This brand new construction in Sandy Springs boasts a captivating exterior of stone and brick surrounded by trees on a corner lot that spans 1.897 acres. Nestled among other beautiful estates on Davis Drive in the 30327 zip code, this prestigious street is where you will find many of the most expensive homes in Buckhead.

The renowned team behind this project includes custom builder Deane Johnson, Libi Homes, Harrison Design architects, Neptune pools, and Land Plus for landscape architecture.

The home features large windows facing west, providing ample natural light throughout.  Spacious rooms feature expansive windows and ceilings reaching at least 12 feet. The unique floor plan is designed for modern living. A walkout pool and spa adjoin these rooms, while an outdoor covered pavilion with a kitchen and fireplace enhances the outdoor living experience. The property includes a four-car garage and an oversized motor court. The open kitchen and family room offer a cozy fireplace and stunning views of the pool and landscape. High-end Sub Zero and Wolf appliances are complemented by ample storage.

The primary suite is located on the main level and includes oversized dressing rooms. An elevator shaft provides future access to all three levels. Upstairs, there are four bedroom suites, an open living room, and a laundry area. The terrace level occupies the entire footprint of the house and features a finished hallway with space for an open area, bar, bedroom, and bathroom. There is also space available for a media room, gym, wine cellar, and more. The property’s location is a short drive to top-rated schools, excellent restaurants, and shopping in Buckhead, and Chastain Park is just a few miles away. This beautiful new home will be move-in ready Spring 2024!

This stately French Provincial home in Sandy Springs 30327 is centrally located near Chastain Park, Mt Paran/ Northside, and the best Buckhead and Sandy Springs ITP have to offer. Built by Steven West Custom Homes, the stone and brick facade is elegant, yet warm and inviting. A spacious motorcourt and three garage spaces provide plenty of parking for both residents and guests.

This wonderful home offers an excellent floorplan, a fabulous outdoor space and a convenient location to shopping, freeways, schools and popular Chastain Park. If you’re looking for it all… this is it!

The resort-like backyard includes a stone terrace with a beautiful pool and spa. A fireside outdoor living room features a dramatic vaulted ceiling and plenty of room for sitting, dining, and watching the big game in the fresh air year round.

Beyond the pool area and existing lawn is a forested area that forms a perfect rectangle 100 feet deep and 135 feet wide. This area might be developed into a soccer field, sport court, or anything else your family may want for fun outdoor activities! Just two homes down a sidewalk that connects you directly to Chastain Park and the many recreational and social opportunities that it offers!

Main Level

The main level is smartly designed for both daily life and entertaining. A stone accent wall adds a stylish design element to the entry foyer and formal dining room. The separate dining room is connected to the rest of the main level living spaces through large cased openings.

Stone accents continue into the living room and wrap the cozy fireplace. The large family room is open to the breakfast area and kitchen, as well as to the massive covered outdoor living space and walk-out pool terrace.

The eat-in kitchen is anchored by a large central island with counter seating. Custom cabinetry, leathered stone counter tops, hand-glazed tile backsplash, and a wine fridge enhance the chef-grade appliances and walk-in pantry. A large laundry room on the main level features custom cabinetry and lots of storage.

Primary Bedroom

The lovely primary suite on the main level features an oversized bedroom with a large walk in closet/dressing room. The primary bath includes double sinks and a separate cosmetic vanity, radiant heated floors, a beautiful tiled shower, and a Bain Ultra Thermomasseur Tub with a hydrothermal massage air jet system, heated backrest, soothing lighting, wall control and air dry – the perfect way to relax after a busy day.

Upper Level

Upstairs has plenty of living space. Here you will find three bedroom suites, including a second primary bedroom with a large sitting area. A bonus room offers a great space for a playroom or private home office. A large upstairs family room is the perfect place to watch a movie and also includes storage for games and a built-in wet bar. A second laundry room is conveniently located on the 2nd floor.

Terrace Level

The massive finished terrace level is tailor made for entertaining! A full size wraparound stone bar will be the talk of your next party! Separate recreation and dining areas offer plenty of space for large gatherings. A bedroom suite, currently set up as a private home office, includes an ensuite bath and built-in bookcases. Across from the bar you will find a wall of doors and windows and easy access to the covered patio where a staircase leads directly up to the pool. A separate passageway leads to a secret kids playroom, including lots of storage for toys and an exterior entrance.

eautiful custom home with the latest designer finishes on a huge lot in Sandy Springs (ITP). What was at one time a 1940s traditional home is now a beautiful new construction home with a modern floorplan and sophisticated finishes. Dual primary bedroom suites (one on the main and one upstairs), a full apartment/ in-law suite over the garage, and two additional bedrooms make the home perfect for extended families and overnight guests. The convenient location along a scenic tree-lined street is close to the best of Sandy Springs dining, culture, and shopping, and just a short drive to the heart of Buckhead.

The large front yard features a picturesque garden and seating area. Behind the home, a full-width deck overlooks the wooded backyard with room for a pool.

Main Floor

A large covered front porch leads into the entry foyer where you will find a private home office, and though the entrance hall to the open dining room and into the large main living area. Windows across the back of the home provide natural light and beautiful views. The fireside living room is open to the breakfast area and the kitchen, and double glass doors open onto the back deck. The kitchen is built around a central island, and includes a walk-in pantry, a butler’s pantry, a custom glass wine cellar, mud room and powder room.

A large main floor laundry room features custom cabinets and ample storage.

The first primary bedroom suite is on the main floor. The large bedroom has beautiful forest views and private access to the back porch. The ensuite bath features double vanities, separate tub and shower, and his and hers walk-in closets.

Upper Level

Upstairs you will find a large family room and an additional multi-purpose room. One side of the upper level contains two bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath and a walk-in closet. One bedroom has a large sitting area.

A second master bedroom occupies the other side of the upper level. The ensuite bath features dual vanities and separate soaking tub and shower. The larger of the two walk-in closets includes plumbing for a stacked washer and dryer.

The apartment/ bedroom suite  over the garage can be accessed from the upper level, as well as from a separate outside entry. Plumbing is installed for a kitchenette, and the bedroom has plenty of room for a sitting area. The apartment features an ensuite bath and a walk-in closet.

Terrace Level

The terrace level features a new fireside family room in addition to an exterior entry, and space for storage.

Some people complain about traffic congestion. Others do something about it. The City of Sandy Springs appears to be in the latter category.

A year short of celebrating its 20th anniversary, Sandy Springs can brag that its population has grown to 108,601, making it the state’s sixth largest city, and the second largest city in the metropolitan area. According to a U-Haul International study released a year ago, Sandy Springs is the No. 25 growth city in the country. Between 2000 and 2022, the population jumped by more than 20,000.

