As a first grader, Lew Oliver dreamed of creating beautiful towns while swinging on the playground. Those fantasies wound up propelling the Georgia Tech graduate to work on more than 40 new towns on four continents—including Serenbe and Vickery Village locally—before getting his big break in 2017. That’s when he was tapped to curate the master plan for the 235-acre residential and mixed-use development Pinewood Forest south of the city, adjacent to Pinewood Atlanta Studios.
“Our development team is committed to making a great place for a huge diversity of people, family makeups, cultures and ethnicities,” says Oliver. “We have curated the design and assembled a first-rate builder guild to implement the vision. It is groundbreaking for me in that half the homes front ‘green streets’ or carless pedestrian streets that reward with visual delights and a faster, healthier way to get around.”
Spearheaded by Pinewood President Rob Parker on behalf of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, Pinewood Forest broke ground in 2017 and is expected to be fully completed in seven to 10 years. Expect 1,300 residences (approximately 700 geothermal-powered)—from cottages to detached homes, priced from $300,000 to $2 million—along with 275,000 square feet of commercial and retail space (including a movie theater, a performing arts center, two hotels, an office building and Piedmont Wellness Center), and 15 local eateries (think Hop City Craft Beer and Wine, Pancake Social, Honeysuckle Gelato and Braise). Also on tap: 118 acres of green space, including 15 miles of pedestrian paths and an 8-acre Central Park with a resort-style pool.
“Lew Oliver is two parts genius, one-part magician,” says Parker. “It’s hard to overstate the importance of design when you are creating a place you want people to fall in love with, and Lew has that once-in-a-generation kind of skill. We are thrilled to provide Lew a canvas on which to paint.”
Photography by: Patrick Heagney | Shot on location at Pinewood Forest