The city of Sandy Springs is poised to spend $4.8 million to buy the Johnson Ferry Road/Mount Vernon Highway triangle it has long wanted to replace with a park and a roundabout.

Following an executive session discussion on Jan. 17, the City Council gave pre-approval for City Manager John McDonough to sign a purchase agreement for the four-parcel site, dependent on terms still being worked out and subject to City Attorney Wendell Willard’s review. The owner is W.B. Holdings Triangle LLC, whose principal is Adam Orkin, according to Willard.

An illustration of the City Springs project showing the Johnson Ferry Road/Mount Vernon Highway triangle, far right, with its proposed park and roundabout.

The council previously approved a legal effort to take the property by condemnation—mostly for negotiating leverage, Willard said.

In December, the council agreed to a $73,600 relocation settlement with the last business operating on the triangle, Magic Mike’s Automotive.

The triangle is bounded by Johnson Ferry, Mount Vernon and Roswell Road. The city wants the land for two projects. One is a park planned for the Roswell Road side of the triangle, facing the new City Springs town center and tying into its program of public green space. The other is a reconstruction of the Johnson Ferry/Mount Vernon intersection into dual roundabouts.

The acquisition of the triangle has been stalled partly because of the former Magic Mike’s building. It dates to the 1960s and was considered historic by the state preservation office in a review required as part of the roundabouts project’s federal funding. That put the roundabouts on hold while the city had to address ways to preserve or mitigate its planned demolition of the building. The city is now avoiding the historic designation issue by dropping the federal funding and instead paying for the project itself via a recently approved transportation special local option sales tax.

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

3 replies on “Sandy Springs may spend $4.8m on land for park, roundabouts”

  1. What is the plan for access to the businesses south of the roundabout on Mount Vernon Hwy? Currently the proposal shows the divider blocking the driveways and the change in road elevation will place a berm there as well. There needs to be an answer before this project moves forward. Let’s hear from you, Mr. Poole.

    1. I have had difficulty finding roundabouts with commercial access that close to the actual roundabout and also with traffic lights which restrict flow. Roswell Road is a real problem. How the gas station will function with its location will be a mystery. I would welcome ideas!

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