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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Surf 'n' turf, Buckhead-style

Before they met this afternoon to discuss the city's budget crisis, Mayor Shirley Franklin and a large number of City Council members lunched with the Buckhead Coalition at its 19th annual meeting.

The main course at 103 West was filet mignon and salmon, and most of the city's upper-crust business leaders were in attendance. Also working the crowd were Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves. Franklin spoke briefly, saying her administration is tackling the tough issues and she ended with a "Go Buckhead!" cheer.

David Stockert, the chairman of the coalition and president of Post Properties, championed "the demise of the excessive nightlife revelry" in Buckhead and the plans to redevelop the shopping district into something of a Rodeo Drive of the South.

And here's a fun fact we didn't know: Buckhead retail shops do $1 billion in annual sales, 40 percent of which comes from people who travel more than 100 miles to come to the area.

Stockert says the group understands that traffic is still an issue. "The Coalition pledges to continue pressing for improvements in this arena as a top priority, including the present campaigns for Piedmont upgrading, development of the Beltline, and ramping Ga. 400 south to I-85 and back."

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