The Story of Us

Pinewood Forest is a town for creating.

A few years ago, Dan Cathy partnered with Pinewood Studios in the UK (where everything from Hitchcock to Harry Potter and James Bond were filmed) to build the studios across the street. The studios took off—we are consistently shooting some of the biggest budget movies in the industry, have an average of 3000-4000 people working over there on any given day, and it’s only expanding. We maxed out the local housing market and people were having to drive 45 minutes plus to get to and from work, which really doesn’t work well when people are working the incredibly long hours on set that are standard in the film industry. So Dan decided to build a town across the street—a town purpose-built for an ecosystem of healthy, thriving creators, makers, and storytellers.

Our intention, from the earliest conversations, has been to build upon and advance the best we know about placemaking and human flourishing. We believe that healthy creatives are the most creative. Our driving questions are:

  • How can we design a better way to live?
  • How can we create a place where professional creatives thrive?
  • And, what will those creatives put out into the world?

Fortunately there has been a whole lot of research done in the last few decades on both placemaking and human flourishing. There are four primary targets we have identified for human flourishing:

  1. A sense of meaning, like you are a meaningful part of something bigger than yourself
  2. Healthy, positive connections with others, oneself (mind, body, spirit), and nature
  3. Experiences of beauty
  4. Experiences of flow states in your work or play

We realize that we can kind of reverse engineer a place to generate those experiences for its residents. And we will measure how well our residents are thriving (anonymously), because you are what you measure.

We are determined to create a place that is racially, economically, religiously diverse and inclusive but that clusters the creative class, particularly those in the ecosystem of storytelling. You know how any young musician wants to move to Nashville or tech innovators move to the Silicon Valley? That’s what Pinewood is going to be for storytelling.

We are building a vibrant downtown that really will be the best food street in the South. There will be shops and restaurants all along the ground floor—no chains. Everything here will be unique to Pinewood. We’ll have office and co-working space, a state of the art wellness center, a gem of a performing arts center for concerts and premieres, a boutique hotel, an extended stay hotel, a grocer and farmer’s market, an incredibly innovative microschool in a treehouse. Three stories above the shops and restaurants will hold 600 apartments, studios, and condos. Then there will be a band of 100 townhomes, followed by 600 detached homes, all of which are either on a park or within a block of a park, are geothermal, and net-zero capable. And then, there’s our beachfront—over 50 acres of forest and miles of trails. ...And, all of the built environment is built dense like the forest so that it’s no more that a 10 minute walk to get anywhere in Pinewood. When you get here, you can park your car and leave it. If you do want to go somewhere else, we’ll have a wifi enabled shuttle to take you to the airport, which connects you to Marta so you can get anywhere in Atlanta, and anywhere in the world. You really can live here without a car, in fact, we are anticipating the day when we won’t have cars and we’ll be able to convert our parking areas into more plazas.

So here are the questions we want to leave you with:

What does a really good day, week, month, and year look like for you?

What would it look like for you to thrive?

What would you make or do if you could make or do anything?

What is in you that is not yet in the world?

Consider how much where you live affects how you live.