Developing a Master Plan

In June 2005, residents of Sandy Springs overwhelming voted for incorporation; the first new city in Georgia in almost 50 years. The City utilizes a public-private partnership model for operations. Aside from public safety (police and fire) and the City Manager’s executive staff, contracted firms provide all general City services. The success of the privatization model in Sandy Springs continues to attract attention from cities around the U.S. as well as around the globe.

The City’s residential population is near 100,000, with a daytime population swelling to more than 200,000 due to the heavy concentration of businesses located in Sandy Springs, including UPS, Newell Rubbermaid, First Data, AirWAtch, Cox Enterprises, Intercontinental Exchange, Vertiv and Mercedes Benz North America.

Following a yearlong, public-involved planning process in late 2012, the Sandy Springs City Council adopted a Master Plan to develop the City’s downtown area.

The goals for the project includes the creation of a unique, vibrant, walkable City Center, which incorporates mixed-use development introducing new dining, high-end residential living, and amenity retail and entertainment options. The project also will create an appropriate setting for a new civic/cultural center that will contain multiple uses such as city offices, meeting space and a performing arts facility. In addition the City block will encompass a green space network to accommodate a variety of activities.

In January 2013, the City Council approved a Phase I Implementation Plan to develop a master block containing civic facilities, a performing arts center, green space, retail and residential facilities. In 2014, Rosser International was selected as the architect for the civic properties. Jb+a, Inc. was selected to design the City Green and other outdoor spaces. Carter/Selig Enterprises was selected as the Master Developer and will also develop the retail and residential portions of the master block. In January 2015, Holder Construction Company was selected to oversee construction for the Civic facilities.

It is hoped that the 15-acre master block development will serve the entire community as a place to gather, to relax, to be entertained and a location in which to reside, in addition to its location as the site for city business, becoming “everyone’s neighborhood.” It was also anticipated that the program will spark redevelopment all along the Roswell Road corridor, which has begun with a number of redevelopment projects already in the works.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” - Alan Lakein

Timeline of Major Events

2012: Creation of the Project Master Plan

Following a year-long process which included 10 meetings inviting public input, the Sandy Springs City Council adopted its master plan vision on December 18, 2012 for the City’s downtown area. The City Center Master Plan includes a walkable grid of streets; a mix of retail, dining and housing; and the addition of a network of green spaces. The plan also charts the future for a civic facility to house a multi-purpose city hall and performing arts venue.

2013: Approval of an Implementation Plan

January, 2013: The City Council approved Implementation Phase I plans for moving forward with City Center Development. The Implementation Plan is intended to provide a strategy and roadmap to steer redevelopment in the City and accomplish the goals set forth in the adopted City Center Master Plan.

Implementation Phase 1

2014: Selection of a Master Developer

June 18, 2014: the City announced that it had selected Carter/Selig Enterprises as its proposed Master Developer partner for Phase I of City Center development. The announcement began a 90-day confirmation period in which the Master Plan and project programming requirements will be outlined in more finalized detail. Carter/Selig was among four finalists reviewed by the City as part of a selection process that took place from January-June 2014. The process included Request for Qualifications, Request for Proposals and interviews.

2014: Evaluating the Scope for a Performing Arts Center and Meeting Space

July 9, 2014: C.H. Johnson Consulting gave a presentation to the Sandy Springs City Council during a special-called meeting workshop. The presentation covered findings from a Performing Arts Center Market Feasibility Study the firm conducted.

July 23, 2014: A Performing Arts Center and Meeting Space Update Presentation was given to the Sandy Springs City Council during a special called meeting on July 23, 2014.

July 24, 2014: Members of the community attended an open house format meeting to review the Performing Arts Center information presented to the City, and give their thoughts and ideas to the master planning team.

August 20, 2014: The city of Sandy Springs distributed a web survey to solicit input from the community on the mix of retail they would like to see as part of the new City Center. The four question survey enables individuals to submit ideas in the categories of Restaurants/food, Health and Beauty, Boutiques/Fashion/Clothing, and Specialty Retail.

August 27, 2014:  The City of Sandy Springs City Council held a special called meeting to discuss planning for City Center. The Council will received a presentation and status updates on Site Planning, Park and Open Space, the proposed Performing Arts Center and Meeting Space, Retail Mix and Project Budget. More than 180 people attended the meeting and had the opportunity to give written and vocal comments.

“Strategic planning is worthless - unless there is first a strategic vision.” - John Naisbitt

Published Documents and Presentations

Following are the maps, meeting presentations and materials, and press reports regarding the City’s planning process.

Meeting Presentations & Materials

City Center Master Plan

  • Adopted Master Plan(PDF), December 18, 2012
  • City Center Master Plan Area Map, December 18, 2012

Livable Centers Initiative

Maps and Images

Community Feedback

General Presentations

“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” - Dalai Lama

Press and Media Coverage