‘Seaside on steroids’ next to Pinewood Atlanta Studios?

The Fayetteville City Council at its Feb. 25 retreat got a glimpse of what could be the future of approximately 200 acres adjacent to Pinewood Atlanta Studios. Project manager Jim Pace told council members the current plan for a portion of the area on the east side of Veterans Parkway would be to develop a New Urbanist community modeled after, yet exceeding, the upscale Gulf Coast resort community of Seaside, Fla.

Pace’s comments on the idea behind the mixed-use development came after council members asked for an update on projects in the immediate area of Pinewood Atlanta Studios.

Pace referenced the property totaling approximately 200 acres on the east side of Veterans Parkway. The property is included in the 1,200 acres annexed in September and will be part of the proposed zoning district now being considered by the council that would include a mix of both residential, mixed-use and business development.

Pace said plans include creating something along the lines of the development of Seaside, Fla.

Seaside was arguably the nation’s first full-scale mixed-use development to utilize the New Urbanism concept, one that incorporates walkable neighborhoods containing a range of housing and job types. At its inception in the early 1980s, Seaside began with an 80-acre development.

Pace described the potential development as, “Seaside on steroids,” explaining that it is envisioned as being “cooler and more up to date.”

Commenting further, Pace described the vision for the development as one which would become a “residential community on the order of Seaside” with business and community amenities such as a grocery store, park and amphitheater.

Pace said potential plans for the development include bringing in architectural talent familiar with SmartCode projects to “incorporate new ideas.”

The new zoning district for the recently annexed 1,200 acres on the city’ west side currently under consideration by the council is called transect zoning. Designed to replace conventional separated-use zoning that leads to urban sprawl, the transect zoning approach being proposed provides for lower density around the perimeter of the annexed acreage. The residential and business density, along with the height of the buildings, increases in proximity to Piedmont Fayette Hospital which is located in the center of the annexed property.

SmartCode is a transect-based planning and zoning model based on environmental analysis. It addresses all scales of planning, from the region to the community to the block and building, according to SmartCodeCentral.org

While Pace offered no specific details about the project, he said movement on the project might be initiated this summer.

naturegrl
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Pace-Seaside development

I believe Mr. Pace lives in Peachtree City. Not Fayetteville. Seaside, Forida, I have a suggestion, why do people think Fayette County has to be developed to look like some other place?

mudcat
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Now that's a very interesting question, naturegirl

Why indeed? It is almost that those that developed what is here are ashamed of that and are trying to do better. Or maybe it is just latching on the latest cutting edge idea that the swells from Princeton and Yale have invented in order to feel morally superior.

I do know that part of the slobbering love affair with New Urbanism is the deemphasis of the automobile which is probably born of a distaste of traffic jams. Might be too late to make a real difference, but its kind of like the global warming hoax - some people need an alternative religion to believe in. Quite harmless until they try to tell other people how to live their lives.

pips1414
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Lots of Good Sound Thinking Here!

Bee, Mo, Husband, and Nuk lots of good sound thinking and Googling regarding "Seaside on Steroids."

I hope the powers that be will read all of your comments.

I also have been to Seaside, Fl. several times (passed through). My family couldn't afford the prices. But it is beautiful. We ate at the Bud and Alley restaurant, and did a small amount of shopping at the grocery.

It is so beautiful, in fact, it borders on unrealistic. In a way, it reminds me of Disney World.

I agree about the tiny plots around the Seaside houses. Absolutely no privacy. Maybe transient folks don't care about privacy.

Busy Bee
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No mention of Celebration? Or Serenbe?

Celebration and Serenbe are the other names thrown around by planning consultants who are high on the idea of "New Urbanism". Of course these consultants generally have zero experience actually building or selling such a development and have never been on the hook with personal liablity for the loans involved, so it's real easy for them to show a few pretty pictures of some pretty new houses and say "Wouldn't it look good to have that here!" Cause they've never had any skin in the game.

But those pretty little houses are real expensive to build, what with all the cute architectural details, and when potential buyers see how much they cost per square foot vs the typical suburban tract house, they start to lose interest. And then when they realize that the pretty little house has a back alley and virtually no yard, they realize that they won't have a lot of privacy. And there is very little parking for the minivan, suv, and teenager's Scion TC.

