The City Springs rental rates have been tweaked to attract major arts organizations to book multiple events at Sandy Springs’ new civic center.

The change allows Michael Enoch, general manager of the facility’s several venues, to offer discounted rates to certain nonprofit organizations that book more than five events a year. Enoch said such a discount system is an industry standard.

Nonprofits already receive a discount of 25 to 50 percent off regular rental rates for City Springs facilities, which include the 1,100-seat Byers Theatre and many other spaces. With the new change, approved by the City Council and Public Facilities Authority on Dec. 19, certain groups would get further discounts based on their number of annual bookings. For six to 10 events a year, there is a 10 percent discount; for 11 to 15 events, a 15 percent discount; and for 16 or more events, a 20 percent discount.

An “event” can mean multiple nights of the same show, or completely different performances. The discount applies to renting any space in City Springs.

The goal of the discount is to encourage both quality and quantity of bookings. The discounts apply only to groups with “affiliate status,” which essentially means they are respected, stable, nonprofit arts organizations that produce at least six performances a year and create at least half of their content themselves. The organizations also must operate “in accordance with accepted community standards, morals, and values,” according to the city.

At the council meeting, Councilmember Tibby DeJulio asked whether it was OK to give different groups different rates – essentially treating them unequally – in a public facility. Enoch said city legal staff had reviewed the discount system.

The City Springs complex — located on a site bordered by Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs Circle and Johnson Ferry and Roswell roads — includes a new City Hall, theater and arts spaces, a large park, apartments and retail space. It is set to open in phases next year, with the housing in January; the park in the spring or summer; followed by City Hall and the Byers Theatre. For more information, see

John Ruch

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