A Verizon Wireless cell tower in downtown Sandy Springs will come down early next year at no cost to the city.

A 2015 Google Earth image of 182 Hilderbrand Drive with the Verizon cell tower in the rear.

A deal to extend a city lease in exchange for the no-cost demolition of the tower at 182 Hilderbrand Drive was approved by the City Council at its June 21 meeting.

The tower stands behind a building currently used by the Sandy Springs Police Department as a “physical fitness and tactics” training facility, according to city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. The tower is used for Verizon’s wireless communications and not for any police broadcasts, Kraun said.

The city bought the property in 2013 and took over Verizon’s lease. The tower has been on the site since the 1980s, Kraun said.

According to assistant city attorney Cecil McLendon, Verizon’s lease was set to expire Aug. 14. The company no longer wants the tower, but did want to use it for a few more months. The lease, McLendon said, contained an option that let Verizon leave the tower standing for the city to deal with. City Councilmember John Paulson, an engineer, said he has been involved professionally in another tower demolition that cost $60,000.

The City Council agreed to a deal that extends Verizon’s lease through year’s end for $1,000 per month in exchange for the company taking the tower down itself at no cost to the city. Verizon will have until the end of February to remove the tower.

The city bought 182 Hilderbrand for $800,000 as part of its land assembly for its future City Springs downtown district. Kraun said the “immediate plan” is for the police to continue using the building.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.