There may be a few cases where a neo-traditional, "New Urban" development may work. Like Seaside or Celebration. But those are resort markets with either second homes for wealthy Atlanta suburbanites, or wealthy retirees. That doesn't appear to be the market that will be buying homes next door to Pinewood Studios.

Oh, and the retail? You do realize that the retail shopping centers in Seaside, Celebration, and Serenbe were all subsidized by the developers of those communities because there wasn't enough of a market to justify any retail. So you are either going to have to subsidize it somehow until the market has grown to justify the retail. Will the developer do that? Only if it can be justified for marketing purposes. Not likely.

Anyway, hasn't this already been done in Fayetteville (The Villages) and in Peachtree City (Lexington Park) with mixed results...

NUK_1
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Busy Bee: You nailed it

Totally agree with your points and they are so true. What may work somewhere else and what works in FC may not be the same.

One thing I left out of my Seaside post that I remembered is seeing Group Six(Jim Pace) signs on a couple of parcels. I guess they like that concept a lot, but I don't think it would work in FC. Pace is a decent dude, but I think he's selling some utopia here instead of reality.

moelarrycurly
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The next step & Google Earth

in the process will be to ask for rental capability in this little steroid utopia. We all know the transient nature of the production companies. When the project is done, they move on to the next project, where ever that may be.

Pinewood has said already their own staff will only be a handful of people. Others will come and go with the volume of production going on at any one time. Some vendors will stay behind. It only makes sense that the development closest to the studio will be geared to attract those coming in for months at a time.

For another interesting look at Pinewood, do a Google Earth search of Pinewood Studios, Pinewood Rd., Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England. You can substitute almost to a "t" Pinewood Rd. on the east side of the studio for Veterans Parkway. You can substitute Fulmer Common Rd. on the north side of the studio for Sandy Creek Rd.

Look at the layout of the studio property. Almost a carbon copy of Fayetteville Pinewood. Then, zoom in to look (at ground level) the housing just across Pinewood Rd. There you have what Pinewood wants here. This is where the "vision" is coming from.

Husband and Fat...
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Exactly

That's what I have been saying all along. There are not a lot of real careers for locals. The film industry is migrant. The county put their trust in a two time bankrupsey filler to make sound business decisions.

Let them put up a couple extended stay hotels on the grounds and let's keep our rural character. Right Mr. Brown?

If the city of Fayetteville even considers urban before we see a few years of revenue, they are making a huge mistake.

I am pro business, but with sound decisions. The development staff we have are good people, but they want to also build a resume.

Seaside on steroids seems kind of silly for the 95% of the people coming in to work.

Spyglass
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Good call on Google Earth..

I just looked at it...you are spot on.

moelarrycurly
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Kinda eerie,

ain't it? We will just have to get all our hedges in a row, I gather.

Xiphosura
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Seaside on Steroids

This is great! Can't wait for the development to happen. Fayette County needs a new approach to residential communities.

moelarrycurly
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Let's see who on Fayetteville planning

and council have cajones enough to say NO to Pace and this rezone. That is the choice, right? Yes or no?

Another ampitheater? Gee, got one about 2 miles one way and 6 miles the other way. They sit empty over 350 days of the year. Duh.

There is a word that has never been associated with nor should ever be associated with Fayette County. Urban.

Robert W. Morgan
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They won't be saying NO to Pace or Foley or the Cathy family

Not on this one, moe and others. This whole thing is like something passed down to the local yokels from the Pope. The marching orders are very clear that there will be no obstruction and no tweaking - after all they have hired experts.

Serenbe is actually a really good example of modern planning even though it is faintly reminiscent of an old Irish village. I really like it.

Husband and Fat...
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Serenbe and Seaside

Serenbe is a really nicely developed community that is Eco friendly with nice looking and efficient homes, but it's not considered urban development and it's certainly not complete. There are many sites still available.

Seaside may be a great idea. I just don't think this community (Fayette/ville) needs to rush in and make such drastic changes to allow for this until Pinewood starts dropping tax money into our coffers and our infrastructure is in place.

