Capitol Beat News Service
This story also appeared in Capitol Beat News Service

ATLANTA – Savannah may soon have a major film studio complex to boost its growing film and TV production industry.

The Georgia Film Academy is working with Georgia Tech to redevelop the Atlanta-based university’s Savannah campus at Jimmy DeLoach Parkway and Interstate 95 into a film production studio, Sandra Neuse, the University System of Georgia’s vice chancellor for real estate and facilities told members of the system’s Board of Regents Tuesday.

The professional education courses now offered at Tech’s Savannah satellite campus would be moved to a more central location in the city.

Georgia Tech Savannah’s 54-acre area at Jimmy DeLoach Parkway and I-95 is located outside Pooler near Gulfstream and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

Film and TV production has evolved into an important component of Savannah’s economy in recent years. In 2019, 129 projects – including eight feature films – filmed in Savannah generated $125.6 million in direct spending and $266.3 million in total economic impact, according to the Savannah Economic Development Authority.

But Neuse said the area lacks sufficient purpose-built sound stages and production facilities. A feasibility study showed the 54-acre Georgia Tech Savannah campus would be a good location to build a studio, she said.

Georgia Tech owns an 18,000-square-foot building on the site that would be repurposed for the studio complex. The project also would include two other adjacent buildings totaling 97,000 square feet.

Under the proposal Neuse presented Tuesday, Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures (GATV) – a nonprofit affiliated with Georgia Tech – would lead a request for proposals to select a developer for the project.

GATV also would guide the relocation of Tech’s professional education program.

The project and various lease and sublease agreements needed to redevelop the property will be subject to the board’s approval.

This story available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Education Foundation.

Dave Williams is bureau chief for Capitol Beat News Service, a service of the Georgia Press Education Foundation.