The City Springs project’s completion has been delayed up to six months, with the key parts—a new City Hall and a theater—now scheduled to open in summer of 2018.
The schedule change was mentioned in a general update at the Dec. 20 Sandy Springs City Council meeting about the massive, $220 million public-private redevelopment that the city is spearheading on Roswell Road between Johnson Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Highway. The project, which also includes housing, retail space and parks, has risen rapidly over the past year.
The previously announced completion timeframe was late December 2017, though that was always presented as an estimate. In the council update, City Manager John McDonough said the current opening schedule is: privately developed housing, early 2018; the main park, March 2018; the performing arts center and offices, summer 2018.
The project remains within its fixed budget.
The delay was not explained in detail and was barely acknowledged by councilmembers. McDonough said that the city “prioritized quality over schedule,” while Mayor Rusty Paul said, “If we’ve got to sacrifice a few months here and there…to get things right, it’s worth it.”
“This isn’t like the Georgia Dome,” McDonough added, referring to the Atlanta stadium that is being demolished after only 25 years. He said City Springs “should be a 50-, 75-, 100-year building…This is going to stand the test of time.”
The late 2017 timeframe was never set in stone, and city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said it is possible that the City Springs schedule will change again with an opening close to that time after all.
However, the hiring of a general manager for the 1,000-seat performing arts center—a core feature—already has been delayed from the previously announced early September timeframe. Kraun said the manager could be hired by year’s end. But officials have previously said that shows for such theaters must be booked 12 to 18 months ahead of the performance dates.
The council presentation focused on the achievement so far of quickly building the enormous project, which is so complex that main contractor Holder Construction used a 3-D computer model to illustrate its features. McDonough estimated that the city saved at least $3.2 million by using a method of starting work while still designing the structure, which speeds up construction. The mayor and council applauded McDonough for his supervision of the complex project so far.
McDonough said most of the work in the coming year will focus on interiors and finishes. A “topping-off” ceremony, where the 400-person construction crew will celebrate completion of main building construction, is slated for Jan. 6.