Updated, 7:30 a.m.
The Norcross area could be the new home of a movie studio complex starting next year.
Jacoby Development Inc. is proposing to redevelop more than 100 acres at the OFS optical fiber manufacturing site near I-85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard into a "dynamic live, learn, work and play campus that will open a first phase early next year," according to a news release.
The developer, who also redeveloped Midtown's Atlantic Station, said it will leverage existing buildings on the site to deliver 400,000 square feet of state of-the-art media studios to the burgeoning movie production market in Georgia.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that it would be the largest movie studio in the entire Southeast.
"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."
The OFS site has more available power than anywhere in the region beyond Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, continues the release. 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 Community Improvement 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."
More than 200 digital media companies make their home in Gwinnett, as do more than 150 motion picture, video and sounding recording businesses.
Films produced in Gwinnett County in the past decade include "Identity Thief," "Flight," "Due Date," and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Just Wednesday (April 24), Sycamore Productions shot in Historic Downtown Norcross for a day for "A Friggin' Christmas Miracle" starring Robin Williams, Joel McHale, Candice Bergen and Lauren Graham.
While the complex is proposed to take up a large portion of the OFS site, the fiber optic company said they still plan to be there and the project should not affect its manufacturing facilities.
The OFS property is also where the $1 billion gambling complex had been proposed a year before. Issues arose since the complex revolved around video lottery terminals, and the Georgia Lottery Board decided not to consider voting on approving the machines for use at the location. Last December, O'Leary said his contract to use the OFS site was no longer active.
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