Atlanta Loses Nearly $1 Billion in Growth

27 11 2007

…thanks to the mortgage crisis.

A report created for the U.S. Conference of Mayors shows that Atlanta’s GMP (Gross Metropolitan Product) will decline 0.6 points to 3% (a loss of $954 million) thanks to the current correction taking place in the real estate market.  As bad as this massive number may sound, Atlanta (thankfully!) does not to come close to appearing in the top 10 metro areas with the largest loss of GMP.  That honor belongs to New York City ($10 billion), L.A. ($8.3 billion) Dallas ($4 Billion) , Washington ($4 Billion) and Chicago ($4 Billion).

This shouldn’t be a huge shock to anyone, in Atlanta or elsewhere.  The real estate market continues to see the largest declines in areas that just a couple years ago, were producing the largest profits for investors.  While Atlantans used to shake their heads as valuations in Florida, California and other metro regions returned mind-blowing profits for investors, we should now be thrilled that Atlanta has seen a more modest correction (even if foreclosures are some of the highest in the country).

Thanks to all the mortgage lenders and people that over-extended themselves with mortgages they couldn’t afford.  This massive correction couldn’t have been possible without your support.

Decatur Tour of Leila Ross Wilburn Homes Featured in AJC

27 11 2007

Chris (left) and Tim Russell in their living room on Adams Street in Decatur. (Photo Courtesy of AJC)

The AJC’s Annual Holiday Guide includes an extensive write up and photo tour of Leila Ross Wilburn homes featured on this year’s Decatur Tour of Homes. Having graduated from Agnes Scott College in 1902, Wilburn was a shining star of the Craftsman movement. As one of the only women to have her plan books published in the era, her designs not only exist in Decatur’s MAK Historic District, which borders her alma mater, but in countless unidentified homes throughout the southeast and the country.

Additional info and ticket info can be found on the Decatur Tour of Homes website, including this….

Five of [Lilburn’s] plan books, along with enlarged mounted copies of the plans represented in MAK, will be available for public viewing at Agnes Scott College’s McCain Library during Decatur’s Tour of Homes, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Dec. 7 and 8, 2007.

Also found this interesting…

MAK is very proud that Leila Ross Wilburn’s niece, Lib Kennedy, is the neighborhood’s oldest and longest-term resident. She lived in the neighborhood as a child during its development at the beginning of the 20th century and still resides on Adams Street.

UPDATE: InDecatur links to the MAK District website, which includes a list of all Leila Ross Wilburn Homes in the district.

Angelo Pitillo, Owner of Cafe Lily, Passes

27 11 2007

Theater and wine lover, Angelo Pitillo, owner of the much-loved Cafe Lily died from pancreatic cancer last Thursday.

From the AJC…

Angelo Pitillo bought a restaurant with no kitchen and, even though he never set foot in the region, built it into a popular Mediterranean cafe.

A certified sommelier, he delighted in introducing unique wines to Cafe Lily customers dining on dishes created by his son.

“He had the best Zinfandel list in town,” said longtime customer Jon Abercrombie of Decatur. The restaurant, in downtown Decatur, has won three consecutive Wine Spectator awards of excellence.

Mr. Pitillo used Mr. Abercrombie to solve a wine connoisseur’s political dilemma. “My favorite wine is a French wine he gave me when he was put out with the French,” Mr. Abercrombie said. “He wouldn’t sell it, and he wouldn’t pour it down the drain. He said he might as well give it to a liberal.”

Angelo Michael Pitillo, 70, of Sandy Springs died of pancreatic cancer Thursday at Hospice Atlanta. A private service is planned. A.S. Turner & Sons is in charge of arrangements. Read the rest of this entry »