Once again, our own Ben Hirsh sold the most expensive home in Sandy Springs for the 1st quarter of 2023!  Before we get to our list of the top 10 sales in Sandy Springs, Q1, we have all the stats for the state of the real estate market year-to-date in our community…

The number of homes sold for both single-family and multi-family units continues the substantial downward trend we saw building in 2022. In terms of sales price, Q1 was a roller coaster, therefore it is nearly impossible to predict how the remainder of 2023 will go in terms of the long seller’s market we have been experiencing.  The market saw a slight rise in prices in January, a very sharp increase in February, and then a decrease in average sales price year-over-year in March. The jump in February was largely due to two $8 Million+ sales, a $6 Million sale and a $4 Million sale in the same month.

Here are the number of sales and average close price for single family homes in Sandy Springs 1st quarter 2023 and 2022:

1st Quarter, 2023 Single-Family Home Sales

MonthTotal SalesAverage Close Price

1st Quarter, 2022 Single-Family Home Sales

MonthTotal SalesAverage Close Price

No surprise, attached housing thus far in 2023 also showed a dramatic slowdown in the number of units sold year-to-date.  However, the average sales price decreased a bit in January, then rose in February and March year over year.

Number of sales and average close price for attached housing 1st quarter 2023 and 2022 in Sandy Springs:

1st Quarter, 2023 Multi-family Home Sales

MonthTotal SalesAverage Close Price

1st Quarter, 2022 Multi-family Home Sales

MonthTotal SalesAverage Close Price

After years of steady increases in housing prices in Sandy Springs, will the slowdown in the number of sales finally begin to impact rising prices?  So far, this does not appear to be the trend.  The future remains to be seen, but Sandy Springs continues to be a powerful draw due to great schools, thriving restaurants, retail, entertainment, strong community interaction and so much more!

Children who choose a cause within the community, and then create and execute an event to raise money for that cause…  What can be better than that?!  Kids Boost is an amazing organization whose mission is “to empower future philanthropists and social entrepreneurs ages 8 to 14”.  “So many kids want to give back, but they just don’t always know how”, says Kristen Williams, the founder and executive director of Kids Boost.  The organization gives children in the program $100 to help fund their events, and a professional on-staff coach who meets with them weekly to ensure follow through.  The coach will ask questions and encourage the participants to come up with personal and meaningful ways to give back philanthropically.  

The first 2 questions asked are “What makes your heart happy?” and “What breaks your heart?”  The answers to those questions typically determine how the child can best help the situation or circumstance that is most meaningful to that child.  While each participant has a professional coach, the events are conceived, managed, and carried out by the children.  The kids also get to present the actual “big check” to the recipients!  “Throughout the project, the child will become a philanthropist and social entrepreneur, while learning important lessons in money management, civil engagement and communication.”  Just, WOW!

Future philanthropists

The average age of participants is 11 – 12 years old, and the average amount raised by Kids Boost events is $2,200.  When children this age are asked what their goal is, they typically answer somewhere between $200 – $500.  Just imagine their reactions when they realize they may have exceeded their goals by five to ten times!  Parents are strongly encouraged to step back and let their children take the reins, along with their coaches, to manage the projects themselves.  The most common feedback received by staff from parents is the confidence boost the children in the program gain.  “We get lots of kids who lack confidence or self-esteem, so helping with that is a big bonus!”, says Williams.  

Kids Boost had their offices in Sandy Springs until the pandemic.  After 2020, they kept working remotely, but many of their participants still live in Sandy Springs and host fundraising events here in our community. A pair of Sandy Springs siblings who are passionate about reading and baking, secured baking supplies from local businesses, baked hundreds of treats, packaged them with their own logo, and sold them to friends and family to raise money to help less fortunate students get books to read through a nonprofit called Purpose Built Schools.  They raised over $1,000 which enabled them to help provide a book to every elementary student in a summer learning program.  They were onsite to personally help distribute these books to the students as well.  Another Sandy Springs youngster who wanted to help children without homes chose to support the Atlanta Children’s Shelter.  She organized a yard sale that also featured a bounce house and bake sale.  She turned her $100 start-up money into $3,262 and was super proud to present the giant check herself!

How can I help?

Kids Boosters are typically between the ages of 8 -14, but there are plenty of opportunities for people of all ages to be involved.  While the children organize and manage the events, adults are needed to donate various items such as venues, supplies, etc. Special talents are needed as well.  Adults are paired with their passions, such as art, sports, jewelry-making, cooking, etc. Simply complete the volunteer application and let them know how you would like to be involved!

What makes kids boost different?

