The Serenbe master plan, designed by architect Phillip Tabb, director of the architecture department at Texas A&M University, envisions 2,500 residents scattered through four interconnected villages. Currently, the village of Shelborne is 80 percent finished, while a second, Grange, is 20 percent complete. The private development is part of Chattahoochee Hill Country, an incorporated area with a governing body and public services.
The project started in the mid-1990s, when the Nygrens bought a property in the lush, undulating countryside on the edge of the Atlanta metro area. They soon realized, however, that their bucolic landscape was becoming engulfed by new development. To keep construction at bay, “I started to buy land,” recalls Steve Nygren, “but I realized that I couldn’t buy enough to protect us.”