The redeveloper of complex projects like Atlantic Station and Aerotropolis Atlanta, Jacoby Development Inc., is planning to bring the largest movie studio in the southeast to the Atlanta metro area.
The company announced that it will redevelop more than 100 acres at the intersection of Interstate 85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Gwinnett County into what it calls “a dynamic live, learn, work and play campus that will open a first phase early next year.”
Jacoby will leverage existing buildings on the site to bring 400,000 square feet of media studios to the burgeoning movie production market in Georgia.
“The dozen sound stages that we build first will be full from the day they open,” said Jacoby Development Chairman Jim Jacoby. “The campus will be complemented by an arts and media education center in partnership with a leading higher education institution – plus a mix of housing, retail, hotel, office and entertainment to complement and support it.”
Joel Wascher, communications director for the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District, expects the facility will bring high paying jobs and continued revitalization to the area.
He told WSB that besides its close proximity to Hartsfield Jackson Airport and other parts of the metro Atlanta area, it’s also the perfect location for a movie studio.
“It’s within a 30-mile radius of the Georgia mountains, Lake Lanier, the city of Atlanta, so it offers a lot of different opportunities and venues for filming,” Wascher said.
The redevelopment site is excess property at the OFS optical fiber manufacturing site in Norcross, formerly known as the Western Electric/AT&T/Lucent facility. Closing should take place by the end of this year. The site, fronting Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Interstate 85, boasts more available power than anywhere in the region beyond Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.
An existing 300,000 square foot building on the site is optimal for an education and innovation center. The site resides in an opportunity zone and is in the Gwinnett Village Tax Allocation District.
“The bones of this property are perfectly suited to a media-centric redevelopment,” said California based architect Gary Bastien whose firm, Bastien and Associates, Inc. has designed movie and television studio projects for Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., CBS Studio Center, Sony, Viacom and Chapman University‘s School of Film and Television. “Georgia film and television production success is recognized in Southern California. The facility that Jacoby is building will be designed to Hollywood standards and will fill quickly.”
Films produced in Gwinnett County in the past decade include “Identity Thief,” “Flight,” “Due Date” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” More than 200 digital media companies make their home in Gwinnett, as do more than 150 motion picture, video, and sounding recording businesses.
“The sale of OFS’ excess land in Norcross will in no way disrupt our fiber production at the site or our high level of customer service,” said Timothy Murray, CEO and Chairman of OFS. “This transaction will increase our flexibility to expand production and invest in new capabilities as our customers require.”