The city has decided to split a major streetscape project for its downtown into two separate projects in order to speed up the process.

City officials announced that Sandy Springs Circle Streetscape will now consist of two phases. The first phase will be focused on the section of the road from Mount Vernon Highway to Johnson Ferry Road, which abuts Sandy Springs’ future city center. The second phase, which isn’t fully funded, will complete the stretch from Mount Vernon south to Hammond Drive.

City spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said there is some funding for the second phase, which abuts the CityWalk shopping center.

“It will utilize the federal funds we have,” Kraun said. “The city has applied for additional funding for (the second phase), but we have not received any approvals as yet.”

Kraun said splitting the two projects will allow the city to complete the first phase more quickly. The first phase will be locally funded, she said.

“The local piece, we are able to pursue aggressively in completing,” Kraun said.  “The piece utilizing the federal funding will take longer to complete, as we follow the needed guidelines to receive the funds.”

The city has been acquiring property for its future downtown in the last few months. Since 2008, the city has owned the former Target property on Johnson Ferry. In recent meetings, the city has approved additional purchases. The city’s future downtown will be north of the intersection of Roswell Road and I-285.

The first phase of the city center project will take a decade to complete and will cost upwards of $100 million, according to city estimates.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com