Eric Bern Studio will be in a new location by January of next year.

The Sandy Springs City Council on Feb. 18 voted to purchase the ‘s property at 161 Mount Vernon Highway so that it can extend Blue Stone Road as part of the Downtown Redevelopment Plan, connecting the future City Center to Heritage Sandy Springs.

The city will pay $1 million for the photographer’s property, as well as an additional $137,000 for moving and relocation expenses. Bern will be able to stay in the property rent-free until Jan. 10, 2015, while he secures a new location.

In November, Bern submitted an editorial to Reporter Newspapers, expressing dismay when the council voted to demolish his 23-year-old property, saying that the offer at the time did not cover the cost of moving and purchasing a comparable property.

But now “the contract has been approved by both sides” after  “extensive negotiations,” said city attorney Wendell Willard.

Bern’s location wasn’t the only property the council considered during the council’s Feb. 18 meeting for City Center purposes. It also voted to authorize the use of eminent domain, if needed, for 6087 Roswell Road and 6094 Boylston Road, with the properties needed to construct a connector between the two roads. Negotiations to purchase the properties are ongoing.

–Ann Marie Quill

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.