Plans revealed for 234-acre mixed-use project adjacent to Pinewood Studios

By Ellie Hensley and Maria Saporta

Fayetteville, Ga. civic leaders and Chick-fil-A Inc. CEO Dan Cathy on Thursday detailed plans for a massive mixed-use development with three distinct districts adjacent to Pinewood Studios.

The 234-acre new urbanism community, Pinewood Forrest, will have more than 1,200 residences and 270,000 square feet of office, restaurant and retail space.

“New urbanism is sweeping our country,” said Dan Cathy, owner and developer of the project, who was referred to as the “chief visionary” for Pinewood Forrest. “It will be a live, create, play kind of community. We envision this to be your ultimate sandbox for a creative community.”

Pinewood Forrest

Pinewood Forrest leaders use clapboards as their version of a ground-breaking. Left to right: Lew Oliver, Fayetteville Mayor Ed Johnson, Dan Cathy and Bill Lynch (Photo by Maria Saporta)

The “heartbeat” of the development will be Village Square, a park and concert venue, which will be surrounded three residential districts: the Woodlands District, the Craft District and the Garden District.

These districts will offer housing at all price points. On the higher end will be single-family homes with carriage houses. Other ioptions include cottages for millennials and empty nesters, tree houses and tiny houses, though developers said these would have larger houses than those of the traditional “tiny house movement.”

“There will definitely be a lot of diverse options from extended stay to rentals of many shapes and sizes,” said Steve Beshara, founder and president of Vista, which is handling strategic communications for Pinewood Forrest.

The development team also has planned a 90- to 100- room boutique hotel and a 200-room Extended Stay Hotel.

The development in rural Fayette County will also have 15 miles of walking trails and sidewalks designed around parks and green spaces. The fan-like design of the development will allow developers to keep many of the existing groves of trees.

Pinewood Forrest Lew Oliver

Lew Oliver, architect and town planner of Pinewood Forrest, points to the masterplan of the development (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Other proposed features include community gardens, pools, playgrounds, a dog park, shared meeting spaces and a wellness center.

There are plans to have a shuttle running from Pinewood Forrest to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and MARTA. There will also be a pedestrian connection across Veterans Parkway to Pinewood, though developers have not yet decided whether the walkway will go above or below the road

“It’s a wonderful template that we hope will inspire a new generation of new urbanism,” said Lew Oliver, Pinewood Forrest architect and town planner of Whole Town Solutions.

Although the development is intended for people of all ages and occupations, it was helped along by the immense success of Pinewood Atlanta Studios, which opened in 2014 and has since became an unofficial home for Marvel movies like “Ant-Man,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”

“Pinewood Studios is just one more reason this project is coming to life,” said Bill Lynch, project manager for Pinewood Forrest.

Pinewood Forrest will be developed in four phases. A timeline for the project was not announced.

“This will be a community like no other, an industry-specific community with a clear target audience, Cathy said. “The most exciting days are still ahead of us.”

Pinewood Forrest

Pinewood Forrest

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

3 replies
  1. Steve Wise says:

    Are the developers spelling “forest” with a double “rr” to “honor” Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the Ku Klux Klan? Or is that just a typo?Report

  2. Kevin Dowling says:

    I hope they are building this as a livable backlot. We need a solid block or two of brownstones/store fronts. Here’s hoping.Report


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