Renting space at the new City Springs facility would run anywhere from $3,500 a day for the main theater to 50 bucks for a boardroom, in event rental rates proposed at a Sandy Springs City Council work session June 6. The rates include 25 to 50 percent discounts for nonprofits and non-commercial events.
City Springs is a public-private development, on Roswell Road between Johnson Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Highway, that will include a new City Hall, a large theater, a new park, housing and commercial space. The main “performing arts center” and public spaces are set to open in about a year.
Michael Enoch, the arts center’s general manager, is responsible for renting all the public spaces inside and outside City Springs. There are 22 of them in total, he told the council, including the City Hall lobby, a rooftop terrace, the “City Green” park and the adjacent section of Mount Vernon Highway, which can be closed for festivals. The performing arts center itself has five different sections for rent.
Enoch said he hopes to have the rental rates approved by the council shortly so he can start booking events in July. City officials have said that major events, such as touring concerts and plays, must be booked 12 to 18 months in advance.
There are two separate schedules of rental rates: one for commercial events and one for nonprofit or noncommercial events. The nonprofit rates are at least 25 percent lower, and most are discounted 50 percent on weekdays. Enoch said there will be some leeway to negotiate rates, especially if in-house catering services are part of the deal, and some spaces may get even lower half-day rates.
The most expensive space is the largest, the 1,000-seat performance hall. It’s proposed to rent for $3,500 a day for major commercial performances and as low as $1,100 a day – roughly $1.10 per seat – for nonprofit or private events.
Likewise, the smallest boardroom is the least expensive option, with rates of $50 to $100 per day.
In some other examples, the Studio Theatre is proposed at $1,200 a day ($900 for nonprofits); the City Green and Mount Vernon Highway would be $1,500 a day each at commercial rates.
Enoch said he reviewed 10 to 15 other facilities in metro Atlanta and nationally to get a sense of the market rate for booking this type of facility. Some of the local venues he looked at were the Buckhead Theatre, the Fox Theatre, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and the Infinite Energy Center.
Booking major spaces will require an application process. Some of the spaces are also being used for city functions – including the City Council’s own meetings – that will get priority booking. There are also complexities in making sure a theater and its lobby space are not booked for conflicting events. And those discounted nonprofit rates can only be guaranteed up to 45 days ahead of time; people with reservations can pay the market rate to keep the space if there is another offer.
City Councilmember John Paulson praised Enoch’s work on the “incredibly complex task,” and Councilmember Ken Dishman said the rate schedule “looks fantastic.”
Mayor Rusty Paul has voiced particular concerns about making sure City Springs is available in some way to all residents across a range of income levels. He said that it is important to get input about the proposed rental rates from local arts groups and the general public. The final rates require City Council approval, likely at its June 20 or July 18 meetings.
The full schedule of the proposed rental rates can be viewed on the city’s website here. The city likes to get input through its call center, whose contact information is available here, but many residents continue to contact Paul directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.