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Alpha Loop website funded, Tech Alpharetta shares 2022 job stats

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The Alpharetta Development Authority looked back at accomplishments from 2022 and upcoming partner projects at its Jan. 17 meeting.

The Development Authority approved $20,000 in funding to help launch a website for the Alpha Loop Foundation in an effort to boost the organization’s ability to fundraise and provide information to the community.

Four of the six Development Authority members voted in favor of the funding. Board members John Goss and Morgan Reynolds recused themselves from the vote because they serve as Alpha Loop Foundation board members.

Mayor Jim Gilvin joined the meeting, swearing in new board members Goss, Shawn Allen, Jill Bernard and Jack Nugent.

Authority members elected Nugent as chairman, Bernard as vice chairwoman and Allen as secretary/treasurer.

Tech Alpharetta update

Tech Alpharetta CEO and President Karen Cashion said the organization provided 1,188 new jobs in Alpharetta and 1,854 in the state in 2022. She said the technology commission had three startup graduates last year as well.

“We hit our aspirational targets,” Cashion said. “So, it was a very busy year, but very successful for us.”

Cashion said Tech Alpharetta placed 20 Fulton County high school interns, including students from Alpharetta High School, Innovation Academy, Milton High School and Centennial High School, with Tech Alpharetta startups in 2022.

Authority members also heard from Alpharetta Economic Development Manager Lance Morsell, who announced SK Battery is opening an office in Alpharetta’s Sanctuary Park along Old Roswell Road. The company’s American headquarters is in Commerce, Ga., where its 283-acre battery plant is expected to employ 2,000 by the end of 2025.

Morsell said construction on the Bailey Johnson School redevelopment is moving forward, but due to weather delays an exact timeline has not been set.

The school, which was the first in Alpharetta to serve Black students from 1st to 12th grade, is set to be redeveloped into an office project after the Development Authority approved the plan January 2022.

Chamber celebrates holidays

Deborah Lanham, president and CEO of the Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce, said the business organization had a successful Sips of the Season event in December with high turnout. She said the downtown City Green was “covered with people.”

“You're seeing, as a whole, a city that is inviting everyone to be down here and doing business and enjoying food,” Lanham said.

She also said the chamber is thinking of families with small children being able to go downtown on weekend nights and play on the green without the concern of the large crowds that events like concerts can bring.

The Chamber of Commerce will host its 10th anniversary gala March 10 and a ladies’ night out April 25.

Authority members also unanimously approved funding for the Windward Technical Assistance Panel. The panel will bring in experts that will survey the Windward District to improve walkability and make workers want to spend time there, Morsell said.

According to the 2022 application for funding, the survey of the area “should focus on how to redevelop the target area while both opening the door to further redevelopment and maintaining or improving connectivity to the users of neighboring properties.”

Reach Shelby Israel at 770-847-8079. Follow her on Twitter @shelbyisrael1.