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Sandy Springs Conservancy: Old Target Site Ideal as a Central Park Space

In a memo to the city, SSC says the site could connect to Heritage Sandy Springs. Sidewalks could link to Abernathy Greenway and Lost Corner.

 

In a memorandum, last week, to Mayor Eva Galambos, City Council and residents, the Sandy Springs Conservancy echoed what many say they would like to see at the center of the new downtown plan – green space.

The SSC envisions the old Target site as a central park space that connects to Heritage Sandy Springs and Williams Payne House, with sidewalks that link to Abernathy Greenway and Lost Corner.

The memo from the SSC board of directors said, ”This park could feature large, green lawns, tree-lined walkways, play areas, water features, picnic areas and benches”

The letter referred to a growing awareness that parks increase property values: “Parks are now a new measure of community wealth. The overflowing parking lot at Overlook Park shows us that a beautiful park is a place people want to be. The well-attended events at Heritage and the Farmer’s Market show us that people enthusiastically attend events in our downtown core.”

led by the city and master planning firm Goody Clancy, Terry Morris, an expert in development projects said, “What I would like to see is us get away from the monument called City Hall.”

Morris said town squares with a City Hall at the center don’t work. “You drive into the square and City Hall is right in the center and then it’s dead on the weekends.”

Morris is married to Cheri Morris who serves on the SSC board of directors. The full SSC memo is attached to this story.

Cheryl Wolf May 11, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I agree with Dave. I think having a cafe where you can sit outside and enjoy the scenery of the park would be great. I also think that if there is space for concerts, festivals, plays, along with an area for running ,biking and play activities,ie: swing sets would be awesome. One fountain located in the center would be beautiful. Last but not least we need to have picnic areas too.
Danny Martin May 11, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I see no reason why we can't incorporate all of these ideas. I think of the park more as an urban green that can serve many functions including farmers market and festival events, it can then be surrounded by art galleries, fine restaurants and even an auditorium that might provide city council chambers ( but not court or police functions). Mt. Vernon and Hildebrand could become walkable shop lined streets with multifamily housing above to connect over to the Heritage Center, the amphitheatre and City Walk. The focus will be on arts, fine crafts, music, shopping and sidewalk cafes. Then Sandy Springs will become a one of kind place that everyone will benefit from. We can do it all and better than Roswell or Buckhead if planned correctly.
David Davis May 12, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I am personally heartened to read all the positive responses in support of a green, park like central city and opposed to a monumental city hall. A large city hall with a co-located police presence would create a dead zone on weekends as others have suggested. The real question we should be asking is whether or not large monumental city halls are still relevant in the 21st century in the age of the internet where increasingly routine interactions with city hall are conducted online? And, is there really a compelling reason to place city employees in offices located in some of our most valuable real estate? I believe the answer to both questions is of course not. What the City Manager and those studying the city hall question should do is determine just which employees and how many as part of their daily duties actually need to meet with residents to conduct business and then determine where and how that interaction can best be accomplished. For example, in Henry County, the county took over a former strip mall once anchored by a grocery store. They turned the strip mall into a county services annex placing many of their customer facing services in the former strip mall. Most importantly, they singled out those services that require customer contact and provided easy access and convenient parking at the former strip mall. That is the kind of innovative customer focused thinking we should strive for in Sandy Springs.
jackie null May 15, 2012 at 03:32 PM
yes, let the park be the central catalyst. all fantastic cities have a central park or string of parks. Roswell',s problem is their central park is not connected to canton street where all the shops and cafes are located. two separate places. no link. very important to have connectivity with extra wide sidewalks, winding pathways, separate bike paths (why not aspire to get designations and awards as most livable,, walkable bikeable city in the country?we can build everything off of that.
LJs Mom August 10, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Sandy Springs needs a Central Park to anchor all city center with shops, restaurants and retail. We have the chance to be the first city to actually have a true walkable connected true city center!!! Lets give a reason to keep Sandy Springs money in Sandy Springs!!!

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