A four-story riverfront event facility served by motorized trolleys is proposed for a Sandy Springs residential lot near the bridge to Roswell.

The plan by Sandy Springs resident William Odrey II is slated for a preliminary community meeting Aug. 29. No plans have been filed yet, and Odrey was not immediately available for comment. Pete Hendricks, Odrey’s attorney, said the idea is partly inspired by how a planned pedestrian and bicycle bridge might impact the property at 9755 Roswell Road, where Odrey lives, as a construction staging area and as a traffic route.

“You’ve got this pedestrian-bicycle bridge that is coming from Roswell and it’s dumping [onto] his property,” Hendricks said. “So that’s what gave rise to him saying, ‘My world’s turning upside down. This damn bridge is coming here…’”

The bridge is being planned in partnership between the cities of Roswell and Sandy Springs, with Roswell taking the design lead. Kay Love, Roswell’s city administrator, said the bridge design “clip a little small corner of [Odrey’s] property” and added that it is too early to say where construction would be staged.

“This bridge is simply a complement to that [event facility plan], or vice versa,” she said of Odrey’s new idea.

A Fulton County property records map showing 9755 Roberts Drive outlined in red.

A brief description filed with the city includes a 30,000-square-foot facility with a 5,000-square-foot observation deck on the Chattahoochee River at the corner of Roswell Road and Roberts Drive. Customers and guests would access the facility via a trolley service operated by Odrey, according to the statement.

The property currently has a single-family ranch house, according to Fulton County property records.

Odrey is “steeped in” the recreation industry in Atlanta and Florida, Hendricks said. Odrey previously ran the “Spirit of Roswell” riverboat on the Chattahoochee’s Bull Sluice Lake and has been involved in recreational boat rentals on the river with the Shoot the Hooch company, Hendricks said. Odrey contracts with the city of Roswell to provide recreational services in riverfront parkland, Love said.

“This [event facility proposal] is nothing he all of a sudden had a pipe dream about,” Hendricks said, adding that the proposal has “got very positive potential for the city.”

The bike/pedestrian bridge will parallel the Roswell Road vehicle bridge and is in the state permitting and final design phase, Love said in May. Construction is about two to three years away, she said.

The Aug. 29 meeting about Odrey’s event facility plan is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. at the Stars & Strikes entertainment facility at 8767 Roswell Road.

John Ruch

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

2 replies on “Riverfront event facility proposed for Sandy Springs near Roswell bridge”

  1. Interesting proposal. The Chattahoochee is a treasure but it is largely inaccessible to many. There are only a few grandfathered commercial venues along the entire river, Rays and Canoe, and both are among Atlanta’s favorite spots. Sandy Springs has done very little to embrace the Chattahoochee despite the fact that our 22 miles of riverbanks makes the Chattahoochee our defining feature. I’m not sure if this project is the right one but I am convinced that Mr. Odrey has done more thinking about it and knows more about the river than anyone in city government. I also know that that part of Sandy Springs may well hold the most potential for development and has largely been ignored but that may soon change. I hope Sandy Springs will keep an open mind and give Mr. Odrey a fair hearing.

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