The Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce is drumming up support for Mercedes-Benz USA’s controversial proposal to rename a city street for itself.

MBUSA aims to rename part of Barfield Road, where its new corporate headquarters is under construction. The name change would also affect a Mormon temple, which objects on the grounds that a luxury carmaker’s brand has no place on the address of a site devoted to Christian anti-materialism. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plan to oppose the renaming at a March 7 City Council hearing.

In a March 1 email, Chamber President and CEO Tom Mahaffey urged members to support to the renaming and offered to provide “talking points” to counter the church’s objections. He noted that the name change affects only part of the street and said it’s worth doing for Sandy Springs’ own branding.

“By changing the name gives Sandy Springs global identity, as they market their products,” Mahaffey wrote. “Mercedes Drive makes the city sound more professional. Who wouldn’t want to have an address on Mercedes Dr[ive]?”

“There will be opposition from the Mormon church members (most do not live in Sandy Springs) not to change the name…,” Mahaffey wrote. But, he noted, the church’s property extends to Glenridge Drive, a street parallel to Barfield, and he suggests the temple simply change its address to that other street.

The LDS church operates two distinct facilities on the property. One is a meetinghouse, or typical church, fronting on Glenridge. The other, fronting on Barfield, is the Atlanta Georgia Temple, one of the religion’s holiest sites in the world, open only to certain church members or for special ceremonies like weddings.

Mahaffey said he is not aware of other organizations or officials that might be supporting the renaming.

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

16 replies on “Sandy Springs Chamber drums up support for Mercedes-Benz street renaming”

  1. Chamber President Mahaffey does not understand the precedence this will set for Sandy Springs. Each property owner will then have the right to petition the City to rename the portion of the street in front of their property (both sides of the street could have different names). Imagine the confusion if you rename portions of Roswell Road to “Starbucks St. , Wells Fargo Way, Longhorn Lane or Waffle House Close. I am sure renaming 1/2 mile of Barfield will not scream global identity. Leave historical names on streets and be proud of Sandy Springs.

    1. An alternative would be a nicely landscaped entry off Barfield named Mercedes and used as a mailing address for the company as well as “branding” their own road.

    2. Sue,

      Well said. I’d add that the CID should be the one footing any bills related to roads and costs related to accommodating such business in their tax district. Time for this little club called a CID to be fiscally responsible for the costs associated with existing as a taxable entity. Time for the City tax payers to stop being the CID’s financial pocket book.

        1. thanks for the correction.

          That CID still needs to be cut off from SS funding regardless how high they have to go in rates for those effected to meet obligations..

  2. Mr. Mahaffey,

    Mercedes Benz
    1 Any Street Anywhere

    The street name matters how to promoting Sandy Springs?
    I’m an Audi guy others Hyundai, remember them they’ve an
    actual manufacturing plant in Georgia not just an executive tower
    Religion is the bait for Republicans then it’s really about business
    being able to reign free over society.

    1. “religion is the bait for Republicans then it’s really about business being able to REIGN FREE OVER SOCIETY” ??? So says the Audi guy…

      Thanks Kevin, it’s been boring in the office, I needed a chuckle…Back to work…I AM the KING of this business !!…..

  3. Keep in mind, the SS Chamber only influences the City Council. SS City Council is your problem. It cares not what it’s citizens want, but rather how much money is to be made, mostly for themselves. They are elected officials and should be voted in or out based on decisions like this one, Glenridge Hall, and the massive re-zoning along Roswell Rd. that’s putting small businesses out-of-business. Sandy Springs citizens should vote accordingly.

  4. Hey Mr. Mahaffey,

    Spend a moment reading a map. This doesn’t just affect the Temple, it also affects EVERYONE who lives off of Barfield Road. There are townhomes and apartments — ALL TAXPAYERS who will now have to tell people to turn on to Mercedes Drive even though it’s REALLY Barfield Road. These are the same people who will be impacted by increased traffic because you’ve added another employer on their street.

    But then your average taxpayer no longer matters in Sandy Springs. It’s all about keeping businesses and developers happy.

  5. SS does not need Mercedes Benz. The city is successful and has plenty of companies and offices. The city collects over $100 million in taxes annually. Having Mercedes here does not make us a better city. It is just another company. Some improvements that the city can make are way less apts – they compained for years on all apts approved in past and then approve even more. And build more youth facilities centeally located such as as a large multi purpose gym with volleyball and basketball courts and a swim facility. The operations can be outsourced if cheaper. And maybe more athletic fields. Hammond Park field is nice but need a larger set of fields. There are over 90,000 citizens – all this is needed.

  6. Mr. Mahaffey mentions that only some of the Mormons who use the temple live in Sandy Springs, as if the Mormons are therefore outsiders who shouldn’t be able to influence the decision.

    And he thinks most Mercedes-Benz customers DO live in Sandy Springs? Irony.

  7. Miss Natlie Barfield wants to preserve the family history.That family went through a lot to farm and was against slavery. They suffered through the droughts and had serious problems from the union and confederates armies also they lost of a young female teen age family member that was murdered in a factory and a Jewish man was falsely convicted and lynched in Marietta Ga.I think you all may have read about it.I have known they family for years, they are good folks. We will address to the city and the state to erect a historical marker in the area.

Comments are closed.