The Sandy Springs Police Department (SSPD) and Municipal Court will get a new headquarters with the $11 million purchase of a four-story office building with 12.5 acres of land on Morgan Falls Road, which the City Council approved on Aug. 18.
City Manager Andrea Surratt said the property at 620 Morgan Falls Road gives the city the option for a future fire station site, a fleet maintenance facility the city would own, and a place to establish a public safety training facility inside city limits.
“Eventually we will need a fire station in this area and so this just seemed like the opportunity that might make sense for that use as well,” Surratt said.
She said the property has plenty of space for future expansion for the public safety headquarters and auxiliary police uses, including vehicle maintenance bays, a “shoot house” for training and a gun range.
City officials first tried to buy the property in 2017 when the asking price was $17.5 million, she said. The last offer the city made that year was $14.1 million. At that point, the council decided to emphasize completion of City Hall and the rest of the City Springs project, which opened in 2018. When the city revisited the purchase in March, a $9 million offer was made to Land Investment Partners, L.L.C., 29. Negotiations and counteroffers brought it to the final $11.025 million price. The property is vacant.
The 109,454 square feet of office space meets the immediate needs of the SSPD and municipal court, which have been estimated at 100,000 square feet, she said. Renovations will be necessary to make the building secure for officers and staff, court staff and visitors. Surratt said the renovation costs for the building, which was constructed in 1990, will be lower than the cost of new construction.
When City Hall was located at Morgan Falls, it was obvious the buildings weren’t secure, officials said.
“In old City Hall, I had to share a bathroom with prisoners,” Mayor Rusty Paul said.
Responding to a question from Councilmember Chris Burnett, Surratt said SSPD and Municipal Court have approximately 60,000 square feet of space in leased offices.
Since 2011, the city has leased space at the Morgan Falls office complex at 7840 Roswell Road, she said. Three buildings house the SSPD and Municipal Court. A gym for police officers is located at 182 Hilderbrand Drive. A simulation “shoot house” requires officers to go outside the city to Doraville to train.
Councilmember Andy Baumann joined in supporting the purchase.
“I don’t think there’s anything that my constituents and my neighbors are united on more than our support of our police and firefighters, our first responders,” he said.
The city will put down $100,000 as a down payment in the next 30 days during the inspection period. Another $200,000 will be due 60 days after that.