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Proposed Lease of Lakewood Fairgrounds Offers Economic & Cultural Opportunities for Atlanta

Post Date:05/12/2010
Today, the Finance Executive Committee of the Atlanta City Council voted on a unique opportunity for Atlanta to lease the Lakewood Fairgrounds property to EUE/Screen Gems, a company well-known in the film and television industry. The measure will now proceed to full council for a vote on May 17. EUE/Screen Gems has begun the formal process to lease approximately 30-acres from the Lakewood Fairgrounds property where they intend to create a studio complex for television, commercial, digital and film production. The property lease covers land and existing infrastructure. Plans include a multi-million dollar phased renovation for property development and outfitting, which includes building a large, state-of-the-art sound stage, developing office space, and building a mill shop, lighting and grip facilities.

The proposed lease agreement includes:
  • 50-year lease starting at $250,000 per year, increasing to $600,000 in year 10
  • Lease would be adjusted for market conditions every 10 years
  • Re-appraisals will utilize three-assessor approach
  • Lease increments of 2% per year between re-appraisals
  • Initial capital investment of approximately $6 million in first two years required
“Working with EUE/Screen Gems will present many wonderful opportunities for our great city. Not only will it provide industry related job opportunities to our residents, but it will also have a positive impact on Lakewood’s neighboring areas by creating secondary business and job opportunities. This agreement will increase our ability to successfully compete with other states and cities who are vying for business within the entertainment industry. While we are in the midst of an unfavorable real estate market and very challenging economic times, the proposed deal allows us to make an advantageous investment in Atlanta’s future,” said Mayor Kasim Reed.

The 50-year lease with EUE/Screen Gems will have a considerable economic and cultural impact on the city of Atlanta. The current property zoning is industrial and as such, this proposed deal offers the highest and best use of both the land and buildings. This lease will provide significant contributions to the City’s General Fund and will reduce the maintenance cost by $100,000 per year. Additionally, it will eliminate a projected $400,000 in infrastructure expenditures. Most importantly, this lease should result in the creation of more than 1,000 new job opportunities.

EUE/Screen Gems also intends to initiate a production training program in the coming years in concert with area technical schools and colleges. In addition to crew members, actors and extras, the local economy may benefit from increased catering, prop, transportation and dry cleaning businesses. These are a few examples of supporting businesses that often develop close to studio facilities.

“I look forward to working with the Mayor’s office and the Georgia Department of Economic Development to continue to build on the area’s film assets. We are pleased at the prospect of coming into Atlanta and being a part of the Lakewood community. This business venture fully complements our studios in New York City which are home to clients such as The Rachael Ray Show. It supplements our extensive studio campus in Wilmington, North Carolina. That location has been a film and television hub for more than 20 years and home to productions such as ‘The Secret Life of Bees’, ‘Nights in Rodanthe’, and ‘One Tree Hill.’ Atlanta offers an urban location with excellent airport access to and from Los Angeles and a film-friendly incentive situation,” said Chris Cooney, COO of EUE/Screen Gems.

About EUE/Screen Gems
EUE/Screen Gems supplies production space, studios, technological infrastructure and support for movie, film and commercial producers. It is a diversified content production studio and facilities company based in New York City with a 50-acre studio lot in Wilmington, N.C. ,

For a fact sheet on EUE/Screen Gems, click here: Factsheet
For a map of the Lakewood area, click here: Lakewood Presentation


For more information about this and services of the City of Atlanta visit our website at or watch City Channel 26

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