Riverwood Culinary Caters Sandy Springs Luncheon; Chef Wins Award

Chef Elissa Oliver, director of the Culinary Arts program, received the School Program Champion of the Year award.
Students in Riverwood International Charter School’s Culinary Arts program provided a buffet for a recent event. (Riverwood International Charter School)

SANDY SPRINGS, GA — Riverwood International Charter School’s Culinary Arts program has 21 students cook a catered buffet for over 150 attendees at the Sandy Spring Education Force (SSEF) 2019 VIP Breakfast on Thursday, May 16.

As an added bonus, the students saw their leader, Chef Elissa Oliver, director of the Culinary Arts program, receive the SSEF School Program Champion of the Year award. The SSEF presented the award in recognition of Oliver’s dedication to providing Riverwood students with the culinary and life skills to be successful after graduation.

"Chef Oliver and her students always come in smiling and happy," Irene Schweiger, SSEF Executive Director, said. "She does something to inspire her kids; this is a jewel of a program."

The 9th -12th grade culinary arts students who volunteered for the assignment began their day at 5:45 am. They prepared a menu that included a sausage, egg, and cheese casserole, shrimp and grits, fresh bacon, orange and cream cheese danish, blueberry muffin tops, and yogurt. Fresh cut fruit was provided by Chick- fil-A Sandy Springs, a community partner that employs many Riverwood students. The task was complicated by the fact that the school year at Riverwood was concluding and the kitchen was packed up for the move to a new, larger facility in the soon-to-be-completed second phase of Riverwood’s new academic building. While this is not the first year the Riverwood students have catered the VIP Breakfast.

"Planning and mise en place (having all ingredients measured, cut, peeled, etc. before starting cooking) for this event was key," Oliver said. "We had to be super-organized ahead of time since it was the last week of school and we were moving."


Freshman Blake Marotte said the catering opportunity was "pretty hectic, but fun," adding that he enjoyed participating in this important community event. Sophomore Fernanda Guerrero offered that Oliver and the Culinary Arts program had helped her learn about successful time management, teamwork, and "how important it is to do things right."

The annual VIP Breakfast, held at Heritage Sandy Springs, drew volunteers, educators, and businesspeople from around the community.

Preparing and serving the meal were: Ana Bello, Dominick Bruce, Jason Camacho, Anaya Chennault, Huntly Connery, Silvia Diaz, Richard Figueroa, Jr., Alex Gama, Ayanna Gardner, Brooke Graffagnino, Fernanda Guerrero, Daniel Jackson, Madison Langton, Jacob Lorenzo, Alex Marcelino, Blake Marotte, Erick Ramirez, Mari Rodriguez, Sianne Simmons, Byron Vega, and Olivia Yanes.

The Riverwood Culinary Arts program is one of the school’s many career-based Pathways, and students who complete the program can graduate with industry-standard ServSafe certification. Many Culinary Arts students work in the kitchens of fine restaurants in Sandy Springs and beyond.

Oliver is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and worked in kitchens at the Cherokee Town Club and Viking Cooking School before taking over the culinary department at Riverwood in 2013.

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The Mansions at Sandy Springs (Opening Spring 2019)

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A 17-mile trail system taking shape in Sandy Springs to connect parks, neighborhoods, destinations

Sandy Springs is moving forward briskly with planning for an estimated 17-mile set of trails to link parks, Perimeter Center and the city’s central park. The city council has allocated $750,000 to further a plan still on the drafting tables at PATH Foundation.

The Abernathy Greenway Park features six playable art pieces, pavilion, picnic tables and restrooms located along Abernathy Road. Credit: Sandy Springs Conservancy

The $750,000 is a drop in what will be a multi-million-dollar bucket to build the trail system over time. That said, the money the council put in a budget that takes effect July 1 marks a commitment to continue a greenspace expansion program that was at the center of the campaign that led to the city’s incorporation in 2005.

The trail project brings plenty of challenges and opportunities. A big opportunity identified in a set of preliminary findings presented at a public meeting June 19 includes connecting Marsh Creek, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River, with the Abernathy Greenway Park.

Planners are being asked to thread a trail system through a densely developed city. They don’t have the benefit of an existing corridor to form its spine, as does Ga. 400 for PATH 400 and a rail line for the Atlanta BeltLine. Yet confidence is high the system can be designed and built, according to Ed McBrayer, co-founder and executive director of the PATH Foundation.

