During its Sept. 17 meeting, City Council took the next step in revitalizing its downtown.

According to City Spokeswoman Sharon Kraun, City Council officially authorized the release of a request for qualifications in hopes of attracting a talented developer to move the city’s plan forward.

City center plans will take nearly a decade to implement and will cost upward of $100 million, according to city estimates.

When finished, the project will transform a 14-acre block north of I-285 into a mixed-use city center. The boundaries are Johnson Ferry Road to the north, Roswell Road to the east, Mount Vernon Highway to the south, and Sandy Springs Circle to the west.

The master developer would be responsible for project design, construction, identifying the financing, and implementing “lifestyle” elements like concierge services.

City Council in August released a draft of the RFQ to gather input from developers. Based on that input, consisting of 11 comments from local companies, the council made some tweaks to its request.

–         The RFQ now says, “Professional Services of Master Developer to Partner with the City of Sandy Springs in the Development of City Center,” with “partner” replacing the word “assisting.”

–         The council added language in the “Project Overview” section to include the Fidelity National Bank property. Kraun said the bank’s owners are interested in potential partnerships with the city.

–         RFQ now includes language giving the city flexibility to “expand the scope” of public and private sector investment in the project.

Kraun said a pre-submittal conference is planned for September 26, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Heritage Sandy Springs.  She said all questions asked and answered during this conference will be posted on the city’s website.

RFQ responses are due October 25, 2013, Kraun said.

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011-2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com