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City takes over Heritage Sandy Springs venue operations

The Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center anchors the City Springs development, funded by a $159 million bond issue in 2015. The city is now laying the groundwork to refinance the bonds. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM AJC FILE
The Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center anchors the City Springs development, funded by a $159 million bond issue in 2015. The city is now laying the groundwork to refinance the bonds. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM AJC FILE

The city of Sandy Springs has taken over operations of the building for Heritage Sandy Springs Museum and Park. The nonprofit asked to be released from its operating agreement for the facility located on Blue Stone Road. Sandy Springs has always owned the building. Heritage Sandy Springs managed it as a source of revenue for the nonprofit through such things as renting out event space and ticket sales from Concerts by the Springs, said Bob Beard interim chairman.

Heritage also managed the farmers market, which moved to City Springs in 2018. Those income streams and donor support have been reduced by the coronavirus pandemic and the organization is taking a pause, said Beard, adding that the small number of staff was laid-off on April 24.

“We’ve kept our nonprofit status alive,” he said. “We will have to reinvent ourselves after the dust settles.”

Heritage Sandy Springs was founded in 1985 as the Sandy Springs Historic Community Foundation. The organization is a keeper of city history, preserving artifacts and documents exhibited in the museum at the historic Williams-Payne House on Sandy Springs Circle.

The city owns the home and will decide on future events held there, but Heritage Sandy Springs owns the artifacts inside, said Beard.

The Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center team will take over operations of Heritage Sandy Springs events, said Sharon Kraun, the city’s communications director.

Post-cornavirus, the goal is for all events to be profitable.

“Heritage Sandy Springs events fit well with what the arts center is already doing,” said Kraun, regarding shows and renting space. “We will work the same formulas that we were using for City Springs, so they pay for themselves.”