“Sandy Springs has an incredible opportunity to weave a greenway and trail through the city, even though it is densely developed,” McBrayer said in an email. “It is possible to connect the trails along the existing Chattahoochee and City Springs to virtually every neighborhood in the city.”

PATH has a contract to design the system and has brought in Kaizen Collaborative. Kaizen has worked on Atlanta’s planned Proctor Creek Greenway Trail, in addition to providing construction designs for more than 100 miles of trails in the Southeast.

City Springs Park is located along City Green, a public greenspace, and includes City Hall, a performing arts center, shops, gyms and cafes. Credit: Sandy Springs Conservancy

Likewise, the Sandy Springs Conservancy is optimistic the trails can be built and will add to the park amenities it is working to enhance. The conservancy helped the city pay for the trail master plan and intends to assist the project as appropriate in the future, Executive Director Melody Harclerode said.

“The trail system means connections into the community, connections to our parks, to important landmarks in the city – whether it’s City Green or schools, Perimeter Center or destinations in the north end of the city, in particular,” Harclerode said. “Trails will provide connections among our neighbors inside the city, and to our neighbors in Roswell and Cobb County, and trails will further the connections we are making into Buckhead, with PATH 400, and to Perimeter Center and Dunwoody.”

The conservancy was formed in 2001 and has helped with projects including the city’s signature Abernathy Greenway Park. The linear park features six playable art structures that brighten the view of commuters along Abernathy Road, the thoroughfare leading to the bridge at Johnson Ferry Road that crosses the Chattahoochee River.

Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks Director Michael Perry cited some practical considerations facing the trail plan. For starters, 17 miles is the current talking point, but that length is likely to changes as planners encounter the realities of construction design. The $750,000 is just a starting point for a project with total costs likely to be measured in millions of dollars a mile.

All that said, the project has moved forward at a pace that some governments would view as expedited.

Perry observed the timeline to date includes:

A planned trail network would weave through Sandy Springs to connect parks and other destinations. Credit: sandysprings.ga.gov
February – City council adopts a comprehensive plan for Sandy Springs’ recreation and parks system; June – City council approved a budget with a $750,000 line item in the capital improvements section for a trail system; a master trail plan was unveiled at a June 19 public meeting; the plan is to presented this week to a steering committee; Late summer – A revised plan is to be presented for expected adoption by the Sandy Springs City Council.

The trail system represents what may be the final step to knit together the city’s greenspace program. Greenspace, and the quality of life it represents, has long been important to Sandy Springs’ civic leaders. Eva Galambos said as much in 2010, when the city opened its first park – Morgan Falls Overlook Park – just as the Great Recession was ravaging the city’s spending capacity.

Galambos, the city’s first mayor who’s often referred to as the city’s “founding mother,” said at the time that Overlook Park may be the last one built for a time. She predicted that future city officials would renew the effort as the economy improved. City officials and their lead parks partner, Sandy Springs Conservancy, are working to establish new parks and link them with trails.

Members of the group preparing to tour Sandy Springs to review the siting of potential trails include Sandy Springs Conservancy Chair Jack Misiura (left), board member Carolyn Axt, SSC Executive Director Melody Harclerode, and Ed McBrayer, PATH Foundation co-founder and executive director. Credit: Sandy Springs Conservancy
Sandy Springs’ Marsh Creek Rain Garden Park is a biofiltration site to clean stormwater and provides a walking trail and picnic tables. Credit: City of Sandy Springs
Morgan Falls Overlook Park opened in 2010 as the first park created as a full service community park by the new City of Sandy Springs. Credit: Sandy Springs Conservancy
Sandy Springs’ City Springs Park provides a central gathering place for community events. Credit: City of Sandy Springs

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Sandy Springs’ north end plans include new business district, shopping center studies and trail

The city of Sandy Springs is weighing creating a Community Improvement District to help fund projects on the north end as it moves forward with recommendations from a task force plan, including mapping the possible route for a “Greenline” trail and requesting proposals for shopping center redevelopment.

The city’s studies came out of recommendations from the North End Revitalization Task Force, which last year drafted a report with ideas ranging a new multiuse trail similar to the BeltLine to a massive city-supported “catalyst” project that could inspire other developers to build the north end.

A map illustrates possible routes for a “Greenline” trail. (Special)

A Community Improvement District is a self-taxing group of commercial business owners that funds infrastructure projects. By law, CIDs cannot tax any residential owners or properties, including single-family homes, condos or apartments.