That has meant new houses, new condos, new apartment complexes, and more retail options to serve the growing community. And yes, it meant more cars.

There are more than 315 miles of roadways in the Sandy Springs local street network. Some of have become congested over the years.

But the city is in the midst of widening roads, and planning for the future. Since the beginning of this decade, Sandy Springs has been encouraging the public to participate in open house meetings to discuss and learn about proposed improvements to ease traffic congestion in the city.

City of Sandy Springs has focused on traffic problems for years

As far back as 2009, the city started concentrating on several notable traffic problem areas.

Four years ago, it was focused on Hammond Drive from Roswell Road to Glenridge Drive. The city noted that this portion of Hammond Drive lacked sidewalks and marked crosswalks, as well as insufficiently providing for MARTA — all of which led to an increase in neighborhood cut-through traffic, negatively impacting adjacent roadways.

According to the city, based on traffic data collected in 2019, Hammond Drive between Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive carried approximately 17,500 vehicles a day, a higher volume of traffic than the capacity of the two-lane roadway.

To further exacerbate the traffic problem, the city understood that the area of Hammond Drive between Boylston Drive and Glenridge Drive is the narrowest section of Hammond.

In 2022, the city approved continuation of preliminary work on Hammond Drive between Boylston Road and Glenridge Road, to the tune of nearly $3 million.

Sandy Springs seeks funding to complete the Hammond Drive and Boylston Drive intersection project.

Requests for extra funding to finance plans

Then earlier this year the city council agreed to request $2 million from the State Road and Tollway Authority to complete financing of the Boylston/Hammond intersection. The funding would be in the form of a $1.1 million low-interest loan and a $900,000 grant. According to the city council, to be eligible for this funding, projects must enhance movement as well as drive economic development.

The city already has $3.5 million from its capital improvement funds, but the project is expected to cost $5.5 million, to cover the installation of sidewalks and paths and the readjustment of the intersection. The city expects construction to start this summer.

Public Works Director Marty Martin said, “The project will continue to spur economic development by creating a safer transportation environment.” The project includes the widening of Hammond Drive to four lanes. He added that the proposed sidewalk and pathways would contribute to the city’s goal to make the city better for pedestrians as well as bike riders.

Martin said that the city will know whether it will obtain the requested funds by early this summer.

Powers Ferry as city’s western gateway

Then, last August, Sandy Springs residents were apprised of the city’s Powers Ferry Transportation Study whose purpose is to improve pedestrian, bicycle, transit and vehicular travel in an area that “straddles I-285 at Northside Drive and serves as the western gateway” to the city, a report stated. “The area is home to a regional employment center and residential neighborhoods, is served by small scale retail, and provides access to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.”

According to the report, the study will develop an implementation plan “to move projects and strategies forward. It will further evaluate these improvements and determine the feasibility and costs association with implementation.”

The nine-month study that launched in May last year is supposed to be completed this spring. Throughout the study process, residents have been encouraged to share ideas and provide feedback on the proposed transportation improvements in the area. An open house for the public is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Residents and business owners may come to complain, but the city plans to take those complaints into account as it moves the city forward, both literally and figuratively.

In the wake of the deeply unsettling events that unfolded in Israel on October 7th, the global Jewish community and supporters of Israel have been profoundly affected. Local Sandy Springs synagogue, Temple Sinai, has strong ties to Israel and has swiftly morphed programming and support towards solidarity with Israel as well as educating people here locally. This war, coupled with a sharp increase in antisemitic incidents worldwide, has struck a personal chord within the congregation.

Tragically, the congregation mourns the loss of a 20-year-old family member of Temple Sinai congregants, who was killed while serving as an IDF border police officer in early November. This heartbreaking loss has only intensified the synagogue’s commitment to educating anyone willing to learn about the ongoing conflict, the history of Israel and the surrounding region, and the troubling rise of antisemitism across the globe.  Rabbi Natan Trief, the director of adult learning at Temple Sinai, emphasizes that there is so much misinformation and disinformation out there, it is paramount to all for people to have the true facts.

To achieve this mission, Temple Sinai has organized a series of informative sessions, which are open to the public and easily accessible through Zoom.  Each session offers a unique perspective. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, including “The Weaponization of Language,” “Israel’s Soul through Music,” “Denial,” and “Dialogue,” among others. One particularly poignant event hosted at the synagogue featured a survivor of the Reim music festival massacre on October 7th. Rabbi Trief highlighted the profound impact of hearing an eyewitness account of the tragedy, stating, “No matter how much you may think you have been made aware of what took place there, nothing compares to the horrors of an eyewitness account. It was a true miracle, that by an unlikely series of circumstances, she made it out alive.”

Temple Sinai leaders believe it’s paramount to organize ongoing trips to Israel to show solidarity, volunteer, and educate

In addition to these informative sessions, every rabbi at Temple Sinai has paid a visit to Israel since October 7th.  In early February, the synagogue organized a trip there with a multifaceted mission. The trip aimed to demonstrate solidarity with the Israeli people during a time when global support appears to be wavering.  Additionally, it allowed for participants to engage in volunteer work, and educational opportunities. Over the course of four intense days, participants met with police officers who were on the ground during the events of October 7th. They visited sites that had been targeted that day, including the music festival venue, private homes, and a bomb shelter. The group paid their respects at memorials, including the grave site of Rose Lubin, the local 20-year-old soldier who sacrificed her life while defending Israel.

The tour included a visit to Net Ivot where they volunteered in a special kitchen designed to serve thousands of soldiers engaged in the ongoing conflict. In Hostage Square, a memorial and advocacy point for those held hostage in Gaza, the group learned about efforts on behalf of the hostages. This location, marked by rallies, signs with photos of all who were taken, and a permanent Shabbat table that is perpetually set with empty chairs for those still missing, is a central hub for advocacy led by dedicated Israeli volunteers. Temple Sinai children also played a role, as they were encouraged to write prayers on slips of paper, which they placed in a replica of the Kotel (Western Wall) constructed at the synagogue. These heartfelt prayers were then transported to Israel and inserted into the Western Wall there.

“Hopefully, neighboring churches and organizations will have an interest in partnering with us in order to educate their members and offer meaningful assistance.”   – Rabbi Natan Trief

Temple Sinai has received calls from neighboring churches in Sandy Springs offering solidarity and hopes to foster partnerships with local churches and organizations. Rabbi Trief aspires to collaborate on educational initiatives within the religious community to support Israel and Jewish people worldwide.

In a time of adversity, Temple Sinai stands unwaveringly with Israel, striving to educate, support, and strengthen bonds to ensure that the hatred experienced in Israel on October 7th, which was so reminiscent of the Holocaust, does not happen again.

