Yet another film studio is joining the Hollywood of the South after BlueStar Studios announced plans for a 53-acre film and TV production center in Forest Park, GA, with purpose-built stages available in the Atlanta metropolitan area starting Summer 2023. Offering more than 600,000 square feet of production and office space, the campus will include 18 stages ranging from 5,000 square feet to more than 40,000 square feet.
The historic 108,000 square foot Fort Gillem headquarters building serves as the centerpiece of the campus. Productions will have access to two intersecting 100GB fiber lines for supporting all technical needs, including cloud services and virtual production. BlueStar Studios is currently under construction and development will continue in phases through 2024, with an expected total investment of $180M.
“BlueStar Studios offers production teams, studios, and top-of-the-line stages equipped with the latest tech in a beautiful, historic campus conveniently located 10 minutes away from the Atlanta airport. It’s an exceptional space designed with creativity in mind, and our infrastructure provides the ultimate in bandwidth and redundancy,” said Rich Goldberg, CEO and Founder of BlueStar Studios.
Additionally, there are 45,000 square feet of former motor pool, wood-working, and metal-working buildings for mill and wardrobe. Amenities include a nature trail, on-site cafe, dog run, and more, and the campus retains much of its original 1940s era architecture, providing an abundance of practical shooting locations, as well as sound stages for traditional or virtual production. Offices are also available for lease to companies looking for a production-friendly home base in Georgia.
Developed to be an inviting place for storytellers, BlueStar Studios will support the surrounding community through employment and educational opportunities. The company is currently exploring partnerships with local universities and high schools, with the goal of becoming a premier destination for learning next generation filmmaking techniques and training students in the cinematic arts.
“Fort Gillem has long been a significant presence in our community, so we’re thrilled to see such a transformational development through this substantial investment in a technology-forward way. BlueStar Studios preserves the charm and history of the surrounding area while also bringing new production capabilities and boosting our local economy,” said Forest Park Mayor Angelyne Butler. “We look forward to welcoming productions and their highly-skilled professionals to Forest Park and sharing all our city has to offer.”
The BlueStar Studios campus at Fort Gillem includes six historic buildings that are being repurposed to ensure preservation of the former Army base’s architectural legacy and contribute to the project’s sustainability by reducing resource and energy consumption. Working through an environmental review process with the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the project team has ensured compliance with applicable standards and that key building features will be maintained. Final design elements include rehabilitated steel windows and brick walls, restored painted signage, and new windows and doors created based on archival photographs and original drawings.
Atlanta-based Gala Media Capital, a division of Peachtree Group, originated the financing for the construction of phase one of the studio development.