A study commissioned by the Sandy Springs City Council says that the city is equipped to support a 750-to-1,000 seat performing arts center.

Charlie Johnson, with Johnson Consulting, urged Sandy Springs officials at a July 9 workshop to explore an option close to 1,000 seats to give a future facility room to grow along with the community.

Johnson Consulting was hired by the city in January to conduct the study after a performing arts center was recommended as part of the City Center Master Plan.

The study cited a growing, highly educated population with a high median income as a community that would support an intimate-style center.

“Sandy Springs fits in that model very nicely,” Johnson said.

Johnson told the city council that by Year 5 a performing arts center could bring in 219,900 to 353,200 attendees a year, depending on the type of facility built. It would also have the potential to bring in revenues as high as $5.4 million, with a net income of $400 thousand.

City Manager John McDonough said that following the study presentation, the next steps will be for the development team and city staff to prepare a range of options, followed by a special called meeting on July 23 to discuss the pros and cons of the options, and a public information open house on July 24, with the city council providing direction to the development team in August.

“I don’t want this to be a drain on city funds,” said councilman John Paulson. Mayor Rusty Paul suggested looking at cost and income through the life of the project. Paul said that public input would be crucial to developing a plan, and that he would approach the corporate and private sectors to help fund a potential project.

Ann Marie Quill

Ann Marie Quill is Associate Editor at Reporter Newspapers.

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