More than 100 people rotated into City Council chambers, Wednesday, to get a feel for the latest ideas on Sandy Springs' new downtown.
City Walk continues to factor into plan ideas, and making Bluestone Road an attractive walkable road, similar to Roswell’s Canton Street.
Residents saw informational placards placed about the chambers, while more folks heard a presentation in a separate room by Ben Carlson from master planning firm Goody Clancy.
“People told us, 'We want the City Center to be a place where people throughout Sandy Springs can come, and will be attracted by a whole variety of activities,' ” he said. “They want it to be very accessible. Safe. Walkable; and that means streets with lots of windows facing them."
The planning firm and city staff have focused on mixed-use neighborhoods, new infrastructure that can retain stormwater, creating art spaces, and opportunities for private investment.
The downtown area would likely run along Roswell Road, south from I-285 up to Abernathy Road, including intersections at Hammond Drive, Mount Vernon and Johnson Ferry Roads, and Abernathy at Sandy Springs Circle.
Carlson added, ”Streets like Bluestone, Sandy Springs Circle, and on the east side, Boylston Drive, these are opportunities for walkable areas and the types of investment in buildings and green spaces.”
Surrounding parcels have been assessed and the Goody Clancy folks say that many around Roswell Road are challenging. “You’re probably not going to see redevelopment around there in the near future because a lot of those sites are very successful. There are high-valued uses around them, and other sites are very small and it’s hard to do a lot with them.
The old Target site and City Walk are great opportunities for anchor sites, he said. He echoed what’s been long suggested by the community - the Target site could be green space surrounded by retail and restaurants. And City Walk could be transformed by housing surrounding the shopping center and rearranging retail with connectivity to Bluestone Road, Carlson said.
Several meetings have been held with the community on the new downtown area. Tell us what you think of the vision so far?