ULI Honors Former Atlanta Mayor Franklin, Others at Development of Excellence Awards

By Tony Wilbert, Wilbert News Strategies

ATLANTA (Sept. 17, 2010) – ULI Atlanta honored former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, developer Don Childress and the Southface Campus at its 16th Annual Development of Excellence Awards Dinner held at 200 Peachtree downtown.

Former Atlanta Mayor Franklin ULI awards ULI also honored Hotel Indigo in Athens, White Provision on Howell Mill Road and Piedmont Park Conservancy’s “Greystone” redevelopment and pool in Midtown. These projects each won a Development of Excellence Award from ULI Atlanta. Southface’s campus won the Sustainability Award.

One of the evening’s highlights came when Mayor Franklin (pictured at awards, left) won the Dan Sweat Community Award, received two standing ovations. ULI selected Franklin for the award because of her work to increase sustainable development in the city (the Atlanta BeltLine) and for taking the courage to overhaul Atlanta’s ancient sewer system. Franklin, who earned the name “The Sewer Mayor” for her efforts, said she was honored to win the award named for Dan Sweat, who devoted his work to improve the city.

“I know the tremendous contributions that Dan Sweat made in the latter half of the 20th century,” she told the audience. “It’s exactly what he expects us to do moving forward in the 21st century.”

Don Childress, a co-founder of Childress Klein Properties, won the Frank Carter Community Achievement Award. The award is named for Frank Carter, who founded Carter as Pope Carter with Ewell Pope in 1958. Frank Carter earned the nickname the “Mayor of Midtown” because of his devotion to the district.

As part of the ceremony, ULI showed a video that featured Jack Guynn, former president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Billy Peebles, headmaster of Lovett School; and Tad Leithead, chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission, talking about their relationships with Childress. 

“Don had the vision to make a major investment in Midtown when no one else was paying attention to it,” said Jack Guynn, the former Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president who served with Childress on boards of groups aimed at improving Midtown.

Upon accepting the award, Childress said he was honored to accept an award named for Frank Carter, whom Childress described as “a fierce competitor and a real gentleman.”

“Certainly, this is the highest honor I’ve had in my life,” Childress said.

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