West F’ville development about to explode


2.2 million sq. ft. commercial, 1,345 residential unit project on 700 acres planned for W. F‘ville

It’s not just movies anymore. Pinewood is going big for the largest unified project in Fayetteville’s history and one of the the largest in Fayette County since the creation of Peachtree City more than a half century ago.

Pinewood Atlanta Holdings, LLC is proposing a sweeping development on nearly 700 acres to include 2.265 million sq. ft. of studio, retail, commercial and office space and 1,345 residential units to be developed in the coming years.

The Development of Regional Impact (DRI) proposal submitted to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) on Feb. 27 shows a planned development consisting of film studio facilities, production center, office, commercial, residential, hotels and institutional uses. The multiple projects included in the DRI carry an estimated completion date of 2022.

In total, the DRI proposal includes 2.265 million sq. ft. of building space and 1,345 residential units.

The DRI which includes 696 acres encompasses the 288-acre Pinewood Atlanta Studios site, a 225-acre residential component on the east side of Veterans Parkway, the 30-acre Pinewood Production Centre (the former Rivers Elementary School) tract, a 40-acre tract immediately to the north and west of the production centre, a tract of approximately 100 acres (Horton tract) immediately to the south of the studio lot property and a small tract further south on Veterans Parkway that is the home of the Georgia Military College now under construction.

“We’re proposing a bold initiative,” Pinewood Atlanta Studios project manager Jim Pace said at the Feb. 27 Fayetteville City Council retreat. “Progress stops dead in its tracks if we keep things the way they are.”

It was in late 2013 that the first soundstages were constructed on the Pinewood Atlanta Studios property in West Fayetteville.

A breakdown of the DRI area at build-out proposes the following:

• The 288-acre main studio property with a total of 1.46 million sq. ft. including 26 soundstages at nearly 600,000 sq. ft., 290,000 sq. ft. of workshops, 250,000 sq. ft. of warehouses, 320,000 sq. ft. of offices and a recycling center.

• The production centre site with a total of 270,000 sq. ft. including the former elementary school and other buildings.

• The Media Park expansion on the 40-acre site north and west of the production centre with a total of 222,000 sq. ft. of warehouses and offices.

• The Pinewood Forest residential component on the east side of Veterans Parkway with a total of 714 single-family homes, 324 multi-family units, 200 apartments, a 200-room boutique hotel, 75,000 sq. ft. of mixed use retail and 100,500 sq. ft. of mixed use/office/retail.

• The Horton tract with 107 single-family homes and 84,000 sq. ft. of retail, commercial and educational space.

• The Georgia Military College campus with 53,000 sq. ft. of classroom and administrative space.

Pace at the Feb. 27 meeting noted that the increasing emergence of Fayetteville is linked not only to Pinewood, but also to factors such as Georgia Military College, Piedmont Fayette Hospital and the potential placement at Pinewood Atlanta of the upcoming Georgia Film Academy.

“We’ve got to do a better job matching economic engines to housing to address transportation problems,” said Pace, explaining the advantage of pairing job-generating areas with commercial offerings in a manner that provides walkable connectivity with residences and community amenities. “Where we’re falling down on is in housing. A community is either vibrant and moving forward or it continues to decay.”

The DRI proposal requires the approval of bodies such as the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA).

A proposal covering the Pinewood Forest development is expected to be heard by the Fayetteville Planning Commission later this month and by the City Council in April.