Georgia Institute of Technology: State-of-the-Art Filming Studio Coming Soon to Savannah Area

Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures Inc. (GATV), an affiliate organization of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is moving forward with the selection of a qualified development team to advance the creation of a major hub for film and TV productions within the Savannah region. This project aims to bolster economic and workforce development in the local area as well as the state of Georgia.

“We are excited to be entering the next phase of this very impactful project for the state of Georgia,” said Tony Zivalich, associate vice president for Real Estate Development at Georgia Tech. “This represents an unprecedented opportunity to partner with several key stakeholders to repurpose underutilized assets that will support economic growth for the state and specifically the coastal region of Georgia to advance Georgia’s emerging leadership position in the film industry.”

Georgia’s film industry has experienced exponential growth for more than 10 years, making the state one of the top filming locations in the industry. In fiscal year 2021, Georgia hosted 366 film productions including 21 feature films, 45 independent films, 222 television series, 57 commercials, and 21 music videos, resulting in a record $4 billion invested in the state by the film industry.

Savannah has captured a significant amount of production-related activity in Georgia. However, a shortage of purpose-built, scalable soundstages and production facilities has hindered the region’s ability to support this economic growth. Subject to approval from the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents, the redevelopment of the current 52-acre Georgia Tech-Savannah campus and adjacent property owned by the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) will provide much needed high-tech facilities to further attract industry and support local workforce development. Furthermore, the project aims to identify programs and initiatives to facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion in both procurement and staffing — in addition to demonstrating sustainability in design and construction.

This project is a collaborative effort between the USG Board of Regents, Georgia Film Academy, SEDA, and GATV. Currently, Georgia Tech’s Savannah campus occupies a portion of the land and anticipates relocating its programs to the downtown Savannah area as the project moves forward.

“The Georgia Film Academy is delighted to be a part of this project, which will advance film and television production in the Savannah region and provide good long-term jobs for the Georgians we are committed to serving,” said Jeffrey Stepakoff, executive director of the Georgia Film Academy. “Students we will train from the state’s universities and technical colleges in the region will be ready to provide the sustainable workforce that this new world-class production hub will need.”

It is anticipated that redevelopment of the land to create this production hub will begin in 2022. Plans are to build out several soundstages, multiple production and workforce training facilities, as well as industry and vendor accommodations.

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