Business leaders can recite a list of what’s lacking in the Powers Ferry Landing commercial district, but they also can name its strengths.
Geography is not one of them, and that’s part of the problem.
The district is close to the Cobb County line and Chattahoochee River, four miles from the city of Sandy Springs. It’s in the city limits, though many people don’t make that connection.
Powers Ferry Landing is home to several high-profile companies, including IntercontinentalExchange and Graphic Packaging, but the community suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. It doesn’t have one, business leaders say.
Nearly a year ago, city and business leaders gathered for a brainstorming session on how to better market the area. Sandy Springs Chamber President Tom Mahaffey said there had been talk of creating a Powers Ferry Business Alliance, but there was little progress. The concerns expressed then were still on the minds of the people gathered at the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce after-hours event on June 25, held at 1600 Riveredge Parkway.
“We’re working on an identity,” said Ron Comacho, chair of marketing and communications for the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce. Comacho’s specific task for the event was unveiling a potential logo for the area. He held up a placard that said, “Powers Ferry Sandy Springs” and received encouraging applause.
“It’s not the Galleria,” Corey Hooper, a vice president with Sun Trust Bank, said while sipping wine. “But it’s not Sandy Springs. It almost has to represent itself.”
Hooper said Powers Ferry Landing doesn’t lack opportunities. He endures a brutal commute to get to his job.
Mike Laney, a property manager for the 1600 Riveredge Parkway building, said Powers Ferry Landing has good restaurants and neighborhoods. He thinks a better mix of uses that includes more restaurants and entertainment venues could do the trick.
“I hope it does take off,” he said.
Cindy Coombs, director of leasing with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, said the Central Perimeter office market is booming because it has amenities Powers Ferry Landing doesn’t. She said the Central Perimeter is more walkable and close to a MARTA transit station, perks corporations flooding the Perimeter Market find appealing. There are bus stops along the river at Powers Ferry Landing, but there’s limited ability to walk to work from them.
She said some customers like seclusion.
“The really cool thing about this area is when you get here, you feel like you’re in the woods,” Coombs said.
But is Powers Ferry Landing’s identity getting lost in those woods?
Businesses and civic leaders said it shouldn’t be, because there’s loads of potential.
Sandy Springs City Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny told attendees of the Chamber event that once people discover Powers Ferry Landing, they will be amazed by what they find.
“This is an undiscovered gem in terms of an office market,” she said.