This is one of the few organizations where recipients of the fundraising events can, and often do, turn around and host an event of their own to pay it forward.  The $100 seed money given to every Kid Booster combined with donations that the kids go out and procure themselves allows any child to participate in the program.  Kids Boost has created the ability for every child of any background or socio-economic status to become empowered to make a difference in the world.

All of us understand the value of teaching our children “how to fish”.  Here is an organization within our community that not only helps us teach our youngsters how to fish, but also teaches them how they can feed those fish to others in need!  All of us encounter hardship at some point.  There is no question that helping others during their tough times reminds us of the things that we are grateful for in our own lives.  Kids Boost helps children fulfill the desire to help others, and hopefully, ignites a passion to continue service throughout their lifetimes.


Donate to a current Kids Boost project

Apply to be a Kid Booster

Small Give.  Big Impact. – One day smaller projects for kids’ teams, troops, and groupsThe Big Give – One day bigger projects for families and companies

Music venues in Sandy Springs, like in most cities around the country, took a hit during the pandemic, with several small music scenes closing up.  But as Covid restrictions recede – especially as the city moves into spring and summer — a variety of bands and locations are screaming out for attention and audiences.

It probably doesn’t hurt that the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs recently hired an interim executive director, as part of its staff rebuilding, who has placed “no restrictions on types of music” he plans to offer.

Michael Pauken said it was the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center that drew him to Atlanta after having served as general manager/executive director of the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Ill. for 20 years. When he heard about the opportunity, he thought it would be a good fit for him, having worked for a municipally owned theater like the one here.

The Skokie North Shore Center is a two-theater complex containing a total of 1,185 seats. The Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center also contains two theaters, one the Byers Theatre which seats 1,086 on three levels, as well as the Studio Theatre which has adaptable configurations with up to 400 seats.

History of Attracting International Artists

Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center interim executive director Michael Paulken

In Skokie, Pauken attracted international artists such as Al Jarreau, Art Garfunkel, Graham Nash, Herb Alpert and the Indigo Girls. “We go after whoever is out touring to play in a venue of our size,” Pauken said. “We’re always searching and have dozens of offers in [for] various artists.” His job is made easier by the fact that there are a lot of venues in the Atlanta area that want the same acts.

Although he said he was not ready to announce a fall schedule, he was more than ready to speak about a few upcoming outdoor opportunities for music lovers. A new entertainment program, Sundown Social, will be held most Thursday evenings in the plaza on the City Green, featuring local musicians, food and beverage, starting May 11 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The popular City Green Live Friday monthly music series returns on April 28 with the alternative rock band, Better Than Ezra. Another popular music tradition for Sunday evenings, Concerts by the Springs on the Entertainment Lawn at Heritage Park returns May 7 with The Geek Squad.

As in previous years, lawn seating is free and reserved table seating is available for purchase for both City Green Live and Concerts by the Springs. City Springs members enjoy pre-show receptions featuring complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a private cash bar.

According to Pauken, Byers Theatre has been underutilized, partly because it opened just months before the pandemic. He wants to diversify the genres to help increase growth, citing jazz, blues, country, rock and pop.

Music Aficionado Steve Grossman

Steve Grossman wants to build a music culture in Sandy Springs

Helping him attract a variety of artists is long-time Sandy Springs resident and musical aficionado, Steve Grossman. Former owner of Steve’s Live Music which opened in Sandy Springs and closed in 2016, Grossman has “reinvented” himself by booking musicians in different venues.

“I have a passion to create a music culture in Sandy Springs and Pauken supports me,” said Grossman. Most recently he brought Michelle Malone to Studio Theatre to an “almost sold out” crowd. “Michelle plays around the world. She’s one of those local but larger than life people.” He noted that more than 200 attended Malone’s concert while Steve’s Live Music could only hold 100.

In the past few years, Grossman has welcomed artists and small audiences to his home for concerts. People can sign up for his mailing list at steve@steveslivemusic.com. In April, he is showcasing Jimmy Robinson who has been recording and touring for more than 40 years, as well as Hannah Thomas, a local favorite songwriter.

Michelle Malone sang to a nearly sold-out crowd at Studio Theatre

Grossman said he brought five shows to Studio Theatre last year and hopes to double that this year. In discussions with Pauken, Grossman has on his wish list a mini jazz series as well as international music. “I’m exceeding their goal for revenue” for the Malone show, he said noting that ticket sales cover costs.

“I personally love what Steve is doing,” said Pauken, bringing in Atlanta area performers. “I’m excited about what other acts Steve can bring in.”But Grossman also would love more music venues in Sandy Springs. “If you want to build the culture, you can’t just open on weekends,” he said. However, with both the indoor and outdoor areas at City Springs, he said, there could be entertainment every day. “This could be the center” of Sandy Springs’ music culture.