1053 Swathmore Drive is a wonderful home in the sought-after Mount Paran Parkway neighborhood. This neighborhood is known as a haven for families, thanks to a single entrance and five culdesac streets, where a sense of community pervades and generations of children have roamed freely among the quiet streets. Residents enjoy a pedestrian path to the adjacent top-rated Jackson Elementary campus with a playground and sport fields.

The current owners of 26 years have made a real showplace out of the home and 1-acre+ yard. In 2004 the original 1955 home was totally rebuilt and expanded by architect Brian Smith. More recently, the resort-quality backyard has been redone and includes a large pool and spa, terraces with outdoor kitchen and dining, synthetic turf play area with golf green, and an inviting firepit under the twinkle of bistro lights. Enjoy all of this from the four-season screened porch!

Inside, large rooms and wide open spaces on three floors leave little to be desired, with generous closets and multiple dedicated office spaces. Three garage spaces and a generous motor court provide plenty of parking for family and guests.

Main Floor

A welcoming rocking chair front porch spans the front of the home and invites you in to the 2-story entry foyer that is flanked by the formal dining room and the first of two dedicated home offices. The office has convenient access to both the foyer and the hall to the primary bedroom.

The formal dining room is separate, yet open to the foyer and family room, with direct access to the kitchen.

This kitchen will certainly be a gathering place for your family! A large central island has counter seating for four, and the adjacent breakfast area will easily accommodate six. You will find plenty of storage space in extensive custom wood cabinetry and a walk-in pantry. Professional Dacor stainless steel appliances will thrill the chef in your family.

Past the walk-in pantry is a powder room and a mud room with built-in seating. A generous laundry room with custom cabinets is also in this wing of the home, along with the two separate garages.

The kitchen overlooks the fireside family room, with views of the screened porch and the pool terrace. This large inviting space features tons of natural light and plenty of room for family and guests. The second home office is accessed from the family room, and features a built-in desk and a large walk-in closet.

A guest bedroom on the main level has a full ensuite bath, which is also accessible from the family room.

The primary bedroom suite occupies the entire end of the main level. A large comfortable bedroom provides ample room for rest and relaxation. The generous walk-in closet has custom storage with two separate areas. In the primary bath you will find two separate vanities, a soaking tub, and a beautiful tiled shower with steam option.  

Upper level

Three additional bedrooms are upstairs, along with a large sitting area. Each bedroom has a walk-in closet and large windows. One bedroom has a private ensuite bath, and one has an ensuite bath that also opens onto the hallway to serve the third bedroom. This shared bathroom has double vanities and an additional walk-in closet. An unfinished area on the 2nd floor provides over 1000 square feet of future expansion options if needed. This space, with vaulted ceilings and windows is currently used for excellent storage.

Terrace Level

The lower level of this home is a classic “rec room” where the kids will love to hang out with their friends. This cozy finished space has a kitchenette with two bars and counter seating, a fireside family room, dining area, and an additional large gaming/sitting area. A bedroom and full bath complete this level.

Mt Paran Parkway Neighborhood

The Mt Paran Parkway neighborhood includes about 90 homes. This idyllic enclave has no HOA dues, but neighbors have the option to join the Mt Paran Parkway Association, which organizes various events throughout the year. Residents can also join the MPNCA for more social events in the larger Mt Paran/Northside area.

Kids use the walking baths within the the neighborhood to walk to school or just to go to the playground, and adults use them for exercise or to walk their dogs.  Halloween lights on the paths are a perennial hit with the neighborhood kids!

Proximity to schools like Warren T. Jackson, Westminster, Lovett, Pace, and Galloway, plus endless activities at Chastain Park, make the Mt Paran Parkway neighborhood a perfect home base for Sandy Springs families.

For the younger generation, “lamb chop” may be an item on a restaurant menu. But for an older crowd, it is the name of an iconic sock puppet that they have known since childhood.

The opportunity to see Lamb Chop in his younger days in the 1950s on film with the late creator and puppeteer Shari Lewis, as well as with daughter Mallory in person is coming to the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center on the closing night of the annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, February 26 at 7 p.m. The screening is the Southeast Premiere of the film and is sponsored by Visit Sandy Springs.

Lamb Chop first appeared with the elder Lewis on the children’s show Captain Kangaroo. The nostalgic biographical film about Shari Lewis and the beloved Lamb Chop, containing archival footage, TV clips and interviews, was produced in collaboration with Lewis’s estate. It also includes insights from daughter Mallory who was born a few years after Lamb Chop’s introduction to America’s children and who said she slept with Lamb Chop as a child.

Mallory Lewis says Lamb Chop has changed

Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop

Mallory still owns the live performing rights to the Lamb Chop character. She told SandySprings.com that Lamb Chop “will be on the red carpet with me, chatting with people and will be on stage for the Q&A,” with WABE’s Lois Reitzes.

Mallory described Lamb Chop as “older than her. She’s a well-defined personality and very much her own person. When she worked with Mom,” she was like a sassy daughter. But “I’m her sister, so she shows sister disrespect.”

When asked how Lamb Chop has changed over the years, Mallory said “she’s changed the same way all women have changed. Her legs are longer and her eyelashes are longer.”

Mallory asserts that she has “the most fun job in the world. I go to nice places. I get picked up at the airport by nice people. I go to nice performing arts centers where there’s a nice sound guy with great sound equipment. I love my job. I don’t charge for performing. I charge for leaving my husband and for my travel.”

Lamb Chop, she added, has no plans for retirement.

Two film venues will be in Sandy Springs

The AJFF Jury Award winners will also be announced at the concluding program. The categories include best narrative feature, best documentary feature, best short film, emerging filmmaker, and films that build bridges between diverse groups and films that capture the perseverance and strength of individuals facing bigotry, inequality and persecution.

The screening of “Shari and Lamb Chop” will conclude AJFF’s lineup of 48 feature films and 15 shorts from 20 countries, including three world premieres, six North American premieres, two U.S. premieres and 13 Southeast premieres. More than 30 films will be exclusively screened this year in theaters, while 17 features and four short films will be available for streaming in the Virtual Cinema.

The film that will open the more than 20-year-old film festival on February 13 is “Irena’s Vow,” a World War II drama that is based on a true story about a Catholic housemaid of a Nazi official who saves several Polish Jews. The guest speakers include Irena’s daughter.

Of the five metro-area venues for the in-person screenings, two are in Sandy Springs. In addition to the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, films will also be shown at the Springs Cinema & Taphouse in Sandy Springs.

Tickets for the film festival will go on sale to AJFF members exclusively on January 17 at noon. The general public will be able to purchase tickets beginning January 31. Ticket prices are $18 for evening shows and $16 for matinees. Streaming tickets will be available for $18 per household. For more information and to order tickets, visit AJFF.org or call the box office at 678-701-6104.

