If buildings could talk, some Sandy Springs apartment structures might dust themselves off look in the mirror and say, ‘Hmmm, with a little tweak here, fixer upper there, I might look better than ever.”
They might even have a little bargaining power, considering apartments are said to be a force in our economic recovery.
Sandy Springs households are evenly split between owners and renters, said Mayor Eva Galambos, recently.
There are 78 apartment complexes in Sandy Springs. More than 20 developments were built in the 1960s and '70s. Many are sitting on valuable land, according to Jahnee Prince, city Economic Development Manager. Some developers are looking at apartment communities along Roswell Road for redevelopment.
“Sites that are not developed start to become attractive,” said Prince. “The Urban Land Institute said that inner ring suburbs like Sandy Springs are going to be the new hot spot, [with apartments being a factor].”
Some apartments complexes are in better condition than others. They are a top priority for Sandy Springs' newly appointed Economic Development Advisory Committee, said Galambos, during last week’s City Council meeting. “We want to upgrade old apartment projects,” she said.
While there are many rental communities that are in excellent care, there are older, deteriorating complexes with worn carpeting and rundown staircases in building hallways.
The Mayor told Patch that Sandy Springs has an apartment inspection program, however the city can only oversee conditions on building exteriors, such as the roof or wiring. “We have no control on the inside,” she said. “When they are bought [management] tends to do some upgrading.”
In the past, apartment inspection officials have discovered communities that did not have a sufficient number of fire hydrants, Galambos said. “We did have one occasion where we had a fire in Jasmine [apartments] and they didn’t have a hydrant where they were supposed to have them.”
Officials now have an inventory list of hydrants in each complex, she added.
The former Perimeter Park apartments on Peachtree Dunwoody Road was recently purchased by San-Francisco-based and then re-branded to Parc at Perimeter. The firm, which owns 11 industrial buildings in metro Atlanta, is very bullish on apartment investments.
Other rental communities are either being built or have undergone new management and property upgrades.
Mayor Galambos said she would like to see more green space for children in existing apartment communities. Older rental properties, such as Versailles Apartments on Roswell Road are very cramped, she said. That complex was built in 1965.
“...The structure is really sound but there is not an iota of space between those buildings. They just jammed them in. There is no place for the children to play,” she said.
Galambos is in favor of mid-rise apartment buildings with six or seven floors that would allow for more green space on the property, she said.