• Thu. May 30th, 2024

New Atlanta Film and TV Studio Prepares to Open As Writers’ Strike Begins


May 2, 2023
The new Electric Owl film studios northeast of Atlanta features solar power and four dozen electric vehicle charging stations. (Electric Owl)


The developers of a $60 million television and film studio in the Atlanta area powered by renewable energy are wrapping up production on the new complex — just as television writers strike to try to win better pay.

Electric Owl Studio in Stone Mountain, Georgia, developed by Capstone South, is expected to open this summer and add more studio space to the Peach State.

The Writers Guild of America went on strike Tuesday. Electric Owl, which has not yet signed its first production, expects to be financially insulated from any extended strike because it’s designed to host both film and TV productions, Hahn said.

A number of providers of online entertainment for television, a category that includes Netflix, Amazon and Disney, “have stopped looking for space,” Hahn told CoStar News. “But film productions are still looking because they’re not as reliant on writers.”

Georgia has become one of the world’s largest markets for film and TV productions that require studio space, in part because of the film tax credit it offers. Tyler Perry Studios and Third Rail Studios, both in Atlanta; and Trilith in Fayetteville are some of the area’s largest studios.

Strike aside, demand for rentable space at film and TV soundstages and studios far outstrips supply, Raymond Fang and Alex Jacobs at law firm Goodwin Procter wrote in a research report. That’s increasing the appeal for real estate investors in film and studio developments.

A new Atlanta film studio developed by a former executive with George Clooney’s production company features solar power and four dozen electric vehicle charging stations. (Getty Images)

“The current supply of purpose-built studios in key geographies is insufficient to keep pace with the rising demand for new content,” Fang and Jacobs wrote. “This shortage is placing sustained upward pressure on rents, driving up capital values and the case for new development and investment in the sector.”

Electric Owl founders Dan Rosenfelt, a former executive with George Clooney’s production company, and Capstone South President Michael Hahn are leading the effort for the development team.

Capstone South poured extensive resources into its 300,000 square foot studio with sustainable materials, solar power and 48 electric vehicle charging stations. The studio also reached agreements with Habitat for Humanity and other local charities to donate used equipment and film-set construction materials.

Hahn estimated the environmentally friendly construction added about 1% to the total cost, compared to the development of a similarly sized studio without the sustainable features. The features earned the studio LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“Tenants ask how much the LEED certification is going to cost them,” he said. “We say it will cost nothing extra.”

Capstone South is also planning to develop a film and TV studio in the New York City area on a 17-acre site of a former orphanage. Hahn declined to disclose the address.

The Atlanta and New York studios will be the first properties in what Hahn envisions as a worldwide chain, under the Electric Owl brand name, of sustainable film studios. Capstone South could potentially develop studios in London, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver, Hahn said.

Griffco Design/Build was the general contractor and architect for Electric Owl Studio.

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