As the second annual Dine Like a Local program opened in Sandy Springs on Jan. 2, already the foodie affair appeared to be pulling in more people than last year’s inaugural event. As of Jan. 3, 272 signups were counted, compared to 188 on the same date last year, according to Jennifer Cruce, executive director of Visit Sandy Springs, which sponsors the program. A total of 1,406 signups were made last year. The program runs through March 31.

Several improvements were made for this year’s Dine Like a Local which encourages both Sandy Springs residents, the wider Atlanta community and visitors from out of town to sample the two dozen restaurants that are participating in this year’s passport program.

Process is easier this year

Jennifer Cruce, executive director of Visit Sandy Springs, said Dine Like a Local “helps our reputation locally and regionally as having a dining scene.”

Cruce said the whole process has been simplified this year. Diners sign up online to receive a free digital Dine Like a Local passport. Then passport holders can visit any of the participating restaurants and check in at each stop for a chance to win a number of prizes throughout the duration of the program, including restaurant gift card giveaways.

Last year the check-in process included a promo code that restaurants had to provide. “This year, people check-in on their phones via GPS. It’s much easier,” said Cruce. “Every two weeks, a $25 gift card to one of the participating restaurants” is given out. Each month, passport holders can win other gifts such as picnic baskets full of branded merchandise.

There are no visas required, nor are the passports actually stamped. When the holders visit a participating restaurant, they must click the check-in button to earn points. According to the instructions, “Your visit to any participating restaurant will only count for points once a month, so make sure to diversify your palate!”

Three levels of giveaways are offered

There are three separate giveaways to choose from: bi-weekly, monthly and the one-time grand prize giveaway, which is a Yeti Roadie cooler stuffed with prizes. Passport holders “can buy multiple entries into each giveaway, and the more entries, the better chance to win.”

Three winners will be selected at random every other week to receive the $25 gift card.

As much as Visit Sandy Springs wants to tempt residents to eat out more often, Cruce notes that the organizers are very much focused on the hotels in the area. “You can’t attract people to the area without a good dining scene,” she said. “This introduces people to the restaurants they never tried before.” Her group has distributed postcards with QR codes to hotels to give out to patrons. “It helps our reputation locally and regionally as having a dining scene.”

Also, when dining patrons post pictures or reviews on social media, it “helps to build excitement about a new place to go,” said Cruce, who has worked at Visit Sandy Springs for nine years. She pointed out that she has seen a lot of changes in Sandy Springs since she started. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

She added, “Sandy Springs has one of the best restaurant scenes in the metro area. We hope residents and visitors will come out to experience all this great food this city has to offer.”

Several restaurants are returning from last year

The restaurants that have returned to the program from last year include Banana Leaf Thai + Bar, Big B’s Fish Joint, Breadwinner Café, Chef Rob’s Caribbean Café, Cubanos ATL, Food Terminal, it Giallo Osteria & Bar, Just Love Coffee Café, McDaniel’s QN2, O’Reilly’s Public House, Sunnyside Pizzeria, The General Muir, The Select, Tre Vele and Under the Cork Tree.

New this year are Baraonda, Cupanion’s, Fuego Mundo, Mutation Brewing Co, Okiboru, Ray’s on the River, SabaRaba’s, Strive Foods, Zafron and Zambawango.

The Dine Like a Local campaign is presented in partnership with the Economic Development Department of the City of Sandy Springs. For more information, visit https://www.visitsandysprings.org/dine-like-a-local/

Cutlines:

Food photos from General Muir, Norifish, The General Muir and The Select

Sandy Springs saw a rise in home sale prices during the 3rd quarter of 2023.  As mortgage rates continue their rapid ascent, we are seeing substantial reductions in inventory year-over-year.  While there are many who are reluctant to give up their +/- 3% mortgage rates, Sandy Springs home values are holding remarkably strong due to our gorgeous neighborhoods with oversized lots, fine restaurants, retail, and entertainment, all within its close-in location along Atlanta’s perimeter.  

Year   July – Sept 2022 July – Sept 2023 Difference YOY
 Single-Family Homes  Total Sold 172 132 23.2% Decrease
Average Sales Price $1,075,182 $1,161,418 8% Increase
 Condos/Townhomes  Total Sold 210 171 18.6% Decrease
Average Sales Price $346,806 $383,663 10.6% Increase

Hirsh Real Estate is enjoying another great year of sales in Sandy Springs, and here are the attributes our clients have been drawn to:

Buyers who are dependent upon a mortgage are stretching to get the most they can for their dollar, so they are unable to come out of pocket to renovate.  
One sold listing in Princeton Square is a great example of this…  The kitchen and master bath had been renovated about 15 years ago.  The entire interior sheetrock, kitchen cabinets, and primary bath vanity were painted a beautiful Benjaman Moore white.  Old brown carpeting was replaced with fresh light carpet, all windows cleaned until sparkling, and the entire main level and primary bedroom were staged with fresh, current, neutral interiors.  The exterior was pressure washed, and shutters and fresh paint were added.  We received 6 offers and sold the house over asking price.  The sellers spent $25,000 to gain an additional $100,000 over what the house would have fetched in its pre-listing condition. The buyers were willing to overlook features such as a drive-under garage, unfinished basement, and sloped, wooded backyard just to be able to have the interior and exterior refreshed, charming, and move-in ready!

Another buyer’s experience was an exercise in patience, as she searched for over a year to find her perfect dream home within limited inventory.  It needed nothing except her interiors at move in, which is why this Sandy Springs townhome won her over.

Yet another Hirsh RE listing boasted a gorgeous lot with a totally unique home.  It sold inside the perimeter in Sandy Springs for $1,335,000.

Of course, Hirsh RE also sold the most expensive home in Sandy Springs to date this year!  The Loudermilk estate, which is 15,000 square feet and sits on 14+ acres, sold for close to $9,000,000.

What do all of these sales have in common?  Each property was either move-in ready with no work required or had a unique feature which could not be shopped.  The request we repeatedly have this year from our buyers is to find them a home that does not require any updates.  Our best advice to sellers in this market is to retouch and freshen all blemishes before listing.  Do not overlook the details!  Have every window professionally cleaned, clean everything else until it’s gleaming, and have the home professionally staged.  If you need to, consider taking out a home equity loan to do the minimum work required to make your home move-in-ready, and you will certainly get a premium price in today’s market.

And now for the top 10 homes sales in Sandy Springs for the 3rd quarter, 2023!

It’s true. It’s somewhat sad to see the hulking remains of old, reliable, favorite restaurants dotted around Sandy Springs over the past year, but a closer look reveals a more pleasing plethora of new restaurants that have opened in the city in the last few years.

