By next spring, 550,000 square feet of film studios and a 5-acre park. Later, townhomes, apartments and corporate offices.
Atlanta-based Gray Television and its development partner released details today of a plan to create more than a 120-acre film and entertainment campus on the site of the former Doraville General Motors plant.
Gray paid $80 million to buy the site from Atlanta real estate company Integral Group. Gray made the purchase official this evening at tonight’s Doraville Development Authority meeting.
Within five years, the media company expects the project will host TV shows and eGame tournaments.
Earlier on Monday, Gray’s Chair and CEO Hilton Howell Jr. told Atlanta Business Chronicle Doraville is a better location for Swirl Films, its production unit in Paulding County known for Bounce TV’s “Saints & Sinners” and other BET series. The new Swirl Studios and other studios will be the “backbone” for the Doraville TV and entertainment hub, said Jay Gipson, owner of The Gipson Co. and Gray’s development partner.
Gray’s 50-foot-tall studios and production facilities will anchor the project. Iconic Studios at Assembly Yards is the working title.
It may also include a retail village and office buildings. Gray wants it to become part of a Georgia film industry that is quickly bouncing back from pandemic shutdowns. It says demand for studio space is growing.
The 234 film and television productions that filmed in Georgia during fiscal 2020 spent $2.2 billion, putting it on pace for another record-setting year before Covid-19, according to the Metro Atlanta Chamber. The industry has since rebounded. At least 20 productions are filming or preparing to film.