The city has purchased a property at 140 Hilderbrand Drive, partly for a streetscape project and partly to bank land for a possible future redevelopment between City Springs and Heritage Sandy Springs.

The purchase, costing $685,934.10, was authorized by the City Council at its June 6 meeting. The deal includes a 1945 house that was most recently home to the business Antiques & Clocks of Sandy Springs and a lot of about four-tenths of an acre.

The council’s agenda described the purchase as necessary “to construct certain improvements related to the City Springs project,” the term for the huge new civic center under construction a block away on Mount Vernon Highway and a related downtown area. There was no other description. The only council discussion involved the mayor joking about the business’s former owner, who is a friend of his.

The city needed to acquire part of the property for its Sandy Springs Circle streetscape project, according to city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. “In working through the deal, an opportunity presented providing a win-win to purchase the entire property,” she said.

The rest of the property will be held for a concept, outlined in the 2012 City Center Master Plan and a 2013 “implementation plan,” to create green space and development linking City Springs and Heritage Sandy Springs, the historic site on Blue Stone Road. Besides aiding that plan, City Attorney Wendell Willard said, the purchase also avoids another developer creating an “undesirable” use on the site so close to City Springs.

In January 2016, the city made its first land-banking purchase: a shuttered gas station at 8475 Roswell Road. Last year, the city also bought several properties along Hammond Drive that it is holding for a possible road-widening project under consideration.

John Ruch

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