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The Great Sandy Springs City Hall Debate Has Begun

Back in 2008, the newly-incorporated City of Sandy Springs bought the old Target store on Sandy Springs Circle near the intersection of Mt. Vernon and Roswell Road for $8.9 million, with the intention of building a new city hall and municipal complex there, perhaps with some mixed-use elements. The thinking: this new addition, combined with the CityWalk development and Heritage Park, would create a city core for Sandy Springs, and move the nascent metropolis along toward having a 'downtown' that would increase residents' quality of life and draw visitors to Sandy Springs businesses. Well, a lot has happened since 2008. And now the "fun" part begins, as the city grapples with how to pay for a municipal complex that could cost some $30 million to build. And just for good measure, some Sandy Springs officials- in defiance of kindly Sandy Springs Mayor / Strongwoman Eva Galambos, who is "wedded" to the site- are questioning whether the old Target is, in fact, the best place for a City Hall. After all, the city could always sell the (very valuable) Target parcel, and use the money to help pay to build City Hall. But then the government would be speculating on land. Which is wrong (?). There's also the pesky matter of acquiring the land surrounding the Target, which the City needs and apparently believes it can do on the cheap. (Eminent domain, anyone?) You can see where this is going.