Despite the lingering effects of the pandemic, which admittedly cast a shadow on the restaurant industry nationwide, Sandy Springs restaurateurs and industry executives are wholeheartedly optimistic about their eateries. And Sandy Springs reflects the overall picture for restaurants in the State of Georgia.

Two-thirds of Georgia’s restaurants are in Atlanta/Sandy Springs

“The average restaurant makes five percent profit,” said Karen Bremer, CEO and president of the Georgia Restaurant Association.

Karen Bremer, CEO and president of the Georgia Restaurant Association, said the state actually has more restaurants now than before the pandemic hit Georgia in early 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, she said, there were approximately 19,000 restaurants in Georgia in 2020, while now there are more than 21,000 restaurants in the state. That’s despite more than 4,000 restaurants that closed in the state in 2020. Of the 21,000, “two-thirds are in the Atlanta/Sandy Springs area,” she said, adding the notable tidbit that some counties in the state don’t have any restaurants.

[The Georgia Restaurant Association includes Sandy Springs with Atlanta in its statistics.]

Bremer said that some of the restaurants that closed during the pandemic, since reopened with a new concept.

59 restaurant establishments have opened in the city since 2020

The Economic Development Department of Sandy Springs – the state’s 7th largest city – reports that 59 new restaurants or food establishments have opened since 2020. Of these, 30 are full service, 24 are limited service, three are snack bars, one is a retail bakery, and one is a brewery. 

Restaurateurs are “fairly optimistic,” said Bremer, despite continuing concerns about labor availability and costs. In the past two years, labor expenses, which include workers’ compensation insurance and payroll taxes as well as salaries, have jumped 21 percent, she said. Food prices have risen 18 percent, as of the end of 2022.

“The average restaurant makes five percent profit,” she added. So, a restaurant that made $45,000 before the pandemic, would be losing $120,000 if it kept its prices the same.

Marketing to restaurant patrons has changed

A former restaurant owner and operator, Bremer said more people are dining out nowadays, but they are “value engineering”. Restaurants “need customer loyalty programs to reward existing customers” which are much more cost-effective than seeking new customers.

Forget old-time advertising in newspapers or coupon-dropping in mailboxes. “People are doing their marketing on social media. The largest percentage of the population is young and they don’t read newspapers,” Bremer said.

Dine Like a Local will be held again in January 2024

Jennifer Cruce

Earlier this year, Visit Sandy Springs – a destination marketing organization – held its Dine Like a Local digital dining passport and campaign with 21 participating restaurants. According to Jennifer Cruce, CEO of Visit Sandy Springs, the campaign, held in partnership with the city’s economic development department, was considered a success. The organization had 1,163 sign-ups and 550 check-ins.

The website analytics indicated that the Dine Like a Local landing page on VisitSandySprings.org out-performed its second closest page by more than 350 percent (14,851 sessions vs. 4,240 sessions). The page also led in goal completions for a single page with 3,900. And the campaign produced 579 E-newsletter opt-ins at sign-up.

Cruce added that “we gave away 18 gift cards purchased from participating restaurants, three Dine Like a Local branded insulated baskets full of picnic gear and treats – one each month – and one gorgeous Yeti cooler to the grand prize sinner.”

The campaign was so successful, “we are partnering to do it again starting Jan. 1, 2024,” Cruce said, referring to the Sandy Springs Economic Development department.

Jeff Trump, who along with partner Mike “Shooter” Horosh have worked together in the restaurant industry for more than 25 years, said he remains very optimistic about the industry. “We have had Brooklyn Café in Sandy Springs for 18 years. Sandy Springs is a vibrant and incredibly supportive community that truly embraces small businesses. We feel fortunate our restaurant is in such a wonderful place with great citizens and community leadership. Our City will only get better.”

Sandy Springs is one of the wealthiest cities in the state, so many of its residents may be surprised to learn that over 50% of students in the community’s public school system are economically disadvantaged.  Sandy Springs public schools were thrilled when a nonprofit organization reached out personally to each school to see where their specific needs were.  Sandy Springs Education Force provides free supplemental programs within the city’s public school system to support students to excel in high school and to assist and encourage them to move on to higher education or vocations upon graduation.  Any child attending Sandy Springs public schools is welcome into SSEF programs.

SSEF Works With Every School Individually To Tailor Programs For The Specific Needs Of Each Public School In Sandy Springs

SSEF began by sponsoring after school programs.  These programs run for two hours at the end of every school day.  The first hour is focused on academics, and free tutoring and time for homework are provided.  The second hour consists of a variety of enrichment opportunities.  These programs are open to all students at no cost to the family.  SSEF covers the full expense.

Sandy Springs public school administrators and teachers are extremely grateful for the assistance provided by SSEF.  The organization helps with everything from providing school supplies, which in many cases would otherwise come from the pocketbooks of the teachers themselves, to donating books, covering SAT/ACT and college application fees for those in need, and helping students decide which path they may wish to take beyond high school, whether that be which colleges to apply to or matching these high schoolers with potential employers and training programs following graduation.

Career Fair For High Schoolers Planning To Enter The Work Force Upon Graduation Is SSEF’s Newest Initiative Assisting Sandy Springs Public Schools

What is the best course of action for a student who plans to enter the workforce upon high school graduation in lieu of continuing their education?  How do these students know what training programs are out there and how to connect with employers other than blindly sending out resumes over the internet?  One of the more exciting initiatives new to SSEF is the High Demand Career Fair scheduled to take place this November at Riverwood High School for both North Springs and Riverwood students.  There will be companies and organizations in attendance offering jobs, apprenticeships, internships, and training programs designed for high school students and graduates!  Companies such as UPS and Northside Hospital will participate, and students who attend are all offered help with their resumes which they will provide to the employers.

How Can I Get Involved?

2023 Georgia State University Perimeter College Dunwoody campus Cradle to College

What can be more important than the futures of our children?  If you are looking for a way to give back to our community, SSEF makes it rewarding, easy, and fun!  SSEF is happy to train volunteers to help coach students along the pathways to succeed through college.  Volunteers are needed to assist students with the college application process as well as to help match soon-to-be graduates with colleges or careers.  There are volunteer opportunities for those who would like to be trained to work directly with students, one-on-one, as mentors, coaches, tutors, reading buddies and more.  If you prefer to volunteer behind-the-scenes, there are also opportunities to help by collecting books, school supplies, etc. for various literacy programs within SSEF, and still larger roles filling much-needed help with their major fundraising efforts, the Lightning Run and STEAM Showcase.

“Everyone can do ONE thing.  And if everyone does just one thing, we can move mountains, we can change the world.”  

Irene Schweiger, executive director of Sandy Springs Education Force (SSEF).  