It could be a windfall for the designers, developers, suppliers, and the county. But before we jump off the deep end based on a financial model that depends on tax credits, and now lots of Atlanta local competition, we need to see how other states react and offer better incentives.

It can't go. Steve Brown and his commission posse promised to keep our rural character. Just look at their last campaign websites, lol.

hutch866
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H&F
Husband and Father of 2 wrote:

Seaside may be a great idea. I just don't think this community (Fayette/ville) needs to rush in and make such drastic changes to allow for this until Pinewood starts dropping tax money into our coffers and our infrastructure is in place.

How much do they need to drop in PTC coffers to build in Fayetteville?

Husband and Fat...
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I might not live

In Fayetteville, but I travel thru and don't think any community should rush this type of drastic change without a LOT of community input.

There isn't a set dollar I can say, but we should have at least 2 years to gauge where it's going. Who knows if Gwinnett or the one being built in Douglas county will steal some of the projects we thought would come our way earlier this year when it was one of the first new studios proposed.

hutch866
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H&F

So am I to understand that PTC should have a say in what Fayetteville does, just because you drive through Fayetteville? You've been against the whole deal from the beginning so I just can't seem to understand your term "we". Why do you even have a say?

BTW, nice non answer though.

KinderMom
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Yep hutch, that's pretty much how it works...

You are absolutely correct, but H&F isn't the only one who comments this way. There are more than a few bloggers here who basically say if you live in FayCo, but just outside of PTC limits, you are an evil tax evader who only lives and breathes to develop and act upon your sinister plot to blaze through town with the sole intention of beating up their cart paths. Can you imagine the lashing you would receive if you were just a lowly FayCo resident who dared to mention what PTC should do, one way or another, simply because you drove your car through it? I moved here for the FayCo schools which are just outside of PTC limits and I'm a proud FayCo resident. IMHO, the grass isn't any greener in PTC or Fayetteville proper, but everyone has two things, an opinion and an…

NUK_1
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I hope it's about FC overall and not territorial whizzing

I want to believe that the people who constantly jabber about Pinewood from PTC are simply concerned about FC overall, but I'm not so sure about that any more. I think some want it to fail miserably so they can say "I told you so!"

Lived in Fayetteville growing up for a long time and then PTC. I want nothing but success for both cities and I view Pinewood as a big plus for FC and Fayetteville in particular. They took a questionable(and very expensive) road project and turned it into something very positive IMHO. That was very well done. How that road had already affected the landowners BEFORE Pinewood saddens me, but that damage was done before Pinewood came on the map.

KinderMom
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I wish it all the best too...

I hope and pray for Pinewood's wild success, and not just to prove the nay-sayers wrong. I hope and pray for any employer within our county to be wildly successful. I lived in PTC and then moved to FayCo, and it wasn't to avoid paying taxes. I wanted more land and privacy, but I don't believe that means that everyone wants more land and privacy. Our county will have trouble attracting and retaining new families and employers if we think that everyone wants the same things that brought each of us to where we are. We are all just people who want the best for our families and our community and not everyone will define "best" the same. I'm not saying that FayCo should/could become a center of urban development, but it is definitely time to start thinking outside of the bubble.

KinderMom
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...

...

mjm1204
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And people really fall for

And people really fall for this crap? They could never do anything remotely close to mimic Seaside, FL. Seaside is vacation and retirement homes, nothing even close to a working community.

NUK_1
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Seaside, FL

Been there for a week and the only range of housing I noticed was "extremely expensive" to "bring a Brinks truck with you to closing." It may be called a work-play-live area by some, but it's on the Gulf, next to Destin, and there isn't any real range of housing. It's extremely pricey and probably a little overrated too.

Great area, but that would never fly here with the costs involved as well as the fact that a lot of people in FC don't buy into the concept to begin with. I guess if you're trying to attract retired millionaires a Seaside-On-Steroids concept might work to some extent, but where is the beach and the warmer climate supposed to go? Maybe Pinewood can convert part of the campus to a man-made beach with some heat lamps mounted above.

