Pinewood Forest near Pinewood Atlanta Studios promises to be a creative hub like no other The Making of a Media Mecca
By Ca ro l Bada r acco Padge t t development lead; Lew Oliver, town urbanist; Keith Summerour, architect and designer, who’s credited with creating the property’s one-of-a-kind swimming pool; and multiple development partners such as Pace Lynch, Capstone Communities, Spotlight Theaters, Ross Hotel Partners, and five residential home builders. With its first phase now open and future phases in the works, Pinewood Forest is proving to be what Parker calls “a magnet for creativity.” The “create” aspect of the live-work-create commu- nity refers to its unique homeowner demographic of film industry professionals and those allied with the profession. “Pinewood Forest was built from the ground up to be a brand-new kind of town,” says Parker, “stimulating creativity and designed around keeping residents’ wellness top of mind.” The development offers a combination of eco- conscious single and multi-family homes in a variety of floor plans and sizes. “Every home is heated and cooled using the earth (geothermal), and built with the highest quality materials,” Parker notes. “They are designed and built with a more urban feel, to share amenities like walkable trails, parks, art strolls, and the Mediterranean- style resort pool.” Other types of dwellings planned for the development include micro homes (small, portable dwellings), garden-like canopy homes in the trees, condos, and a boutique hotel. In addition, the project’s town urbanist, Oliver, is working with a team of architects to create what Parker describes as “a walkable European-styled village” throughout the development.
L ive. Work. Play. These three words represent a mix of ideals that Atlantans readily embraced in the early 2000s as mixed-use construction projects popped up all around the metro area. Why is mixed-use living such a big draw? Simply put, people gravitate toward it because they don’t want to spend all their time commuting to and from work and back and forth from the nearest retail stores. They want to spend more time at home with their families. They want their offices or co- working spaces close to home. And they want restaurants, bars, theaters, community amenities, and green spaces within walking or biking distance. Since the film industry took hold of Georgia and the city of Atlanta around 2008, mixed-use projects have continued to spring up—many of them cut from nearly the same basic mold. But now, nearly 12 years later, the still-growing film industry has prompted urban planners and visionaries to put a new spin on the popular mixed- use concept. At one development in particular, Pinewood Forest, the typical mixed-use “live-work-play” formula or mixed-use has morphed into “live-work-create”. Pinewood Forest is different because it’s adjacent to Pinewood Atlanta Studios, the renowned full-service film complex that rests on 700 acres south of the city in Fayetteville, Ga. The latest development brainchild of the visionaries and owners of Pinewood Studios, Pinewood Forest is the nation’s first-ever “live-work-create” community. The players in the concept and development of Pinewood Forest include Atlantan Dan Cathy, described as “chief visionary”; Rob Parker, president and
Currently open in Phase I, the Piedmont Wellness Center of Pinewood Forest illustrates the development visionaries’ commitment to residents’ need for healthy lifestyles. “The wellness center features world-class customized exercise and nutrition programs that include Les Mills’s The Trip, a cycle class performed in front of a movie screen that shows exotic animated locations,” Parker says. Other amenities include a soon to be open town center that will include retail and bespoke restaurants like Pancake Social and Hop City BarleyGarden. By 2021, more restaurants and shops will join the lineup, accompanied by a luxury movie theater with eight screens and a rooftop exhibition area. Parker notes, “We see this as an ideal gathering place for creative and film world premieres.” Another draw of Pinewood Forest, given its residents’ involvement in the film industry, is its close proximity to Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “The idea of clustering creatives that are related to the film industry just minutes from the busiest airport in the world creates the opportunity for Pinewood Forest to be a global gathering spot for inspired content creators,” Parker shares. As it grows, the creative development will continue to attract the highest profile moviemakers and industry players. Parker, who happens to live in the development with his wife, notes, “We are thrilled to have creatives in an array of studio disciplines living in our midst—from writers and directors to stunt people, craft service, and even fitness trainers to the stars.”
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