By John Schaffner

One River Place, dubbed by its developers as the last remaining housing community on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, celebrated a grand opening May 1 with a snip of a ribbon and remembrances of the property from Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos.

As someone who has lived in Sandy Springs for 30 years, Galambos told the crowd at the noontime event, “I have to give you a little history.” She spoke of the contrast between the original development of the whole area and the one put in place now by the partnership of Trammell Crow Residential, The Halter Companies and CityView, a national real estate investment firm, headed up by former U.S. Secreatary of Housing and Urban Development Henry G. Cisneros, who also spoke at the event.

“The original development of this area — I think in the early 1970s — consisted of taking down the major hillside,” Mayor Galambos explained. “There is a crest above us with developments nestled in the woods,” she said, standing on the porch of The Meeting House and Residents Club of the development, which backs up to the ridge. It is developed like an urban town community rather than a suburban neighborhood.

“The first developer of this entire stretch took down the hillside and everybody going down I-285 commented: ‘That is the biggest training ground for bulldozers we have ever seen,’” Galambos recalled. “What a contrast with this development that was created in conjunction with the neighbors. In this case, there was consultation from both sides and the designers went first to the people to see what it was that they wanted, instead of putting something on the drawing board and saying to the folks, ‘This is it’.”

The 23-acre One River Place includes 442 residential units with a mixture of architectural designs, from brownstones and luxury condominiums to riverside single-family homes.

Galambos congratulated the development team for a community that “characterizes what it is we the people of Sandy Springs want. Congratulations on being the first major development in Sandy Springs since our incorporation that we can point to with great pride,” the mayor concluded.

Galambos also took the opportunity to announce that Forbes magazine had just named Sandy Springs as one of the three most livable communities in Georgia. She said she believes the word “livable” applies to One River Place.

“From the outset, the partnership’s dream for One River Place was to create a sense of community within this uncommon setting,” Cisneros said. “It is very fulfilling to see that dream come to fruition today….and for the community to be so well received by the residents of Sandy Springs and Atlanta.”

Also speaking to the crowd of real estate agents, members of the development team, local officials and owners who have purchased units in the community were Ron Terwilliger, chairman and CEO of Trammell Crow Residential, and Pace Halter, president of Halter Properties.

Townhomes at One River Place range from the high $300,000s to high $800,000s. Condominiums range from the high $100,000s to more than $1 million.