• Empty Norcross factory could be site of Southeast's biggest movie studio


    NORCROSS, Ga. - An empty factory in Gwinnett County could soon become the largest movie studio in the Southeast.

    The site is along Interstate 85 at Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross. On Thursday, Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh found movie production workers packing up a Winter Wonderland scene to convert it back to the Norcross Station Cafe. The Norcross restaurant was the site of the latest metro Atlanta movie shoot.

    "There's so much going on here. There's a lot of opportunity and a lot of work," movie set decorator Laura Golden said.

    Golden said job opportunities brought her to Atlanta from Denver. Now, more jobs could be on the way.

    "It's such a large site. The redevelopment could cause a lot of positive effects," said Joel Wascher, with the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District.

    As Channel 2 Action News first reported in January, the developer's plan also includes a university, an entrepreneur program, plus housing and retail.

    Supporters believe the I-85 site is an ideal location for a movie studio. Situated on the freeway, there's easy access to the north Georgia mountains, Lake Lanier and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

    "You're talking about a lot of jobs located there that support the retail and restaurant industries in the area," Wascher said.

    The idea is that crews need to eat, need places to shop and stay. One job creates opportunity for another.

    "Atlanta's the new Hollywood," Golden said.

    The developer told Kavanaugh that phase one will include a dozen sound studios. They could be running by early 2014.

    The development firm said it has a contract on the property. They hope to close the deal in the next few months.

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