May 3, 2013 - Fayetteville: A heavy equipment operator uses a bulldozer to prepare farm land for the construction of Pinewood Studios on Friday, May 3, 2013 in Fayetteville, GA. Once construction is complete it will be the largest movie studio east of the Mississippi River. JCRAWFORD@AJC.COM

Chick-fil-A’s Cathy to unveil development plans at Pinewood Studios

Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy and partners expect to unveil plans next week for a long-simmering live-work-play community outside the busy Pinewood Atlanta Studios complex in Fayette County.

The project, to be called Pinewood Forrest, is expected to include more than 1,200 residences – including apartments, senior housing and single-family homes – as well as retail, office space and health care facilities on more than 230 acres. Media and Fayette leaders have been invited to the event July 21.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last year that a mixed-use complex, including new studio space, had been pitched to local and state planners in a Development of Regional Impact filing.

A hotel and $40 million performing arts center also have been discussed, but plans for partial county funding of the center have been dropped from a SPLOST tax proposal, according to a report in The Citizen, a local newspaper.

The Pinewood campus, which counts the Cathy family as an investor, has become a major anchor for the state’s booming film industry, and the state recently opened a film academy on site to train workers.

Film campuses tend to be self-contained and inwardly focused hives of activity. But development near the Pinewood site would be a new wrinkle in the growth of Georgia’s movie business.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s office said last July that 248 television and movie projects shot in Georgia in fiscal year 2015, spending $1.7 billion in the state. That’s more than six times the film business spending in Georgia in 2008.

A media advisory introduces Cathy as the project’s “chief visionary” as well as owner and developer and longtime Atlanta area real estate figures Bill Lynch and Lew Oliver as members of the development team.

Additional filming campuses are in the pipeline in Georgia, including one announced in recent weeks in Covington, east of Atlanta.

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