Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sandy Springs Georgia ~ Past, Present & Future

This space will occasionally discuss topics of particular interest to Stoddard Media or its staff. It begins where founder Peter Stoddard grew up, the city of Sandy Springs. Residents in the 70s & 80s affectionately & facetiously called our community “The Golden Ghetto”. There is even a nostalgic Facebook group by that name recalling memories of the era.

Sandy Springs once could only officially be called “unincorporated north Fulton County”. The city of Atlanta made repeated unsuccessful attempts to annex the community into Atlanta city limits.Those efforts gave rise to a movement begun in the mid 1970s to incorporate Sandy Springs as its own city.

In 1976 Stoddard departed for his freshman year at the University of Georgia with a “Freedom Rings in Sandy Springs” bumper sticker adorning his VW Beetle, courtesy of the mother of two high school friends & founder of the Sandy Springs incorporation movement, Dr. Eva Galambos.

Thirty years later Eva prevailed in her effort. Sandy Springs became a city in 2005, and Eva was elected its first mayor at age 77, serving for 9 years until her retirement at age 86. Her quest & life story are both inspiring & fascinating, as told in her autobiography:

A Dream Come True: My Very Good Life

Sandy Springs' incorporation success led to the formation of several other cities north of Atlanta: Johns Creek, Milton, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Tucker & Stonecrest. 

The communities of Greenhaven & Sharon Springs seek to follow suit, with others likely to follow. Some future blog may address the merits & challenges of such a movement.

Sandy Springs inspired a 2012 New York Times article covering the outsourcing of nonessential services to private contractors, resulting in the reduction or elimination of long term debt & pension obligations. 

Essential services such as police & fire departments remain city services, and residents generally claim they are more quickly served than in former county administration days.

Hear the story direct in this 2013 interview with Mayor Galambos.

Fortune Magazine projected Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell to be the 5th hottest US real estate market in 2016. This author is too short on time to research accuracy of the prediction, but regardless of numerical rank, the robust market should continue thru 2017.

Economic development is a driving force behind Sandy Springs’ emergence as a most desirable place to live & work. The city is a leading hub of medical & biotech firms. It attracted the world headquarters for UPS & Newell Rubbermaid, and North American headquarters.for Mercedes-Benz. Commerce attracts talented residents & vice versa.

From days as Golden Ghetto to the vibrant center of Fortune 500 companies, Sandy Springs’ continuing evolution is nothing short of remarkable.


The New York Times
Forbes Magazine
The City of Sandy Springs