Robert W. Morgan
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Pace isn't really talking about Seaside itself

he's talking about something called New Urbanism. Fancy name for higher density mixed use dwelling and retail units that deemphasizes the automobile and celebrates that everything is within walking distance. Front porches, sidewalks, corner groceries, residential on top of retail for the shopowner's residence - all that stuff that made your great-grandmother's city life so neighborhood friendly until mass produced subdivisions, shopping malls and suburban sprawl changed the way we lived.

Realistic for near Pinewood? Maybe, if what you want is an insular neighborhood of just the Pinewood workers - a company town, so to speak. Uphill battle with current government because the first rule of the New Urbanism is "urban" and that means higher density - especially if you start stacking things on top of one another. Unlikely when everybody starts screaming "Density, density".

It can be nice and it can be cute and it can win all kinds of awards. Or, it can be practical, boring and semi-affordable - like most of the county - including Fayeteville and Peachtree City.

NUK_1
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I'm familiar with New Urbanism

It ain't going to fly in FC. Look at the first feeble attempt of Lexington Park as we all know.

There is definitely a market for new urbanism situations which is why Atlanta has suddenly gone back to being a majority white city instead of minority, but I sure don't see that happening here for quite a while, not with land and housing available next door in Coweta and plenty of shopping very close by. If I were in real estate, that would be last on my list of ideas in this area, but, hey, if the developer wants to pay for it and do it.....go for it!

Pace probably could have left out any reference to Seaside here too because that is a whole different situation and he knows that.

mudcat
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Ain't gonna fly for sure, NUK. North Cove did - sort of

but the overall New Urbanism thing with the corner grocer and the neighborhood pub got snuffed pretty fast. All of those people living there would like to have that, but were told by the city (under Steve Brown's leadership) that we didn't have zoning for that and can't consider it. Same thing with Lexington, city tweaks, customers freak.

Kinda reminds me of Sun City Peachtree coming into the county (where Pinewood is now)
and asking for a site plan review. Greg Dunn and his right handmaiden Linda Wells said "No, we don't have a zoning category for that right now, so go away." Only thing that saved a very expensive lawsuit was the cheap land near Griffin that they bought as their second choice and prospered.

This is like Obama doing a TV commercial with Zack the Greek. I mean, WTF is that about? Just do your job and govern. Stop the campaigning BS.

PTC Observer
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Mudcat - What's

What's the plan? Have you seen it?

What makes some communities prosper, you say that Sun City in Griffin is prospering? Why?

I am thinking specifically of Senoia, it seems to be prospering. It certainly has a lot of new venues, events, etc. Property prices are going up there too. So, if you picked up a reinvented Senoia and dropped it into Fayette County, why wouldn't that work?

You and Nuk seem to have some pretty strong opinions on this, what about this plan has you convinced it won't work?

mudcat
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Actually it would work without the government input

and the pressure of the naysayers. If you really did import Senoia along with its cooperative government which doesn't meddle with private enterprise - even a restaurant in a water tower is ok, the development would work in the sense that it would get financed, built and occupied. That, by the way is the same standard used to describe Sun City Peachtree as successful - especially since they are expanding with more houses.

But back to Pinewood. The main reason it won't work is that government in Fayetteville won't be able to keep its sticky little fingers off of the private developer's plans. They will hate the density, they will try to relocate certain elements to placate NIMBY neighbors and perhaps worst of all, regulate which type of businesses can be there and which ones are not welcome.First up- the proposed amphitheater which might compete with Fayetteville's own amphitheater - can't have that. Some will say that's government's job ad that's true, but sometimes they overdo it and screw things up. You have seen it before - just watch what happens as this unfolds.

PTC Observer
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Mudcat - OK

I understand your position on this now. You're right of course about government getting in the middle of things, if it was engaged in creating something worthwhile by staying out of the way, then you feel it could work?

I certainly like Senoia and what they have done there. I was also thinking that if this proposed development was executed well, it could act as a backdrop for a lot of footage for Pinewood. I am guessing it could actually become a nice attraction for the county as well.

I don't really think there are many folks locally that understand the mindset of the film industry. Some good film industry consulting work on the proposed plan could reap some nice potential benefits in the future if it goes forward.

Spyglass
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Great news...

Won't have to drive so far to get to the BEACH!!