Worthy said in a presentation at the June 18 City Council meeting that the city is doing the CID review internally to see if businesses are interested and to determine which properties “could be impacted.”

The presentation also revealed a map of the Greenline trail’s possible route.

The trail is proposed to run to the upscale Huntcliff neighborhood, Chattahoochee River, Roswell Road and Sandy Springs Charter Middle School.
The Greenline would be a multiuse path for pedestrians and cyclists similar to Buckhead’s PATH400 and Atlanta’s BeltLine.

The city has also had “recent conversations” with developers about proposals they’ve made for some north end properties, Worthy said.

Although the developer’s proposals weren’t detailed, a map in the presentation showed they include a group of commercial buildings on Dunwoody Place that hold Pontoon Brewing Company and the Sandy Springs Theatre Company, among several others. Two others are a retirement community and car dealership on Hightower Trail.

The city also plans to explore creating a “boulevard” on Roswell Road, which is called for in the city’s land use plan and task force recommendations. The initial section would run from Dunwoody Place to the river. The boulevard project would include adding a landscaped median, pedestrian and bicycle paths and trees while keeping both directions two lanes, according to an illustration.

The city’s shopping center study is expected to be finished by the end of the year and would include “detailed concepts for how each property could be developed to attract developer interest.”

Sandy Springs Together, led by the two former co-chairs of the city’s north end task force who now oppose many of the recommendations, released a statement saying the shopping center redevelopment study could have affordable housing consequences that should be understood before the city moves forward.

“Rebuilding outdated shopping centers will be a welcome addition to our city’s infrastructure but as we have seen in town after town — including Atlanta’s well-intended Beltline — the danger of gentrification and displacement is very real,” Sandy Springs Together said in a written statement. “If we are to avoid negative consequences of gentrification that will surely follow this redevelopment, we must first address affordable housing. The city shouldn’t go from one alternative to another without conducting a full impact study of the city’s affordable housing needs and its ramifications.”

In response to a question from Councilmember John Paulson, Mayor Rusty Paul said that he thinks the city has “made it very clear from the very beginning we would try to provide retail opportunities first.” Buying apartment complexes to tear them down does not “make sense,” he said.
Sandy Springs Together has argued that the city may not be planning to directly remove affordable housing, but that the city’s plan to inspire redevelopment may spur gentrification.

The study targets the Loehmann’s Plaza Shopping Center, 8610 Roswell Road; Northridge Shopping Center, 8331-8371 Roswell Road; North River Village Shopping Center, 8765-8897 Roswell Road; and North Springs Center, 7300 Roswell Road, the request for proposals said.

At least two of the north end shopping centers that are the subject of the redevelopment study already have their own short-term plans in the works, and it’s unclear how they would be affected. An activist group is criticizing the study as a thrust for gentrification.

Changes may come to the Northridge Shopping Center amid the study. The shopping center, where a Kroger closed in 2017, was recently sold. Rafat Shaikh, the president and CEO of Safeway Group, Inc., the new owner, said the company expects to fill the space left by Kroger “soon” and is negotiating with “several” potential tenants. He did not provide more details.

Shaikh said he had not heard of the study from city and wanted more information about it.

Worthy said she had spoken to the owners of the other three shopping centers and the broker of Northridge. The feedback from the owners has been “very positive,” she said.

“They see it as a potential opportunity to market it for potential redevelopment,” Worthy said. It will show the property owners, “This is really what you could do with your property should you chose to do so.”

Public meetings will be held during the study process. Two meetings will also be held at each of the properties, the document said. The study will include recommended redevelopment uses, three illustrated concepts and estimated costs.

A redevelopment of the North Springs Center is already planned, but has been stalled since 2015 due to a dry-cleaner pollution cleanup. The owner got a cleanup extension from Environmental Protection Division to March 2019, and no further extension has been requested.

The cleanup at the 9-acre site is being conducted by a prospective buyer, Buckhead-based Blanchard Real Estate, which has taken new groundwater samples to determine if additional cleanup is necessary, EPD spokesperson Kevin Chambers said. The data has not been supplied to EPD yet, he said.
Blanchard and an attorney for the longtime owner, North Springs Associates, did not respond to a request for comment.

The owner of the North River Shopping Center, Stream Realty, did not respond to a request for comment. Stream’s Southeast regional director, Jack Arnold, served on the city’s task force.

The owner of the Loehmann’s Plaza Shopping Center also did not respond to a request for comment.

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Deaths elsewhere

Deaths eslewhere

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Funeral services and burial will be private for a Georgia city’s “first man.”

