Thursday, I had the pleasure of taking a bus down with other GAHBA members to tour Serenbe, a lush oasis of greenspace and sustainable development. There is so much to see and do at Serenbe that this post is a mere glimpse at life in this thriving community near Palmetto.
Our tour began with a brief ride past the inn, which remains around 80 percent occupied year-round and is rumored to have excellent fried chicken at the restaurant on Sundays. The inn was the original farmhouse the Nygren family occupied on weekends when Steve Nygren purchased the home as a weekend retreat in the 1990s. It was only a matter of time before Steve, his wife Marie and their three children fell in love with the quality of life at Serenbe, and decided to make it their primary home.
Our tour guide – Garnie Nygren, Serenbe’s Director of Operations and one of Steve’s daughters – passionately told our group about the long and difficult process to make the broader vision of Serenbe, as well as the Chattahoochee Hills Country, come to life. Through years of meeting with land owners, developers, the Fulton County government, investors and sustainable development visionaries, Steve realized that nothing existed quite like what he planned for Serenbe. The community is truly one-of-a-kind.
Once complete, Serenbe will consist of three hamlets; each with homes, commercial space, ample greenspace and a specific theme.
Selborne is an arts district, filled with spaces that celebrate the visual, performing and culinary arts. The Serenbe Playhouse puts on productions in various places around Selborne. Art galleries and fantastic restaurants are in abundance. Artistic touches are in abundance, from the lamp posts to trash cans.
Grange is focused on agriculture, and the center of the community is the large organic farm. Blueberry bushes are found at each crosswalk, feeding the native birds and residents looking for a quick snack alike. Grange is home of The Nest, which features the most eco-friendly home in Georgia. Homes in The Nest typically use $200 worth of electricity a year. Though in Fulton County, most residents pay water bills of just $5 to $15 a month.
A future hamlet will be focused on health, and feature a boutique hotel, day spa, assisted living and more.
Serenbe is all about quality of life, from the immense amount of greenspace (only 30 percent of the land will be developed) to the sense of community created by details such as mail stations and alley-way garages. You can’t truly experience Serenbe by reading about it or looking at photos – you need to visit. The community is just 25 minutes south of the airport, and about 45 minutes from midtown. Visit the Serenbe website for more information and directions.
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