How Live-Work-Play Communities Have Become One of Metro Atlanta’s Biggest Draws read more
When Pinewood Atlanta Studios opened its doors four years ago, the one-million-square-foot campus did something remarkable: it helped turn Georgia into the number one filming location in the world. Myriad blockbusters, including many within the Marvel Universe, have been produced on the property, which is located just south of Atlanta in Fayetteville. Approximately 4,000 people work on the production campus every day, and a thriving industry has sprung up around the studio. And while that is an incredible feat, the studio has also done something else that is equally unprecedented: it has prompted the creation of an entire town directly across the street.
Situated on 235 exquisite acres of bucolic farmland, Pinewood Forest is a community unlike any other. “The original idea was to create a community that was planned around the ecosystem of the film industry. But it has become a cluster for creatives,” says Rob Parker, president of Pinewood Forest, LLC. “This is now a community for storytellers, artists and their patrons. Just like musicians go to Nashville and gymnasts go to Colorado Springs, storytellers are coming to Pinewood Forest.”
What’s attracting those individuals is the genuinely unique live-work-play environment of Pinewood Forest, which is distinctly different from other master-planned communities. On the residential side, the community will feature 600 single-family homes, 100 townhomes and 600 multifamily apartment units. The community can even accommodate micro-homes and tiny homes. When it comes to features, the homes boast everything from gourmet kitchens and 10-foot ceilings to private courtyards and professional landscaping, and homeowners can work with the community’s design team to customize their residences. Furthermore, each home within Pinewood Forest is 100 percent geothermal and uses the Earth’s constant temperature to heat or cool with greater efficiency, saving homeowners between 40 and 70 percent on their HVAC bills.
Each home within Pinewood Forest is 100 percent geothermal and uses the Earth’s constant temperature to heat or cool with greater efficiency, saving homeowners between 40 and 70 percent on their HVAC bills.
What’s more, the setting in which these homes are located is beyond what people might expect when thinking about a location that’s south of a major metropolitan city and only 20 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. In addition to the entire community being situated on beautiful forest land, Parker notes that more than 50 percent of the community has been dedicated for green space, a wetland preserve and boardwalks that traverse the property. “Every home is either located on a park or within a block of a park,” he says. “There are patches of green everywhere you look. We’ve basically looked at golf course living and given the golf course to everybody.
Of course, what truly makes Pinewood Forest stand out is the fact that it has managed to blend a rural setting with an urban feel. In fact, the town’s design is steeped in new urbanism, which promotes environmentally friendly living habits through the creation of walkable neighborhoods. And that is exactly what the Pinewood Forest team have done by devising a spectacular European-meets-Southern-inspired Town Center that is the focal point of the community. The 25-acre district, located in the heart of the town, will include everything residents could ever want just footsteps from their front doors: 12 chef-driven restaurants, a performing arts center, a boutique hotel and a select service/extended stay hotel, more than 70,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, a 60,000-square-foot Piedmont Wellness Center, galleries and collaborative working space, as well as traditional amenities like pools, sports courts and more. There is even a micro-school that speaks to the educational needs of highly creative children; The Forest School uses Socratic discussions, e-learning, hands-on projects, apprenticeships and more to provide students with a self-paced, purposeful education.
“With Pinewood Forest, we wanted to answer the question, ‘Is there a better way to live?’” We looked at how people thrive, how they flourish. We considered happiness factors, and we have built all of that into this community,” Parker observes.
Pinewood Forest is currently in phase one of its residential development, with 60 homes built and more in various stages of construction. The community’s planners expect all 1,300 residences to be completed within seven to ten years. While that is underway, the focus is also shifting to the Town Center, which recently broke ground; much of it should be completed by the end of 2019. And as the town rises from the farmland that surrounds it, people of all ages are flocking to Pinewood Forest, with everyone from millennials to empty nesters, as well as film industry professionals from Los Angeles, New York and London, recognizing the amazing opportunity that lies within the community.
“It’s pretty remarkable. Beauty is built into everything here,” Parker concludes. “When we started, we wanted to build a town across from this incredible creative space. But it has grown to be so much more. It’s grown into building a better way to live. And we’re delivering on that promise.”
For more information, visit pinewoodforest.com.