Southern Living staff visit Idea House site

Tue, 11/10/2009 - 4:00pm
By: Ben Nelms

A group of Southern Living magazine staff and associates visited Senoia Nov. 5 to see the location of the publication’s 2010 Idea House located on the Gin Property residential development in the downtown area. Though long a Southern tradition, the Senoia selection marks the first brownstone chosen by the magazine.

For Southern Living, the choice of its first brownstone was a good match with Senoia. One of five 3.5-story luxury brownstones to be constructed in the new 75 residential unit project, the Idea House will total approximately 3,700 square feet and will feature a courtyard, plunge pool and grilling pavilion.

As with each of the other four brownstones, it will be outfitted with a rooftop terrace and an elevator. The remaining brownstones will average approximately 3,500 square feet. The units will carry a price tag of $600,000-$1 million.

“With the growing attention on small town life and family-oriented, walkable communities, we set our sights on finding a historic town under revitalization,” said Southern Living Homes Group Director Kristen Payne. “This town is blending the best of today with the nostalgia of yesterday. It’s why we chose this location to tell our story with this year’s Idea House.”

Standing Nov. 5 in front of what is the beginning of construction of the five brownstone section, Idea House project manager Frank Craige said developments such as this enable people to move to a tighter-knit envelope that is desirable for both families and empty-nesters.

And Craige said the magazine already knew of the work done by Riverwood Studios owners Paul Lombardi and Scott Tigchelaar.

“We knew they would pull off an unbelievable brownstone,” Craige said.

As for the placement of the Idea House within the five-brownstone section, Craige said he loved that the Idea House was on a corner so extra features could be added to give the project more dimensions.

Craige said Idea Houses are normally open from June to September with 15,000-20,000 people taking a tour. Based on conversations with Tigchelaar, Craige said that number could increase to 25,000-30,000. This year public tours will begin in June and run through the Christmas holiday season.

Speaking about the current brownstones and the larger Gin Property development, Craige complimented Tigchelaar and Lombardi and their long-time participation in the Senoia community.

“Paul and Scott are willing to do high quality projects of this magnitude,” Craige said. “These are lean times, but it shows that they have faith in their efforts and in Senoia. This should be a template for other communities.”

Craige and Tigchelaar were joined at the site Nov. 3 by Jamie Elliot McPherson, formerly of Newnan, who will be responsible for the project’s interior design, project architect Todd Strickland of Historic Concepts in Peachtree City and others associated with the project.

The Idea House will be built by Atlanta-based John Bynum Custom Homes.

Proceeds from the tours will be donated to the Fayette/Coweta chapter of the American Cancer Society through the Cattle Baron’s Ball fund-raiser.

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