Sandy Springs, Georgia
Located north of Atlanta, Sandy Springs is an ITP and OTP community—its borders encompass land both inside and outside the perimeter of Interstate 285. With an estimated population of about 108,000, Sandy Springs ranks as the sixth largest city in Georgia and the second largest city in metro Atlanta. Sandy Springs is part of Fulton County. Public schools in Sandy Springs are run by the Fulton County School System, one of the largest districts in the state. Sandy Springs has 7 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 2 high schools. Sandy Springs has amassed numerous accolades and awards since it was incorporated as a city in 2005.
Sandy Springs is a city in its own right, with a population exceeding 100,000, but it is dwarfed by Atlanta to the south and is considered a suburb of the larger city. As cities go, it is relatively young, and it feels somewhat shiny and new, with abundant development underway. Its cost of living index is 137 on a national scale of 100, and the rest of Georgia scores 93. Median home price is almost three times the state average, but average rent charged is just over the state norm.
Doing without an automobile would be difficult in Sandy Springs, even though three bus routes run through it and MARTA's red line, served by four local stations, will quickly deliver rail riders to Buckhead, Midtown, Downtown Atlanta and to the huge Atlanta International Airport. Although numerous parks, playgrounds and nature trails are available, they are leisure-time "destinations" rather a lifestyle statement.
Sandy Springs is in no way a traditional city, but it boasts a downtown area that includes the original natural springs it was named for. Northside Tower has long been considered a downtown landmark. Its various neighborhoods comprise homes, shops, restaurants, offices, commercial centers and the largest medical center in Georgia. It shares the sprawling Perimeter Center development with neighboring Dunwoody.
The oldest house in Sandy Springs dates to 1842, and in 1950 the Georgia state legislature blocked Atlanta in its attempt to annex the growing community. It remained under county jurisdiction for the next five decades, despite housing booms and major growth. Its road to cityhood was not without significant roadblocks, and Sandy Springs only achieved full independence in 2005, when its residents voted 94% to 6% in favor of incorporation.