In spite of declining home sales in Sandy Springs, prices of single-family homes have continued to rise.  However, we are seeing prices flatten during the first half of 2023 for the condo and townhome market in our community.

While the number of single-family homes sold in Sandy Springs the first 6 months of 2023 dropped 27%, prices rose almost 12% from the first half of 2022.  Tight inventory is preventing the price decreases we expected to see from the mortgage rate hikes.

The condo and townhome market here, shows a slightly larger drop in number of homes sold at 32%, but an almost flat average sales price at less than 1% increase from the same period last year.  

So, what does this mean for sellers?  Right now is the perfect time to sell!  While homes that are new or renovated are typically the first to sell in this market, some sellers are now able to get away with doing slightly less work in more dated properties as inventory is low and buyers in lower price ranges are more forgiving than in recent history.Scroll down past our market stats for the first half of 2023 to see the Top 10 Sales in Sandy Springs for Q2!

Year Jan – June 2022Jan – June 2023Difference YOY
 Single-Family Homes Total Sold39730223.9% Decrease
Average Sales Price$1,126,550$1,255,59611.5% Increase
 Condos/Townhomes Total Sold47432930.6% Decrease
Average Sales Price$355,373$357,7740.68% Increase

It’s been nearly two months since the City of Sandy Springs chose two major real estate developers as its Preferred Development Partner for Phase II of the City Springs development. The city council chose Regent Partners and Morris and Fellows to work with the city to develop three separate but adjacent parcels at Hildebrand and Mt. Vernon Roads, flanking its flagship City Springs development.

Still, John Bell, principal of Regent Partners, acknowledged “it’s not a done deal.” In fact, Sandy Springs withholds the right to engage with other developers if necessary.

According to City Manage Eden Freeman, “We are excited to announce the selection of our preferred development partner for Phase II of the City Springs development project. While the City still retains the right to re-negotiate with other developers if required, we firmly believe in Regent Partners and Morris and Fellows’ ability to bring our shared vision for the City Springs community to life.  This marks a significant milestone in the evolution of Sandy Springs and we eagerly look forward to the next steps of the project, including receiving input from the community.”

Development could start late next year

Bell called the development a “work in progress. We’re still making the sausage. Being chosen was the goal.”

According to the City, construction is currently expected to begin late next year with an estimated completion in the fall of 2026. Bell said it is “too early to say” when work will begin on the project, which is expected to be built in phases. But he said his company is “fully staffed” and ready with a “comprehensive team”.

Morris & Fellows is the retail partner for the project. The retail will include restaurants, shops and fine arts. “Choosing the tenants will be a collaborative effort with Sandy Springs,” said Bell.

Regent Partners developed Eastern Wharf in Savannah

Regent Partners has a rich history of multi-use developments throughout the Southeast, Bell pointed out. “We’ve done all the food groups in office and hospitality.”

In fact, in its three and a half decades, Regent Partners has developed more than 10 million square feet in the Southeast, valued at more than $2.6 billion, according to its website. Its portfolio includes office, hotel, retail and mixed-use developments. Bell noted that it has experience with private/public partnerships.

Most notable is the Eastern Wharf development in Savannah. The 54-acre project includes community parks, luxury hotel rooms, office space, riverfront residences and many shops and restaurants. Bell said that Regent coordinated with the city. “We are done with phase one,” he said.

The name of the project is based in history. In the early 1800s, the area was known as the Eastern Wharves District. It was home to businesses such as A.N. Millers Foundry, Hydraulic Cotton Press Co. and the Bullock and Winton Steam Saw Mill.

“We’ve done a lot throughout the Southeast. In fact, the company is known for its development of East End Market in Raleigh, N.C. and the Reservoir in Nashville, Tenn., among others.

Background on the city’s decision

At the City Council meeting in which the developers were chosen, Mayor Rusty Paul noted, “We wanted to work with a proposer who shared our vision.”

The discussion and vote followed a meeting last December in which the mayor and city council adopted the City Springs Master Plan which was an update to its original 2012 City Center Master Plan. The City then issued a request for qualifications as the first phase of a two-phase process to solicit and select a master developer. The first phase of the solicitation phase one was issued on Nov. 16 with responses due Dec. 13 last year.

Paul also stated, “If we cannot find a deal that works in the best interest of everybody in this community and have the kind of downtown environment we aspire to have, then we will find another partner. This is a first step, but it is monumental.”

Former Sandy Springs resident Michael Friede waxes nostalgic about the years 2011 to 2014 when he attended Brandon Hall School not far from where he lived. “The school was great for me. I needed the structure it provided. All the staff and teachers knew how to work with students who had learning issues. Many kids came in with serious behavioral problems and left as mature adults,” he said.

Former Sandy Springs resident Michael Friede said of his alma mater, Brandon Hall, “Many kids came in with serious behavioral problems and left as mature adults.”

Friede counts himself among those who greatly benefited from attending the private boarding school that announced earlier this year that it was closing its doors, after more than 60 years. A small school that enrolled about 200 students while Friede attended, Brandon Hall served its enrollees partly as a boarding school and partly as a day school. Friede believes that fewer than 50 percent of the students were from abroad, and of those, many were from China.

Of course, during the pandemic international students were stymied from entering the U.S., but Friede believes that only exacerbated an existing problem. “After I graduated, the number of students dropped,” said Friede, now attending graduate school in New England. He believes Brandon Hall was “bleeding money for years.”

When contacted for its explanation for the closure, the school said it had “no other comments at this time.”

Brandon Hall was “never good at giving information,” said Friede. “They still don’t share much information even to alumni.”

The Galloway School

It may be impossible to know exactly where students already enrolled in Brandon Hall, or interested in attending the school, might choose to go instead. The Galloway School, another private school in Sandy Springs, reports “business as usual. We haven’t seen a huge increase in interest, but most of our families are domestic, from either Sandy Springs or Buckhead,” said Meghan Stauts, director of marketing and communications.

Opened in 1969 and located near Chastain Park, The Galloway School has 750 students from pre-K three-year-olds through 12th grade, with about 100 faculty members.

Atlanta International School

Given that a number of Brandon Hall enrollees were international, it could be assumed that at least some might relocate to Atlanta International School, located on North Fulton Drive. Currently, AIS has about 1,300 students from pre-K through 12th grade. According to Emily Hands, director of marketing and communications, “You are right to say that for families with an international background, AIS is a natural choice due to our full International Baccalaureate curriculum, specialized high quality language programs and our inclusive intercultural community.”

Hands emphasized that “it’s important to note that around half of our students’ families are American.” On the other hand, “our community of students, parents and employees represents over 90 countries, with over 60 languages spoken.”

