Sandy Springs has issued a request for a contractor to build a “boutique” hotel near City Springs. The proposal has two suggested sites along Mount Vernon Highway: a parking lot for City Springs and a block where the city has purchased businesses in recent years.
The city wants a full-service, 125-room hotel, with a bar and restaurant, according to a request for proposals document. The hotel should include approximately 2,000 square feet of meeting space to handle small in-house groups, the RFQ said.
The RFQ also mentions potentially shared parking between the Performing Arts Center and Heritage Sandy Springs to limit the number of parking spaces required by the hotel.
At the City Council’s 2019 retreat, a consultant recommended funding the hotel through a public-private partnership and relocating the Georgia Power substation to draw a hotel to the area.
The idea to have a hotel was discussed in the 2012 City Center Master Plan, which said it expected the civic center to spur a hotel within 10 years and suggested a “boutique” hotel that is distinct from current ones already in the market.
Both of the proposed sites in the RFQ are 1.5 acres. One option falls on almost all city-owned property bordered by Bluestone Road, Hilderbrand Drive, Mount Vernon Highway and Sandy Springs Circle.
In 2017, the city purchased the property at 140 Hilderbrand and a lot of about four-tenths of an acre for $685,934.10. That purchase was to bank land for a possible, undetermined redevelopment between City Springs and Heritage Sandy Springs.
The property was purchased as Antiques & Clocks of Sandy Springs but has since been used as an office for the PAC and, now, after being demolished, a parking lot for city vehicles. The only property in private ownership left on the block is a business called Professional Cleaners and Gown Preservation.
The other proposed site sits next to the Georgia Power substation south of City Springs on Mount Vernon and is bordered by Bluestone, Hilderbrand and Mount Vernon. The site currently hosts a city-owned parking lot for City Springs and a gym for the police department at 182 Hilderbrand Drive.
Currently, city vehicles do not have a central hub and are parking in various locations around town, including Morgan Falls Overlook Office Park, formerly City Hall, about four miles from City Springs for overnight parking at 7840 Roswell Road. The city also has a parking agreement with the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church across the street from City Springs at 86 Mount Vernon Highway for $12,000 a year.
The city has been exploring ways to attract a luxury hotel next to City Springs, the civic and art complex, for the last year.