This rendering shows one of the concept options Regent Partners and Morris &Fellows presented to Sandy Springs for City Springs Phase II. The view is from City Green looking across Mount Vernon Highway and down Bluestone Road. (Regent Partners/Morris & Fellows)

Sandy Springs City Council chose the project team of Regent Partners and Morris & Fellows as its preferred development partner for the second phase of City Springs.

“The proposed development would further the vision to make City Springs a vibrant, walkable district for Sandy Springs residents and visitors byy offering an array of food and beverage options, unique shopping, fine art and entertainment, outdoor spaces, and housing,” City Manager Eden Freeman said.

A mixed-use development is sought with residential, retail, office and hotel space, with sufficient parking for those uses.

The project will include parcels south of City Hall and the City Green, and across Mount Vernon Highway bounded by Sandy Springs Circle, Hildebrand Road and Heritage Green Park. The springs of Sandy Springs and the Heritage Green event lawn would not be affected.

Construction is expected to begin in late 2024, with an estimated completion date in the fall of 2026, Freeman said.

The three proposals submitted to the city and other information are available for viewing online under the June 6 City Council meeting agenda.

The submitted proposals envision the city spending more on infrastructure costs on items such as parking spaces, green space and public streets, Freeman said, though that is subject to negotiation.

She said the city and the Regent project team will collaborate over the next 90 to 120 days to work on a mutually acceptable development plan with financial terms.

City Councilmember John Paulson, who made the motion to choose Regents, said this is the beginning of the project, and nothing is fixed in stone.

“There’s a lot that needs to be talked about here. But the idea was to try and pick somebody that everybody felt, or the staff at least, had a sense of consistency with the direction we believe this whole development south of City Hall should take,” he said.

The concepts are a great starting point, but they are still up for consideration, Councilmember Andy Bauman said.

“Maybe something comes in, maybe something comes out,” he said. “I cannot emphasize enough that when people look at those drawings or renderings or concepts, that’s all they have presented: some really cool ideas.”

Mayor Rusty Paul, who said he observed the process, said none of the proposals were exactly what the city wanted, but believed the city and Regents could eventually arrive at a shared vision.

The city has other partners to bring to the table now, such as the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, which has been waiting for the city to make some decisions.

Councilmember Tibby DeJulio asked how the city will gather public input on the City Springs II project.

“I anticipate a series of online surveys where folks can share their opinions, as well as a series of public information open houses,” Freeman said.

The financial elements of the proposals including potential land purchases by the developer will not be disclosed as real estate negotiations must be kept confidential under Georgia law, City Attorney Dan Lee said.

This site plan was one of three concepts Regents Partners and Morris & Fellows shared in its presentation to Sandy Springs. (Place Maker Design)

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.