Hands added that AIS offers rolling admissions throughout the year to local and international families. “We understand that people’s circumstances often don’t fit into a rigid school admissions timetable, so whenever possible – where we have space and if a student meets our entry requirements, we will try to accommodate a family’s educational needs. So this could apply to any former Brandon Hall families.”

Other Options

Sandy Springs families interested in top-notch private or public schools don’t have to travel far to find what they need. Within Sandy Springs, there The Epstein School and Davis Academy, both Jewish private schools. Not far out of Sandy Springs, are the private schools of Fulton Science Academy in Alpharetta and Pace Academy and The Westminster Schools in Buckhead.

Along with seven public elementary schools and two public middle schools, there are also two public high schools, both charter schools, in Sandy Springs. North Springs Charter High School on Roswell Road is the only magnet school in the Fulton County School System that offers both arts and sciences. Riverwood International Charter School is one of Fulton County’s four magnet schools, offering international studies and international Baccalaureate programs.

While other both private and public schools in the Atlanta area are open to Sandy Springs’ residents, one could argue there are enough educational options nearby.

Featured image: Linda Walker and daughter Cassie Templeton in front of Cathedral after walking the Camino.

Sandy Springs is home to a variety of intriguing people of all ages and ethnicities, each with their own special story. Linda Walker’s story, however, stands out.

Although born in New York City, the 76-year-old has lived in Sandy Springs for nearly 40 years. Earlier this year, Walker walked, with her daughter, nearly 150 miles in two weeks on the Camino de Santiago – literally the “Way of St. James”. The Camino is considered the path walked by James the Apostle, and is Europe’s ultimate pilgrimage route, over the Pyrenees Mountains.

Walker’s daughter, Cassie Templeton, 53, heard her mother talk about the Camino years ago, and her priest at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Sandy Springs had walked part of the Camino. “He planted the seed and the seed kept growing,” recalled Walker. “Then I hadn’t talked about it for awhile and my daughter had friends who walked it.”

Linda Walker exults at her finish.

Last Christmas, Cassie surprised her mother with the trip. “She said, ‘Mom, let’s go on a trip!’ I had no idea how to set it up and I never thought my daughter could take such a trip because she has a family and job, but she arranged the whole thing. She’s a great organizer and director.”

After the arrangements were made, however, Walker was nearly sidelined by a cancer diagnosis. She had surgery but didn’t need radiation. “I realized that with all my daughter had done to arrange the trip, I was walking this for her, not me.”

Looking back, Walker remembered another challenging time in her life. She recalled looking out a window and praying to God. “It cemented my belief that there’s a God that helps you go through whatever you have to.”

Walker took that belief and, with her daughter at her side, walked the challenging path over the Pyrenees. Since the Middle Ages, many pilgrims have walked the hundreds of miles across Spain to pay tribute to the believed remains of St. James in Santiago de Compostela. It’s a difficult route, especially for those who have not participated in a multi-day walk. It is physically demanding to walk an average of about 12 miles a day on one of the shorter paths or even if the hikers limit themselves to walking the last 60 miles to Santiago de Compostela.

Because of their time limitations, Walker and her daughter took one day by train. “There are many routes that lead to the actual beginning of the religious pilgrimage,” she explained. When the pair reached the “massive” Cathedral, they walked into a square. “I stood there and looking around, realized I’ve seen this picture.”

Although exercise wasn’t foreign to Walker, she said, “I had no idea of the steepness” of the Camino path. “I didn’t train a lot on hills, but I kept praying about it,” she said, still sounding proud of the moment when she and her daughter received their certificates at the end of the route. “I realized that I was doing this for my daughter so that she’ll have memories for when I’m not here.”

Walker wasn’t exactly a neophyte when it came to challenging herself physically. “I don’t consider myself a great athlete. I just do stuff and it feels right. My children and grandchildren think that what I’m doing is normal.”

Linda and her daughter along the route

In elementary school, she danced ballet a couple of years, but she considered her siblings more of the athletes in the family. For awhile she played racquetball and then took up running. When she was 50, she ran three marathons. This year, she ran her 33rd Peachtree Road Race. “I ‘shuffle’ jogged down the Peachtree to finish my 33rd. As always, I had fun with the volunteers and audience.” She still has all but one of the T-shirts she won.

Walker also took up cycling and was headed out of town for a cycling race not long after she returned from Spain, with, incidentally, two more T-shirts from Santiago. She liked the cross-training that involves. “It opened up a lot for me.”

After walking the Camino, Walker has realized that she can’t seem to stop walking. Every day she can be found in nearby parks. “I keep meeting wonderful people on my walks in the parks.”

That doesn’t mean Walker is totally oblivious to her age. “My body in the morning reminds me of my chronological age.”

Perhaps still high from her lofty challenge, Walker wistfully speaks of completing the part of the Camino she hadn’t walked. “It’s okay to realize that my daughter wanted to do this with me, and then realize that there’s a hunger for more. I might go by myself. Some people – many older than me – do it on their own. If you don’t have a bad disability, it is doable. You can start anywhere. If I can motivate people by doing the things I do,” it is worth it, said Walker. “Yes, you may slow down and there are health issues, but you can work around those.”

Walker’s motto seems to be: “you have to move so that you can keep moving.”

Throughout the City of Sandy Springs there are springs, streams and creeks flowing by, including in residents’ front or backyards. They are tributaries that feed into the Chattahoochee River whose more than 20 miles of shoreline are located in the City of Sandy Springs. These branches of waterways are part of Georgia’s natural water supply.

Barely seen spring in Sandy Springs resident’s yard

But that does not mean residents can drink from these natural springs. According to Sara Lips, director of communications and community engagement in the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, “There is no drinking water permit issued using a spring as a source of water in Sandy Springs.”

Lips also noted that her DNR division does not have an inventory of springs in the state. So it’s not clear if anyone has an idea of how many natural springs there are in the city. But as one Sandy Springs resident pointed out, the spring in her yard is not always visible. Only after heavy rains does water trickle out of her spring, which isn’t far from a stream.

While the 38.52 square miles of Sandy Springs might be dotted with these waterways, it is the original underground spring located between what is now Heritage Sandy Springs and Williams Payne Museum, near City Springs Center from which the 18-year-old city derives its name.

Original Spring was Watering Stop

Sandy Springs Parks
Original spring provided watering stop for citizens, Native Americans and travelers.

Two centuries ago, the natural sparkling sandy spring provided a watering stop for Native Americans, travelers and citizens, as well as a meeting place and campground area. Sandy Springs United Methodist church was built nearby in 1851. According to one history, residents of Dunwoody would travel to the area for a camp meeting every year. The land under the church was owned by W.E. Spruill and included an easement which led to the spring.

