• Sandy Springs mayor says big development points to healthier economy


    SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. - A developer has announced big plans for Sandy Springs.

    It involves 14 acres between Abernathy Road and Mount Vernon Highway, as well as Georgia 400 and Peachtree Dunwoody Road.

    Channel 2's Mike Petchenik talked to Sandy Springs leaders who said the proposed development is affirmation that the economy is turning around.

    "We knew this was eventually going to develop and the fact that they're interested in doing something now says to me the economy has picked up," said Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos.

    Houston-based Hines Development is asking the city for permission to build a major mixed-use project on the property intended for 1.5-million square feet of office space, a hotel, condos and retail space.

    "This shows that this is a very dynamic market," Galambos said.

    "It wouldn't be viable if you were building it tomorrow," said Summey Orr, managing partner of commercial real estate law firm Hartman Simons

    He says the developer is one of the most successful in the business and must be confident market conditions will sustain such a project down the road.

    "You can't just wake up one morning and say, 'Hey, I wish need I had another million-and–a-half of office space.' You have to plan it and get it in the works years and years in advance," Orr said.

    Orr, meanwhile, stresses the need for more office space.

    "As the market absorbs some of the empty space, there becomes more of an urgency to find places to put people," Orr said.

    City officials say the project will likely come before the planning commission this spring and to the City Council by late spring or early summer.

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