By John Schaffner

After years of requesting—even pleading—and some help along the way from Mayor Eva Galambos, the merchants at Sandy Springs’ CityWalk shopping center have finally gotten their individual store signs where they can be seen by passing traffic.

On the last days of October, Damian Beverly of Sign-A-Rama in Duluth was installing the signs on the large CityWalk sign at the main entrance off Hammond Drive.

“The signage looks great” Grace Choung emailed to other merchants on Boutique Row at CityWalk the day the signs were installed. “I was so excited that I took a picture while they were still on the ground. Then I went back after they were up to do another picture for you all. I was so excited to see them up.”

It didn’t come easy and it didn’t come free. The landlord paid for installation of the signs, but merchants paid $180.27 for each sign.

“I love the new signs. They are beautiful. It is just too bad it didn’t happen three years ago,” said Julie Routenberg, owner of Potpourri women’s fashion boutique.

Patti Pennington, owner of the Belles Choses store of furnishings for the home and children’s wear, said, “I hope it is not too little too late.” She has been pleading for the street-side signage for four years and pointed to the number of businesses that have closed shop at the center during that time.

“Hopefully the signs will drive some more traffic to the center,” she added.

The spaces on the monument sign at the main Hammond Drive entrance face traffic heading toward Sandy Springs Circle and are all filled with store signs. However, only one of the spaces has a store sign on the opposite side, which faces traffic heading toward Roswell Road.

Routenberg said several emails were sent out to all of the stores in the center urging them to send their money, but apparently not all of the retailers have participated to this point.

Pennington explained that the merchants with the most square footage—but not located along Hammond Drive—got first dibs on getting their signs placed on the main monument sign. After that sign is filled, then individual store signage will be placed on the big sign located at the entrance off Sandy Springs Circle.

At present, the stores that have signs on Hammond Drive are: Fab’rik, Jersey Mikes Subs, World Peace Cafe, Kai Med Spa, Young Chefs Academy, Belles Choses, The Hair Artists, Potpourri and VCA North Atlanta Animal Hospital.

“We’re only doing them as people pay for them,” Beverly said.