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Images: How Pinewood Forest mini-city’s commercial core is coming into focus

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Huge Fayetteville development adjacent to movie studios is set to welcome familiar intown names

A rendering of a modern looking building made with bricks and a cantilevered roof.
Hop City Craft Beer and Wine and Barleygarden Kitchen and Craft Bar will be among the first Town Center openings, housed in this building.
Renderings courtesy of Pinewood Forest; designs by Nequette Architecture

After the persistent rains of last winter dampened progress at the Fayetteville mini-city that is Pinewood Forest, developers aimed to capitalize on two months of parched weather in late summer and early fall to make up for lost time.

The result is that Pinewood’s Town Center commercial hub is starting to take shape with solidified plans and openings, all rising from 235 acres of former farmland about 30 miles south of downtown Atlanta.

The ongoing first phase is bringing 166 houses, 40,000 square feet of retail, apartments, a unique cinema, and eateries with names that many intowners are familiar with.

For starters, project reps tell Curbed Atlanta this week that Piedmont Wellness Center has opened in Town Center, offering more than 60,000 square feet of exercise and healthcare space. Next door, a new office building has been skinned with 100-year-old reclaimed brick for a touch of throwback authenticity.

A rendering of three short building planned for the Pinewood Forest mega-development.
A sample elevation and aesthetic.

Elsewhere, Town Center will eventually count about 50 restaurants, boutiques, and galleries, project leaders say.

Announced signings include: Native Beauty Bar salon and boutique; Apple Butter Bakery; Pancake Social’s café + coffee house (an outpost of the Old Fourth Ward restaurant); Honeysuckle Gelato; Hop City and sister company Barleygarden; and Braise.

The first opening is expected to be Hop City and its sister restaurant in February, featuring a roster of 85 rotating taps. Hop City has operated for a decade in West Midtown, with newer locations in Krog Street Market and West End.

Pancake Social and the office building are expected to follow in April, with additional openings planned between May and late summer, a rep tells Curbed.

Town Center’s first 263 apartments should open in the spring, and project leaders are under contract with a 182-room boutique hotel.

A piece that officials estimate will draw 500,000 visitors per year—a boutique movie cinema with eight screens indoors and one on the roof—is on track to open in fall 2020. The intent is to build on the cachet of the massive Pinewood Atlanta Studios film production facility on an adjacent property, where numerous blockbusters have been filmed.

Below is a color-coded look at Town Center’s multifamily residential component uses, rising from the first level to the fourth:

The first of four renderings shows the makeup of a section of residential development, from ground to fourth floor.
Ground-level plans.

Beyond the Town Center work, officials report that Pinewood Forest’s phase one residential section of geothermal-powered houses and townhomes is in final stages, with infrastructure such as roads, sewers, and power for the second phase going in now.

Builders are “hard at work trying to keep up with demand,” Pinewood Forest president Rob Parker noted in a recent update.

The community features the country’s first geothermal and solar energy-powered micro-home village, where six rental units serve to preview the 50 for-sale tiny homes planned later.

Elsewhere, 15 miles of multi-use trails that weave through subdivisions and a preserved forest are planned.

Ongoing construction marks year two of what’s expected to be a seven-year buildout.

Pinewood is promising an eventual 700 new homes, 600 apartments, 300 hotel rooms, and some 270,000 square feet of commercial space with restaurants and retail.

It’s expected to yield roughly 5,000 new residents—an additional 1,300 front doors—for Fayetteville, the Fayette County seat, which is home to about 18,000 people now.

A rendering of a huge development with a subdivision and trees beyond.
Pinewood’s masterplan, with Town Center at bottom.