Dr. John Galambos, who was married for six decades to Sandy Spring’s first mayor — Eva Galambos — died of natural causes Wednesday. He was 97.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Eva Galambos advocated for the creation of the city and triggered the cityhood movement in the mid-2000s. She died in 2015.

Sandy Springs’ current mayor, Rusty Paul, confirmed Galambos’ death in a statement Thursday, calling it a loss for the city.

He described him as the backbone for the former mayor.

Paul says it was his “steady strength and devotion that contributed” to her success.

A Jewish native of Hungary, Galambos survived Germany’s Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where author Anne Frank was killed.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Swimming governing body FINA said Friday that vice president Dennis Miller of Fiji had died of cancer. He was 61.

FINA said Miller, a former 100-meter butterfly champion in Fiji, was swim team manager for his home country at the 1982 Commonwealth Games and 1988 Olympic Games, and chef de mission of the Fijian team at the 1996 Olympics.

He became executive director of the Oceania National Olympic Committees in 1997, and was president of the Oceania Swimming Association since 2008.

Miller was also a member of the FINA technical open water swimming committee in 1997, serving for over 10 years, before joining the FINA Bureau, where he has been liaison for open water swimming.

He was also a member of the FINA Executive when he died.

“We are very saddened with this terrible news,” FINA president Julio Maglione said. “Dennis was a brilliant administrator and a great promoter of the aquatic sports.

He played a very important role in the inclusion of open water swimming in the Olympic program, starting at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

JACKSON, Miss. — In the Washington political scene of bombast and big egos, Republican Thad Cochran of Mississippi wielded power with a quiet, gentlemanly demeanor.

He played piano in his Capitol Hill office and dashed off handwritten notes of thanks or congratulations to constituents.

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The white conservative reared in the segregationist the Deep South hired African American staff members, supported historically black universities and received support from black voters who provided a crucial margin for victory in his final campaign.

— Associated Press

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Husband of Georgia city’s first mayor dies at 97

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) — Funeral services and burial will be private for a Georgia city’s "first man."

Dr. John Galambos, who was married for six decades to Sandy Spring’s first mayor — Eva Galambos — died of natural causes Wednesday. He was 97.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Eva Galambos advocated for the creation of the city and triggered the cityhood movement in the mid-2000s. She died in 2015.

Sandy Springs’ current mayor, Rusty Paul, confirmed Galambos’ death in a statement Thursday, calling it a loss for the city. He described him as the backbone for the former mayor. Paul says it was his "steady strength and devotion that contributed" to her success.

A Jewish native of Hungary, Galambos survived Germany’s Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where author Anne Frank was killed.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

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City Springs To Host Holiday Events

SANDY SPRINGS, GA — The heart of Sandy Springs will soon transform into a holiday-themed district, as City Springs will play host to a slew of events designed to celebrate the season.

These festivities kick off Sunday, Dec. 2 with Sparkle Sandy Springs, which starts at 5 p.m. on the City Green. This event, which was rescheduled due to the possibility of inclement weather, will feature the first-ever Christmas tree and Menorah lighting, live music by School of Rock Atlanta, a visit by the Coca-Cola Polar Bear, and a wonderland of festively decorated six-feet-tall wooden houses painted by local businesses, schools and nonprofit organizations.

Businesses and organizations that have made houses include Art Sandy Springs by Glenna Stanhouse, Battle & Brew, Burn Boot Camp, CalyRoad Creamery, Heritage Sandy Springs, High Country Outfitters, Keep Sandy Spring Beautiful, Friends of Lost Corner, Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School, North Springs High School, Pontoon Brewing Company, Riverwood High School, Sips n Strokes, The Drake House, and Trader Joe’s Sandy Springs, and La Dee Da Creative & Art Studio.

Free hot chocolate will be served and concessions will be available for sale. The festive display is free and open to the public throughout Dec. 31. For more information, visit the Sparkle Sandy Springs website.

Now through Sunday, Dec. 2, the Roswell Dance Theatre and Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance are presenting "The Nutcracker" at Byers Theater inside the Performing Arts Center. This is the largest performance of the Nutcracker in the North Fulton area, with more than 350 performers ranging in age from 1 year to 80 years old. Be sure to get your tickets by clicking here.


If you won’t be able to attend a "Nutcracker" performance, City Springs Theatre Company will present "Elf The Musical" Dec. 7-16 at Byers Theatre. Tickets for the show are now available online.

