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Posted by on October 7, 2012.

Buyer emerges as development focus shifts to City Walk

This composite map of downtown development options combines four proposals with differing locations for the city’s civic buildings.
Option A, the base map, places civic space on the west side of Roswell Rd., near the former Target store.
Option B, shown in inset, offers a different take on the same location.
Option C puts city buildings closer to City Walk and away from Roswell Rd.
Option D places city buildings to the east of Roswell Rd.

Consultant Goody Clancy thinks City Walk will be a key part of Sandy Springs’ downtown plans and there’s a potential buyer for the struggling retail development.

City officials hosted a meeting at City Hall on Sept. 19 to unveil four concepts for downtown development. The former Target property, which the city purchased for $8 million in 2008, is recommended for parking and green space in each of the concepts.

City Walk, located near the intersection of Hammond Drive and Sandy Springs Circle, is now an integral part of the concepts Boston-based Goody Clancy is proposing. The property, which went into foreclosure in November, came out of foreclosure during the summer according to Charles Swain, president of Colliers International Management – Atlanta. Colliers currently manages the property.

David Dixon, principal-in-charge of planning and urban design for Goody Clancy, said the retail center fits the city’s goal to create a downtown that’s “walkable,” connecting retail, residential, green and civic spaces.

“City Walk is a large, underachieving site in the middle of an affluent area,” Dixon said. “It’s an attractive redevelopment opportunity.”

Dixon said much of the property will change.

“(The potential buyer) would not buy it as is,” Dixon said. “It failed as it is.”

Under the different scenarios presented at the Sept. 19 meeting at City Hall, City Walk would become a neighborhood anchor featuring new housing and pedestrian-accessible shops.

Fain Hicks, with NAI Brannen Goddard, is representing the property which is currently under contract for an undisclosed amount, according to the property listing. Hicks said the property was advertised for sale at $27.8 million but could not discuss the details further because of the pending sale.

The asking price is a dramatic drop for the City Walk development. The property sold for $47.8 million in 2007 to CK City Walk Owner LLC.

The potential buyer is not the city, Sandy Springs spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said.

Swain said he isn’t privy to the particulars of the deal, but generally knows that parties with ties to the City Walk property are interested in becoming a part of the city’s plans.

“They obviously want to tie that in and create some buzz in that area,” Swain said.

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