Friday, May 14, 2010

Screen Gems Studio Report on WSB

Multimillion-Dollar Movie Studio Planned For Atlanta Posted: 5:14 pm EDT May 12, 2010 Updated: 6:45 pm EDT May 12, 2010 ATLANTA -

A multimillion-dollar soundstage could soon call southeast Atlantahome. Channel 2 Action News reporter Jovita Moore got an exclusive firstlook at plans to turn the Lakewood Fairgrounds into a soundstage for Screen Gems, a New York-based subsidiary of Sony's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group. The development would mean about 1,000 new jobs and many opportunities for new development in and around the Lakewood Fairgrounds. "To have a major company come in like Screen Gems and want to do something is exhilarating," said John Lavelle who handles Atlanta's real estate. The Lakewood Fairgrounds is a property the city has wanted to do something with. "The new soundstage, which will enable film production to take off in Atlanta, will be put where former sheds are," said Lavelle. A LOOK BACK: Lakewood Antiques Market Georgia competed with Tennessee and Louisiana for the development project.

Screen Gems currently has a studio in based in Wilmington, N.C. The Atlanta City Council finance committee approved the deal Wednesday. It now goes to the full city council for a vote on Monday. Among the benefits, the city would get rental income from the deal and millions would be invested into the old fairgrounds. It would also help put Atlanta on the map for moviemakers. Channel 2 has learned that Screen Gems has agreed to terms of an offer. It's ready to lease the fairgrounds for $250,000 a year to start, and make an initial $6 million investment -- replacing old metal sheds that are currently on the property with a Hollywood-type soundstage to make movies and rebuilding much of the infrastructure on 30 acres of land. "We think it's a very favorable deal ... we think it's important for the city of Atlanta to have these new economic development opportunities," said Luz Borrero, Atlanta's deputy COO. Borrero said the city worked for nearly three years to make this happen. "We are competing for this type of industry and it is not a given that they just simply choose us," said Borrero. During Moore's sneak peek at the plans, a Screen Gems executive and a landscape architect were also there reviewing site plans for the fairgrounds. The production company said it is ready to move in as soon as the ink is dry. The four buildings at the fairgrounds site will not be torn down, but instead get much-needed face-lifts. Infrastructure all around the property would also be improved. The city would get $250,000 a year to start, but that rent could get as high as $600,000 after the first 10 years.

The Lakewood Fairgrounds property is very marketable because there is plenty of parking and it is about four miles from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and downtown Atlanta. Visitors also have easy access to Interstates 75/85.

Copyright 2010 by

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No comments:

Post a Comment