In production: a $40M movie studio in Texas

Plans Revealed for Sprawling Texas Film Complex

National /
Jan.January 03, 2022 02:15 PM

Alton Butler, owner of Line 204 Studios, along with a rendering of the Bastrop 552 Studio project planned at 1240 Lovers Lane just outside of Bastrop, Texas (Getty Images, STG Designs, iStock)

Alert the paparazzi.

A 546-acre film studio and entertainment district is headed for Bastrop, Texas, a city of about 9,500 people 35 miles east of Austin, the Austin Business Journal reported. The first phase is expected to open in August 2023.

Bastrop 552 Studio will have 486,000 square feet of studios, 300,000 feet of spaces for warehouses or mills and 200,000 feet of offices when complete. The owner is Alton Butler, owner of California-based Line 204 Studios, whose clients for stage and equipment rentals include Netflix, Hulu and the NFL.

The project is on a bend of the Colorado River at 1240 Lovers Lane just outside Bastrop. The $40.3 million first phase includes six studios totaling 108,000 square feet; a three-story, 46,000 square feet office building; 108,000-square-foot of mill house and warehouse and supporting infrastructure. A recent plan update includes more studio and warehouse space, a backlot, flexible pad sites, recreation areas and clubhouses—possibly including a golf course and a ranch.

The Bastrop City Council designated the site as a media production development zone. That means the company in charge of the project, Bastrop Colorado Bend LLC, gets a two-year exemption from sales and use taxes on items used during construction, maintenance, expansion, improvement or renovation. Under that agreement, $37.8 million of first-phase costs will be spent on items eligible for the sales-tax exemption.

Austin-based consulting firm Impact DataSource expects the full studio to generate $177.8 million a year, support 1,443 permanent jobs and generate $64.3 million in household earnings in the decade after the full complex is completed.

Bastrop 552 Studio has a development agreement with the city of Bastrop. Butler said it’s working with the city on more incentives and with local banks to secure the first pieces of debt funding.

Butler said the first phase should start this spring and take about a year. Local companies on the project include DCA Construction as general contractor, Carlson Brigance & Doering as civil engineers, STG Design as the architecture firm and McLean & Howard as attorneys.

Bastrop has been a location for dozens of feature films over the past several decades, often in conjunction with the 20-acre Austin Studios complex, which has operated out of the larger city since 2000. Among them: the classic 1974 horror film “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

CORRECTION: This story has been corrected to show the population of Bastrop is about 9,500.

[ABJ] — Cindy WIdner





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