The Apostles Church of Sandy Springs at Glenridge Drive and Hammond Drive is targeted for demolition and redevelopment into a 201-unit senior housing project in plans filed with the city.

The Apostles Church of Sandy Springs building at Glenridge Drive and Hammond Drive in a Google Earth image.
The Apostles Church of Sandy Springs building at Glenridge Drive and Hammond Drive in a Google Earth image.

“It is luxury senior housing,” said Chip Collins, an attorney for Parc Communities, which specializes in high-end independent living projects. He said Parc already has met with local homeowners associations and “made some tweaks” to its plan. A preliminary community meeting is scheduled for Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

“It’s very sad,” said Elizabeth Dixon, the administrator at Apostles Church, whose church building was constructed only about five years ago. “Basically, it’s just that the building that we built in 2010 has been too much for us and we haven’t grown…We got in over our heads,” Dixon said.

It’s unclear where the Apostles congregation would relocate. The Apostles Learning Center, an infant-to-pre-K preschool, would also need to move. Also affected is another congregation sharing the church building, La Casa de Dios.

Parc proposes a complex that includes a 3,000-square-foot medical clinic, a swimming pool and a 280-car parking deck in a four-story building with a partial fifth floor. It will have a dedicated shuttle service for residents, Collins said, and site plans show walking trails and a dog park bordering the property. Dubbed the Parc Glenridge Senior Community, the proposal requires rezoning, a use permit and a zoning variance for height, according to its city paperwork.

“There’s nothing like it, to my knowledge, in Sandy Springs,” said Collins, describing a high-end complex that is partly intended to allow older local residents to stay in the community. The Glenridge and Hammond corner is “a perfect location for what these types of residents want,” Collins said, noting the proximity to Hammond Park, Perimeter Mall, the Pill Hill hospitals and the forthcoming City Springs development.

A site plan of the Parc Glenridge Senior Community from a filing with the city of Sandy Springs.
A site plan of the Parc Glenridge Senior Community from a filing with the city of Sandy Springs.

Apostles Church has been on the site since around 1959 and its original building still exists on the back of the site, Dixon said. She called the 2010 construction plan a failure of “the Gospel according to Costner…‘build it and they will come,’” referring to a famous line from the Kevin Costner movie “Field of Dreams.”

The new church building has 450 seats for a congregation that remains around 80 to 100 people, Dixon said. Apostles Church has been seeking a buyer for the property for about three years, she said.

“We were trying so hard to find a church to buy it,” she said, but “it’s not big enough for a mega-church and too big for some basic churches.”

“We’re doing good things while we’re here,” Dixon added. “We’re a small church with a big heart.”

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

6 replies on “Senior housing planned to replace Sandy Springs church”

  1. Our current Pastor and Council have worked diligently to keep Apostles doing God’s work, as well as trying to resolve the business issues. Taken a bit out of context in the article … the current membership, leadership, Pastor and council had nothing to do with the build. We have grown and would continue to do so if the overhead wasn’t so high. The school is great … been there over 40 years. That’s why it’s sad.

  2. If you have concerns about this development PLEASE let your voice be heard at the rezoning meeting. Attended a number (5 or 6) of these meetings concerning other rezoning requests and the citizens are given as much, or more, time to speak of their concerns and\or ask questions. The Mayor and the council listen to anyone’s opinion on any relevant issue.

  3. This is just another blight on the landscape of what we knew as Sandy springs,a small ,tree lined residential community. It.s become a metropolis with gridlock everywhere. Residents are being driven out because we feel like hostages in our homes. I no longer eat out on. Weekday bcause it takes me 45 minutes for a 10 minute ride. So, now a lovely corner with a beautiful church is to be desecrated
    Why can’t this church share it with another church or several. When I visit my son in Vail,co.we attend mass at a chapel that is shared by 4 religious groups. It works out well. Maybe, we can still preserve that corner with a spiritual tranquility and not a high-risk,medical complex and parking decks. That corner cannot handle the existing traffic. Why would we add not?

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