moderator, but a [01:08:00] moderator. I didn't know this heading into it.
Okay. Or it felt like I didn't really understand. Because I was in Chosier Park in a very different perspective. Oh, the bell line's coming? Hell yeah! Great. How, what's happened? All of a sudden we walked into a meeting for Peachtree Creek. Or South Peachtree Fork, something. And No one wanted it, or there was a lot of NIMBYs, a lot of vocal, very vocal people, and so I'm not saying that nobody wanted it.
I was amazed that there was anybody that didn't want it. I was also amazed to see that the one voice was the loudest voice, and remembering and even seeing that they would stand up and We're all sitting down, they would stand up to make their point heard and it really had such a, an such a negative impact.
But it was also amazing that the influence it had over the group from absolutely. A few people that were just louder than everybody else. Versus again, trying to come to the [01:09:00] table. Let's understand what those concerns are because ultimately this is the goal at the end of the day, is having, I want to be able to walk from my home to Lindbergh.
Area via a path. How do we make that happen versus just shutting it down? So it's just interesting and I think also being cognizant of it was interesting for me coming from South of the city chooser park an area that didn't have a lot of Amenities and had issues with crime and everything you would, you'd be concerned about and hear about versus, self bucket, right?
Basically much different demographics and us wanting the Beltline so bad and every meeting and people talk, Oh, I did happening. It's not happening fast enough, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. To then get, come to a different area of town and here they're opposed to it. And I think it's also important for folks there to understand.
people in other [01:10:00] areas, right? And it would have been nice to have had those folks come to a Chosir Park meeting and hear how excited we were about getting the
[01:10:08] James: beltline. Many times it's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil, and so you don't have to be elected, you don't have to be appointed, you don't have to serve on a committee.
If you'll show up, stand up, and speak up, you can make things happen and you can shut things down.
[01:10:20] JOHN MOORE: Yeah.
[01:10:36] James: This interview was recorded in the offices of Lupo Group, a third party real estate consulting practice which is exclusively engaged by Jamestown LP, a global real estate investment and management firm. John's team provides a multitude of services from in house architecture and design to client representation for capital improvement, stabilization, and value add. Which is all a fancy way of saying his team can help make developments the best they [01:11:00] can be. More important than square footage, more critical than street frontage, and just as vital as location, a great development has its own vibe. A distinct personality that sets it apart. That vibe is what John delivers to his clients, and that's exactly what sets him apart from the sea of traditional architecture. Now, if you're interested in someone setting themselves apart, come back next week when we interview a visionary and energetic developer whose village of tiny houses has energized a college park community in southwest Atlanta. You won't want to miss it. This podcast is presented by Creative Interface Architecture and Interiors. Please visit creativeinterface. design, find helpful articles, download your free project planning packet. Or schedule your complimentary ask the expert phone consultation. Whether you have an idea for a project, you're an experienced developer, or you're just curious about what architects do, visit creativeinterface. design. Making eco positive buildings practical and impactful. This podcast is presented by Creative Interface Architecture and Interiors. Please visit [01:12:00] creativeinterface. design.