Archive for the ‘Serenbe’ Category

logo_serenbecomm.gifA couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went to visit my parents in Atlanta.  As with anyone who works in residential real estate, I always have to explore the housing market.  There was one development that I discovered that I believe has got to be one of the most interesting and promising concepts I have ever seen.  I normally have great disdain for tract developments, but this one was anything but tract homes.  In fact, I liked it so much we are mulling purchasing a second home there.

The development is called Serenbe.  It is located about 30 minutes outside of Atlanta.  The concept of Serenbe is to create a sustainable community centered around the land and the residents.  Serenbe consist of 900 acres of actual farmland.  However, development is restricted to only 30% of the green space.  In addition, the homes are built around several town centers that house small local businesses.  The developer has basically created a small farm town.  There is also a lake, public community space, working farmlands, a bed and breakfast, and restaurant.  The end result is one of the most peaceful places I have ever visited.  Check out the photos.  You will truly be amazed!

We explored all the various areas of the community and took a walk along its country road where we mingled with farm animals and enjoyed the views of the open pastures.  The first phase is centered around a small town area with a few art galleries and a bake shop called the Blue Eyed Daisy.  This place was really good – sandwiches as big as your head and coffee with enough caffeine to make you fly.  It is also becoming the community center as everyone seemed to know each other and was a hang out for the residents.

Talking with the Realtors at the sales center, there will be two other phases of development.  The second will be centered around the working farmland.  Many of the homes in this phase will abutt against the farms.  The residents can work the land themselves or simply play farmer and have the HOA manage it for them.  Along with the farms, there are plans for five additional restaurants which ultimately will get much of their produce from the farms.  The third phase of development will be a health and wellness theme with spas and alternative medicine practioners.  There are also plans for sports fields, an arts center, and other community gathering areas.  This place is truly self contained.

Unlike most large residential developments, I believe Serenbe has got it right.  First, they preserved the green space.  Trees and open farmland is everywhere.  Second, the architecture is varied and unique.  No two homes are exactly alike.  You can have a modernist masterpiece next to a craftsman bungalow.  Third, the theme is real.  Serenbe is a working farm with cows, horses, and produce.  This isn’t a fake theme development like you normally see in the suburbs.  Fourth, the development encourages community and walking.  All of the homes are clustered together, have front porches, and sidewalks (gasp!).  There are also bike paths and other community centers.

It is really difficult to put into words how special Serenbe is in words.  You really have to see it to believe it.  Hopefully, other developers will catch on.


Read Full Post »