Other holiday events and shows taking place at the Performing Arts Center include:

The Sounds of Christmastime, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15. Award-winning a cappella vocal ensembles Song of Atlanta and Atlanta Vocal Project share their passion for harmony and the Christmas season in this special holiday performance in the Studio Theatre. Get tickets here.Mount Vernon Christmas Arts Showcase, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17. Mount Vernon Presbyterian School presents a family-friendly celebration of Christmas featuring choirs, bands, dance troupes, string ensembles, and actors aged 8 to 19 at Byers Theatre. Join the school for this collage-style Christmas production as it explores the JOY of Christmas. Before the show, guests are invited to a Visual Arts Show and Exhibition of Learning in the lobby from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Get tickets here.Jewel’s Handmade Holiday Tour, 8 p.m. Dec. 19. The fan favorite Handmade Holiday Tour returns this Holiday season for a one of a kind tour, performing Holiday classics, Holiday originals and classic Jewel songs alongside Special Guests and family members Atz, Atz Lee and Nikos Kilcher, who all star in "Alaska: The Last Frontier." Get tickets here.Boston Brass – Christmas Bells are Swingin’, 8 p.m. Dec. 22. Perennial favorites Boston Brass have teamed up with all-star brass players from around the globe to produce an unmatched sound that will light a fire for your holiday season. The ensemble of all brass features fiery big band arrangements of classics like the Stan Kenton Christmas Carols, Greensleeves, and Motown Jingle Bells in a setting that will delight audiences of all ages. Tickets can be found here.New Year’s Celebration with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Featuring Joe Gransden & Francine Reed, 8 p.m. Dec. 31 in Byers Theatre. Ring in the New Year in style at City Springs with an unforgettable evening of music and celebration! The Grammy award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra kicks off the evening in the Byers Theatre with a program of orchestral pops favorites, featuring trumpeter and vocalist Joe Gransden and vocalist Francine Reed. Purchase your tickets online.A Champagne Encore with Joe Gransden and Francine Reed, 10 p.m. Dec. 31 in the Studio Theatre. Join Joe Gransden, the Big Band and Francine Reed for dancing and gourmet treats to ring in the New Year. The evening will feature seasonal fruits and a world tour of imported cheeses. White and Dark Chocolate covered strawberries and assorted Petit Fours. Freshly brewed coffee, decaffeinated coffee and variety of Special Teas. And, of course, a Champagne Toast at midnight. Tickets are online by clicking here.

You can find more details about these events by visiting the City Springs website.

Image via Sam Marks/city of Sandy Springs

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Sandy Spring Bank Appoints New Treasurer

Sandy Spring Bank announced today that it has appointed Michael Burke as Treasurer and Division Executive.

Division Executive Brings More Than 30 Years of Experience

OLNEY, Md., Oct. 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sandy Spring Bank announced today that Michael J. Burke has joined the company as Treasurer and Division Executive. Burke will focus on leading a strong and dynamic Treasury team and enabling the bank to continue to deliver competitive and sophisticated financial solutions. With an eye towards effectively managing risk and optimizing the bank’s overall performance, Burke will also help the bank manage regulatory requirements as the company continues to grow and expand its presence throughout the Greater Washington D.C. region.

“Michael brings a wealth of experience in global, regional and community banking to our team,” said Philip J. Mantua, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Sandy Spring Bank. “He brings fresh ideas that will help us elevate our capabilities and continue to gain momentum in this highly competitive market.”

With more than 30 years of banking experience, Burke joins Sandy Spring Bank from United Community Banks, Inc., in Blairsville, GA, where he was Senior Vice President and Treasurer. Prior to that position, Burke was Senior Vice President and Manager of Strategic Business Development at Marshall and Ilsley Corporation in Milwaukee, WI.

“With a company-wide focus on personalized client service, Sandy Spring Bank is well-positioned to grow in this market,” said Burke. “I am impressed with the bank’s track record of success, diverse product and service offerings and commitment to investing in local communities across the region.”

Sandy Spring Bank is the largest, locally-headquartered community bank in Greater Washington D.C. This year also marks the bank’s 150th anniversary. In recognition of this milestone, the bank officially launched the Sandy Spring Bank Foundation and engaged employees in several community outreach efforts, including planting 150 trees throughout the region. All employees have also been encouraged to volunteer at least 50 hours in the community and the bank is facilitating service activities throughout the year to help employees achieve this goal.

About Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc.
Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Olney, Maryland, is the holding company for Sandy Spring Bank. Independent and community-oriented, Sandy Spring Bank offers a broad range of commercial banking, retail banking, mortgage and trust services throughout central Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Greater Washington D.C. Through its subsidiaries, Sandy Spring Insurance Corporation and West Financial Services, Inc., Sandy Spring Bank also offers a comprehensive menu of insurance and wealth management services. Visit www.sandyspringbank.com for more information.

Media Contact: Jen Schell

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a3cd064c-117e-47e6-bfb0-791d1606db52

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LemonShark Poke, From The Wallflowers’ Tobi Miller, Coming To Sandy Springs

California-based poke franchise will debut summer 2019 in The Bishop.

LemonShark Poke is expanding to Georgia.

The California-based poke franchise from former The Wallflowers guitarist Toby Miller, in summer 2019 will open in Sandy Springs.

It will be situated in a new mixed-use community called The Bishop, according to a press release Monday.

The restaurant will occupy a 2,500-square-foot space in the Pollack Shores development, at 1115 Springwood Connector.

The project also includes neighboring retail and approximately 400 luxury apartments.

D.J. Fuchs is the franchisee bringing Georgia’s first LemonShark Poke to the market.

He plans to open multiple LemonShark Poke locations around the city as the franchise continues to grow.

In addition to poke, the restaurant will boast an oyster bar and a "beer wall."

The menu also includes shareable appetizers such as tempura shrimp and egg rolls and its Hawaii Katsu menu that features cooked-to-order, entrées of chicken, Alaskan cod and more.

The company, founded in 2017, has 16 locations (and counting.)

It is named after the Lemon Shark which "only consumes the very best fish possible."

Associate Director Chris Dundon of Newmark Knight Frank represented the tenant.

Charlie Banks and Jack Arnold from Stream Realty represented the landlord.

Photo: Official
Photo: Official

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After outcry, Sandy Springs tables amending underground utility policy

Steven Cadranel, a commercial real estate developer, said there’s no way his company’s two recently completed, adjacent Sandy Springs projects – The Cliftwood apartments and The Plaza at City Springs shopping center – would have been built if the city had then instituted a stricter underground utility policy.

The amended ordinance, if approved, would require developers to either bury utility lines themselves on their own dime or pay into a city fund, at a cost of $2,000 per linear foot, that would require Sandy Springs to do it for the builder. Under the current ordinance, due to confusing language in the code, enforcement of utility burial, which is required for certain projects, has been inconsistent, according to city documents.

“As a developer I can tell you you’re asking us to choose between two impossible options,” said Cadranel, owner and president of Sandy Springs-based Arris Realty Partners. “Left with that choice, I can tell you as an example, if we had to clear this hurdle as part of our redevelopment project, it would be more difficult. Because we were able to avoid this obligation, we now have a retail center. If our choice would have been to pay into the fund, it would have increased our project costs by approximately 15 percent. I can only sincerely tell you that if those were our options: bury it ourselves or pay into the fund, we would still be looking at the vacant (American Pie) and Cocktail Cove (properties), which would not have been a sustainable development on any front.

“When I take the fee and apply it to the (potential) project just south of Dalyrmple Road on Roswell Road, I find the incremental costs to redevelop that challenging property would be an additional $3 million. … I think this ordinance deserves additional study.”

Cadranel was one of two individuals who spoke out against the proposed amended policy at the April 2 Sandy Springs City Council meeting at City Springs. The council was sympathetic to their pleas.

After Mayor Rusty Paul asked for a motion to approve the first of two votes regarding the issue, there was a long pause and silence from the council. Then District 3 Councilman Chris Burnett motioned to table the measure, it was seconded by District 6 Councilman Andy Bauman and then approved 5-0. District 1 Councilman John Paulson was absent. By tabling the issue, it could come up at any future council meeting, and no timetable is set.

Michael Paris, president and CEO of the Council for Quality Growth, a Sandy Springs-based nonprofit trade association supporting quality growth and development, also spoke against the amended policy.

“We’re concerned about the implementation of this ordinance,” Paris said, adding he hoped the council would table the measure.

Paul responded by defending the ordinance and saying, “As you know, Mr. Paris, that’s only one option. Your members have the ability to bury it themselves. So if they don’t like that price, they can do it themselves. It’s based on what Georgia Power is telling us the cost is. So we’re giving you the options. You don’t have to pay money into the fund if you don’t think we can manage it properly.”

Rusty Paul

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