Georgia is Now 3rd in Worldwide Film Production – Why It’s Important to Real Estate

Posted on February 6, 2017 by

After beefing up its film incentive program in 2008, Georgia has emerged among the top places in the world for film production.  In less than a decade, Georgia has quickly become the “Hollywood of the South” with more movies and TV shows filming in the Peach state than most places around the world. A recent study has put Georgia as the third largest film industry in the world only behind the United Kingdom. However, with the recent BREXIT issues, Georgia’s film industry is expected to exponentially grow and possibly become the number #1 filmmaking location in the world.

For those that don’t know, Georgia gives film, television and digital entertainment a tax credit of up to 30 percent. Georgia’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act provides a 20 percent tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in Georgia, either in a single production or on multiple projects with no caps on amount spent. Then, the state grants an additional 10 percent tax credit if the finished project includes a promotional logo provided by the state. If a company has little or no Georgia tax liability, it can transfer or sell its tax credits as well. These credits create significant cost savings for the production companies producing feature films, television series, music videos and commercials, as well as interactive games and animation. 

Further, Georgia Film Academy was created last year and has accepted 194 students for its pilot semester to help in the training of the workforce for the film production industry.  They anticipate over 600 to graduate by year end and expect the academy will burst with enrollment to over 1000 students shortly.

Let’s take a look at the real estate involved.  Currently, there are 52 production companies in GA.

  1. East Point – Tyler Perry purchased 330 acres of former army base Fort McPherson in South Atlanta for $26 million which is expected to draw new retail and bring a boon to long suffering East Point.
  2. Tucker – Macauley Investments is planning up to 500,000 square feet of studio and production space on the former 90-acre Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse property to be called Georgia Motion Picture Studios. Future development would also feature 616 multifamily units, 91,000 square feet of retail space, townhomes and a grocery store.
  3. Covington – Triple Horse Studios announced a new $100 million film and television complex planned in Covington on 160 acres which will be an amenity-filled campus.
  4. Atlanta (South) – Valhalla Film Studios paid $6.7 Million for 53 acres and an old paint and wallcovering warehouse just south of I-286 at Moreland and is planning on investing over $70 million.
  5. Fayetteville – Pinewood Studios is wrapping up its third phase of construction which will make it the largest film studio in the country encompassing over 989,100 square feet.
  6. Doraville – Third Rail Studios purchased an old General Foods building. The $10 million studio will boast 60,000 square feet of stages, 30,000 square feet of production offices. Next door, Atlanta based Integral which will be doing a $1.6 billion mixed use development to include 10 million square feet of office towers, retail, apartments, and restaurants next to where the previous GM plant once stood.
  7. Union City – Atlanta Metro Studios opened last year in the former Shannon Mall.

During the last fiscal year the film industry in Georgia impact exceeded the $7 billion mark with $2 billion of that representing direct spending from the 245 feature film and TV productions shot in Georgia over the fiscal 2016. Currently, there are 34 TV shows and movies being filmed in Atlanta in January.  This industry is sustaining more than 439,000 jobs statewide which is over 10% of the workforce.  Since 2007, the film industry represents a 2000% economic growth impact in Georgia.

What does this all mean?  Not only are big dollars being spent on real estate for the studios, but, with the studios, commercial growth for retail and restaurants is following.  All these new studios are bringing workforces employing thousands which will need housing.   As most of these studios are in blighted areas, I believe a lot of rehab opportunities or short-term rentals are next to where the studios currently are or are planning on being.  Thank you, Governor Deal, for making Georgia the place for film, music, and gaming production.

Deborah HarrisDeborah Harris is the hardest working Realtor in Atlanta and after 35 years, 1000 houses, 2000 lot sales, and 100’s of land and commercial deals, Deborah still loves real estate. She is a facilitator for various acquisitions, JV, site search, development. She has numerous awards (The Phoenix Award from the Atlanta Board of Realtors and Top Agent for Keller Williams International for April 2013), and dozens of designations. Deborah loves negotiating the deal, and is always striving to take her business to the next level.

Contact Deborah Harris


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