by: Wendy Corona Updated:FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. —
Metro Atlanta is getting closer to becoming the Hollywood of the Southeast.
Fayette County is deep in talks with Atlanta’s River Rock LLC and Pinewood Studios Group in England to construct what would be the largest film studio complex in the state. The proposed site sits at the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Sandy Creek Road near Piedmont-Fayette Hospital.
Pinewood Studios Group is known for such blockbusters as the Harry Potter and James Bond film series.
Fayette County’s Commission Chairman, Steve Brown, said the timing is just right.
“The studio is very excited to have the opportunity to be here, and I think we can give them just about everything they want and more,” Brown said.
The county has it all mapped out on more than 288 acres with more room to expand.
“It’s going to be a regional wide impact. The potential is huge,” said Brown.
The plan includes incubating a film school through Clayton State University and training a local production workforce. Georgia did more than $3.5 billion in film work last year alone.
While talks are progressing, there is one major project that needs to be fast-tracked to bring the movie-making magic to Fayette County. Brown said the West Fayetteville Bypass will need to be expanded to create quicker access to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The next step includes rezoning the land at a public hearing on March 7. With virtually no opposition, the first phase of constructing sound studios and facilities may begin in the spring.