Pinewood Studios—a London, England based major film and television production company will be locating in Fayette County, Georgia—at a site (approximately 290 acres in Central Fayette County) on the west side of Sandy Creek road near Veterans Parkway.
Pinewood Studios—although not well known in the United States are responsible for the James Bond Films—including the latest—“Skyfall”—"the Harry Potter" series, “the Hobbit” and “Les Miserables”—among others.
The development is to be known as "Pinewood Atlanta" and the first phase of the development would be on the southwest corner of the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Sandy Creek Road—in unincorporated Fayette County—less than 10 miles from our office.
The development plans include production offices, initial production stages, a mill work shop, a film school, a continuing education center, administrative offices—and a catering and culinary school.
As of early summer 2013 their plan was to house offices at nearby Rivers Elementary School—that is now under contract and expected to close in the summer of 2013.
Pinewood Studios is world famous for world-class films such as those mentioned above, however the Atlanta location would likely focus on high quality television production—and the leasing of studio space.
The project is a major one for Fayette County—as the County is rural to semi-rural in many areas—and this development has the potential to spur economic growth in a number of areas!
What They Do
British-based Pinewood Studios Group is a leader in providing studio and related services to the worldwide film and entertainment industry—and is headquartered 20 miles west of London, in Buckinghamshire.
The company has more than one million square feet of stage and studio space in 5 countries—and has been around over 75 years (founded in 1936 by flour magnate—J. Arthur Rank).
Pinewood is home to television, commercials, and other productions and has 3 locations in England, locations in Toronto, Berlin, the Dominican Republic—and Malaysia.
Although Pinewood does not develop film projects—it provides the production infrastructure to actually get the product onto film, sound stages, sets, lighting and the like.
Why Was Fayette County Georgia Chosen For Their U.S. Location
A major reason that the Fayette County location was chosen was due to tax credits—state tax credits that went into effect several years ago has led to a number of studios locating in Georgia.
Under current law in Georgia—production companies who spend a minimum of $500,000—get a 20% transferable tax credit—which jumps by an additional 10% if the company uses an embedded state promo in the film, TV series, music video—or video game project—according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEC).
There is no cap on the credit—which means the more that production companies spend here—the more they will save—which explains why Georgia is fast becoming—the “Hollywood of the South!”
Fayette County has been qualified as a camera ready community and has hosted several movies in recent years.
Those that come to mind —include portions of “Sweet Home Alabama” which were filmed at Starr’s Mill and “Joyful Noise” which were filmed at local churches—as well as the Fredrick Brown Jr. Amphitheater—in Peachtree City.
also hosted "Drop Dead Diva"—a television show on the Lifetime Network—and nearby
Senoia has produced episodes of “The Walking Dead”—another hit television series!
How The Development Is Expected To Grow
Pinewood is scheduled to start small—and eventually grow into the largest studio in Metro Atlanta—and the Southeast.
Phase 1 is scheduled to bring approximately 500,000 square feet of sound stage, workshop and office space. The buildings would be built on a lower elevation—so that even the sound stage (at 65 feet) would not be seen from Sandy Creek Road.
The continued development of Phase 1 would depend on the rate of growth—at the Fayette County location. The calculations through the first five years project the potential for almost 100 million dollars in construction—and roughly the same amount in operational costs.
The project is contingent upon annexation of the land into Fayetteville (expected to happen) where sewer services would then be available.
The goal is to have the studio operational by January of 2014.
Once up and running—the development is expected to spur other studio related businesses—such as those supplying cameras, lighting, building materials—and other related products and services!
In addition to the new Fayette County location—Pinewood is also expanding their British facilities.
What the Development Means to the Fayette County Area
Pinewood is a development that has the real potential to diversify and strengthen the Fayette county tax base, create new jobs, spur housing sales—and further preserve a high quality of life for those who live, work and visit this beautiful area.
The Fayette County location will have controlled access and the company plans to help beautify the area. The development is expected to have 100 foot setbacks and 2 entry points.
The two entries will have security buildings that will be situated well behind the right of way.
Long-term the project is expected to bring 2,000 jobs to Fayette County and a Heliport (Helicoptor landing area) may be needed.
In the first phase of development an upward of 150 jobs are expected to be created.
The developer is also proposing a 10 foot wide multi-use path for public use—in the area of the development.
Of the approximately 290 acres purchased—Phase 1 would disturb only 71 acres—leaving the remaining 217 acres (includes 78 acres of wetlands) undeveloped.
Hours of operation are scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.—although scheduled night shoots will occasionally occur. The Phase 1 development is expected to have 381 parking spaces.
Employees that will be needed include tradesmen, technicians, professionals and executives.
Pinewood plans to work with local schools, colleges and universities to help students pursuing careers in film, television and other creative industries.
Pinewood also has a reputation for setting up a one-stop shop for producers looking to shoot television and movie productions.
Pinewood, however does not have a reputation for financing productions—however they have a major reputation for leasing space to interested companies who have productions in mind!
Look for the Fayette location to be highly successful—with continuing tax credits—and an abundance of productions planned in the Southeast—Pinewood appears to be on track for a major long-term presence—in the Atlanta region.