Major movie studio planned for redevelopment project
By: Cammie Young
Gwinnett Daily Post
NORCROSS — By early next year, directors could be yelling “action” in Gwinnett’s own movie studio.
Plans were announced Wednesday for 400,000-square-feet of state-of-the-art studio space along Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Interstate 85, in the latest plans to revitalize an under-used site currently used to develop fiber-optic cables.
The studios are part of a 100-acre mixed-use project envisioned by Jacoby Development, the company that built the popular Atlantic Station in Atlanta.
“The dozen sound stages that we build first will be full from the day they open,” Jacoby Development Chairman Jim Jacoby said in a press release. “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.”
The plans include a previously announced entrepreneurial college created by Cliff Oxford, as well as residential, office and retail buildings. The fiber-optic company OFS plans to continue to use 60 acres of its property.
“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.”
The news came on the day that major stars, including Joel McHale, filmed scenes in downtown Norcross and a month after Reese Witherspoon worked on location at Sugarloaf Mills Mall in Lawrenceville. Other recent films produced in Gwinnett include Identity Thief, Flight and Due Date, and, according to a press release, more than 200 digital media companies and more than 150 motion picture, video, and sounding recording businesses are based in Gwinnett.
Jacoby said the sale of the land will likely close by the end of the year, and the first phase of the development will open early next year.
The site’s redevelopment has been a focus of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District, a business organization for the area.
“The CID is very pleased with the vision that Jacoby has for the site and we look forward to the impact this major development will have on the area,” said CID Director Chuck Warbington.