According to a sign in what was once the camp area, members of the Mabry family for years were stewards of the site. “Living beside the spring, they added marble and concrete to make the surroundings less muddy and removed the shelter to open the spring to the sky. In 1984, an attempt was made to rezone the property as commercial. Had it been successful, the spring would have been buried in storm sewers and underneath mounds of dirt and concrete.”

Today it is a tranquil area with a bubbling brook bounded by beautiful foliage and flowers, and an integral part of the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum and Park. The four-acre park centered in the heart of Sandy Springs’ downtown area includes a 14,000-square-foot Entertainment Lawn with a permanent stage where summer concerts are held. The nearby structure offers rentals for weddings, parties, company picnics, business meetings and retreats.

How to test the water

For the curious or the thirsty, however, there should probably be signs for the safety of residents who might be enjoying the lush area. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, before water from natural sources can be approved for drinking, a manual filtration process is required because the spring water may have some impurities.

For residents wondering about their backyard streams, county health departments can help test for bacteria or nitrates. Or, water can be tested by a state certified laboratory. [Call Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or visit www.epa.gov/safewater/labs]

If one insists on drinking their natural spring water, it is advised to boil it first. Boiling is the safest method to kill disease-causing germs, including viruses, bacteria and parasites. And it is recommended that one add a pinch of salt for each quart or liter of boiled water.As summer’s hot, humid weather swamps the area, however, residents wanting to cool off either internally or externally might want to pour a cold glass of water from an indoor faucet or turn on a hose and sprinkler system to run through outdoors.

This modern architectural gem at 780 Crest Valley Drive has been the recipient of admiration from creative types for decades, with its clean lines and open floor plan. The home has been lauded in several magazine articles for its forward-thinking design and it offers a lifestyle and “feeling” that simply cannot be found elsewhere. This beautiful property is the definition of resort style living in Sandy Springs.

Situated on 1.3 acres, the driveway winds past your private regulation-sized tennis court which can be used for many sporting activities including ever-popular pickle-ball. Past the court you find a modern home nestled among the trees. A generous motor court provides parking for guests in addition to the 2-car garage. You will notice the inviting front stairs, walls of windows, and the rounded stair tower that breaks up the geometric lines of the home.

Main level

The dramatic volume of the home greets you as you walk through the front door. From here you can take in the two-story family room with views of the pool and wooded backyard through a wall of windows. A marble fireplace and built-in marble shelves anchor one wall, and the opposite side of the room is open to the dining room.

The dining room features a built-in bar, and easy access to the kitchen and a 4-seasons sun room at the back of the home. The sunroom’s rounded shape contrasts with the straight lines of the rest of the home and mimics the shape of the stair tower on the front of the home.

The sun room, family room, and primary bedroom all have access to the expansive deck and pool terrace. This outdoor space overlooks a private backyard that is immersed in nature. The adjacent lot behind is a permanently preserved green space, protecting this natural setting.

Primary Bedroom

The primary bedroom on the main level features high ceilings, a fireplace, and HUGE windows overlooking the deck and backyard. Pocket doors connect the en suite main bath, with separate tub and shower, double vanities, and a large walk-in closet.

A generous laundry room with space for a home management office and a storage/mudroom area lead to the attached garage.

Upper level

Take the stairs to the second floor for dramatic views of the family room below and into the backyard. A bright and airy office space anchors one end of the open walkway. Two additional bedrooms and a full bath complete the upper level. The front bedroom includes a convenient Murphy bed, and the rear bedroom is currently used as a home gym.

It may be a telltale sign. If you are seeing bright-colored red, yellow or blue lines – speckled with same-colored flags – lining the boundaries of your yards, it just may mean that one of the companies providing internet and cable TV is about to lay down fiber optics in your neighborhood.

While it’s possible that the lines may suggest a different type of excavation, the presence of various colored lines arranged in a tic-tac-toe pattern throughout an entire residential area typically implies an advancement in next-gen technology.

Fortunately for Sandy Springs’ neighborhoods, much of the basics have already been accomplished. According to Alex Horwitz, vice president of public relations at Comcast NBC Universal, “We’re already in Sandy Springs and have been for quite some time. We cover the vast majority of that city.” However, he added that “we are in the process of simply upgrading our existing network,” which, he explained, is a mix of fiber and coaxial cable.”

Comcast announced upgrade in April

In April, Comcast announced that its latest Xfinity 10G Network upgrade is rolling out to homes and businesses across greater Atlanta. “With these improvements, Comcast is deploying new download speeds of up to 2 gigabits-per-second (Gbps), and up to 5x-to-10x faster upload speeds in Atlanta.”

Noting that Sandy Springs is included in this upgrade, the Comcast’s announcement notes that the “region now has the foundational next-generation network in place to begin introducing new symmetrical multi-gigabit Internet options late this year that can be delivered across Comcast’s existing networks with less cost.”

And Comcast is not the only service provider actively adding the fiber optic technology that is used for long-distance and high-performance data networking.

Thousands of Sandy Springs customers receive AT&T Fiber already

AT&T Fiber is available to thousands of customer locations in parts of Sandy Springs, according to Ann L. Elsas, AT&T’s lead public relations manager for the Southeast. “This is part of more than 1.5 million customer locations in the State of Georgia. Early in 2022, we launched and expanded our multi-gig services to offer up to 5 Gbps symmetrical speeds to consumers and businesses. With multi-gig speeds, we’re able to provide our customers with a first-of-its-kind internet experience.”

How does AT&T determine where it will next lay its newest technology? Elsas said that “we’re constantly evaluating our network and coverage to deliver the best, most reliable network to our customers, no matter where they are. We look at a number of factors when deciding to add fiber to areas, including – but not limited to – topography, distribution of demand and property availability.”

Fiber is more expensive and more fragile

For many residents and business owners in Sandy Springs, understanding the technology behind fiber optics might be too much of a challenge. Simply put, fiber cables are comprised of thin glass or plastic. They use light to transmit data, empowering faster speeds and higher bandwidth than traditional copper cable, which depend on electrical signals. Because they provide faster data transmission, fiber optic connections remain strong even during heavy usage times.

Fiber optic cables are more expensive to produce than copper and installation is more expensive. And, because they are made of glass, they are more fragile.

According to one homeowners’ association president, it is totally worth it for the customers. Fiber optic cables are critical as the use of the internet continues to increase, he said. Both speed and bandwidth are improved significantly. “More and more of our everyday lift depends on high-speed connectivity which will be possible with fiber.” He added that he doesn’t know if having fiber optics in one’s neighborhood would actually increase property values, but it may cause a buyer to choose one subdivision over another.AT&T’s Elsas said that her company is committed to connecting people to what matters most to them by delivering “reliable, high-speed internet across the country.” And, she added, to see if fiber is available in one’s neighborhood, they can go to att.com/notifyme and enter their address.