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Would You Adopt a Shopping Center?

Would you support taking action to improve the look of some of Smyrna's aging shopping centers?

We’ve all heard of adopting pets and even miles of highway as a way to improve the community, but what about adopting a shopping center?

right here on Smyrna-Vinings Patch. One reader suggested the following:

“You know how communities adopt highways? Why not adopt shopping malls/business communities and work with the property owners and shopping mall businesses to provide volunteer help where it is needed (i.e. clearnup surrounding areas, repaint parking spot lines, landscaping)? Would the city/business help fund and provide resources for this effort?”

Soon other readers chimed in to discuss the feasibility of adopting a shopping center. Smyrna Heights Citizen said he liked the idea, but was concerned about the legal ramifications of such a project.

“As for adopting shopping centers, love the concept and it has possibilities but it also has significant challenges,” he said. “There are many potential legal issues, private property issues, etc. that are not the same with public right of way or road clean up. 

"Commercial property insurers would probably frown on allowing this sort of thing, not to mention property managers and building owners who would be afraid to get sued if anyone got hurt.”

So Smyrna-Vinings Patch wants to know, do you support adopting some of Smyrna’s shopping centers? Who do you think should coordinate the effort? What steps do you think should be made to make sure volunteers and business owners are protected? Tell us in the comments. 

Amy H August 30, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I think it's a fantastic idea. Community improvement should start with the community, and rolling up our sleeves and putting in the work we all think is so desperately needed is how it's done. I volunteer on occasion with Keep Smyrna Beautiful, and I think they would be a great group to include in this dialogue. Of course, they would likely need additional funds and volunteers to coordinate the effort. Perhaps they could partner with the Rotary Club, another group that has a vested interest in seeing the aesthetic quality of Smyrna improve (thus attracting more residents and businesses, thus increasing the tax revenue base, and so on).
Smyrnan August 30, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Adopt A Business http://www.100urbanentrepreneurs.org/our-funding/adopt-a-business-overview/
Joe Lukas August 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM
I am all in. Having been fortunate enough to have served as a Board Member and Chairman of Keep Smyrna Beautiful, I believe this is a very worthy cause toward advancing the mission of beautifying our great city.
Tim T. August 31, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I've recently been considering the possibility of using crowd-funding to raise money for local projects in lieu of taxation burdens like TSPLOST. Kickstarter and IndieGoGo have excellent and successful models which operate on the generous donations of thousands of donors. Obviously it would be up to someone to take charge of the effort and ensure appropriate checks and balances are in place to avoid misuse and that all applicable legal hurdles are anticipated. It might be something that local organizations should look into.
30082 August 31, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Thanks Sydney for posting my comments regarding Adotping a business/shopping mall. It seems that Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and Keep Smyrna Beautiful could team up to 1. resolve legal ramifications, 2. organize funding through donations and businesses and 3. coordinate the effort. My neighborhood has an email distribution list and facebook sight that I could easily (hopefully) round up some folks for a volunteer effort if someone were to put it together. If we could put a task force together, I'm sure we could create a facebook page together and market that way. Personally, I would like to begin with existing and more established businesses that just may not have the funding to improve their property. Keep Smyrna Beautiful sounds like a wonderful organization but needs to be more visible to the community. For example, after a cleanup project...with permission of the propery owner, a sign that says "Keep Smyrna Beautiful was here. Team up to make a difference." Heck, Active Pest Control puts one in my yard after every visit. Overall, I'd like to see consistant community support for our local business but the local businesses MUST be involved as well. Volunteer Business consultants similar to what the link above is requested would be amazing for our community (thanks Smyrnan). We need to consistantly volunteer and though important, not just random acts of kindness. My wife and I will soon have some free time that we would like to invest in our community and we'd be glad to help.
Sydney Busby (Editor) August 31, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Thank you for the great idea, DG!
30082 August 31, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Maybe we could get that HGTV show Curb Appeal involved. Aren't they based here in Atlanta? Honestly, I think people are thriving for positive acts of kindness with all that is going on in this world. Once organized, I think the news could really help get the word out with Smyrna Patch leading the way ;)
Michelle August 31, 2012 at 01:50 PM
DG, I know someone that may have a direct connection with curb appeal. I could see if he would ask them about the possibility. I also like your idea about the sign stating KSB or the organization "was here". I am currently on volunteer restrictions (to many projects...haha) but I have a strong feeling that my husband and I would love to help in any way we could. Thank you for getting the dialogue started. Hopefully we will see some follow through...this is a GREAT idea!!!! :)
Duncan August 31, 2012 at 03:25 PM
In this time of Republican inspired unemployment, it's a bit off-putting for mall owners to expect their customers to also volunteer to provide 'custodial services' to their properties; why don't the mall owners break down and provide a few paying jobs to the communities in question and stop bumming off the public?
PJ August 31, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Duncan I totally agree with you....let's see some already may receive tax breaks, higher cost of merchandise/services to customers and now you want free labor! Why not employ some people or better yet - give our youth jobs. Maybe this will help keep some of them off the streets and out of trouble!
30082 August 31, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Good thought Duncan and thanks for your input. The following is to not negate your comments because your opinion really does matter. I don't believe it's exactly bumming off the public but rather a proactive effort for our community to band together and help our business owners. Call it what you may but I think that any effort to cleanup a community is worth the time. Please be willing to provide solutions because it seems that you may have some thoughts on the matter. Also, although this conversation may have political impact, I'd prefer to not make it the main topic of discussion but rather focus on ways to group as a community to do great things. Thanks again for your thoughts and concerns.
30080 September 01, 2012 at 01:21 AM
There wouldn't even be a need for this discussion if the city of Smyrna had a competent mayor and qualified economic development dept.

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