By Joe Earle
Rebecca Patel knows exactly where her dry cleaning business is.
“This is Sandy Springs,” she said as she stood in her shop one recent afternoon.
Her business license may say Sandy Springs, but her mailing address is Atlanta. She’s in the 30338 ZIP code, which until recently was designated as an Atlanta ZIP.
Patel learned the hard way not to have her mail addressed to her at “Sandy Springs.” Most of her business mail goes to her home in Norcross, she said. But once, her mother sent a package of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies to her at the shop and addressed it as Sandy Springs. It took five extra days to get there, she said.
“Once we put ‘Atlanta,’ no problem,” she said.
Just to confuse things further, some of her customers think she’s in Dunwoody. After all, the Dunwoody city limits are just a few hundred yards away, across the parking lot of the Perimeter Pointe shopping center, where her business is located. She can see Dunwoody out her front window.
But times are changing. The U.S. Postal Service has announced that starting June 1, residents of the area designated with the 30338 ZIP may list Sandy Springs as their home town. They may still list Atlanta, postal service spokesman Michael Miles said.
“If you call it ‘Atlanta’ or you call it ‘Sandy Springs,’ it will get delivered,” Miles said.
In fact, because the great majority of the 30338 ZIP area is in Dunwoody, you could list “Sandy Springs” as the address, even if the location is in Dunwoody. “I don’t think there’s going to be a border war,” said Dunwoody city spokeswoman Edie Damann.
Sandy Springs city officials were so excited about the new ZIP designation that they put out a press release to announce it.
“It’s very important for our residents to be able to say ‘Sandy Springs’ in their addresses not only because it tells people where they live, but it also continues to build an identity for our city,” Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos said in the release.
But John Beaver, area manager for the Mattress Firm located a few doors away from Patel’s cleaners, says he doesn’t know that it really matters what the area is called.
“Location is location,” he said. Both Sandy Springs and Dunwoody “are great places to live,” he said, but he guesses his company won’t change how it designates its store’s location.
“This is Perimeter Pointe,” he said. “That’s how we describe it.”
“Hey,” Patel said, “if everybody gets their mail, who cares?”