PTC to get slice of studio revenue
New German company 'excited' to relocate to PTC; will provide special effects services
While Pinewood Studios hopes to be operational at its site in central Fayette County by January, Peachtree City already has a company on Huddleston Drive, East Coast Films, that prepares special effects materials for shoots all over Georgia, according to Matt Forshee, CEO of the Fayette County Development Authority.
“It’s a really neat project they’ve got there,” said Forshee, who was making a report Thursday night to the city council.
As far as Pinewood is concerned, the company plans to have key services offered on-site so they can be nearby. The studio is purchasing a large tract of land in unincorporated Fayette County at the intersection of Veterans Parkway (also known as the West Fayetteville Bypass) and Sandy Creek Road, adjacent to the Rivers Elementary School site.
As time goes on, Peachtree City will see additional studio-related businesses filter in, but in the meantime the studio plans to employ about 2,000 people directly. The economic impact over 15 years, even at a conservative level, is estimated at $2 billion dollars. Yes, that’s “billion” with a capital B.
In those first 15 years, Pinewood is expected to bring about $500,000 in additional sales taxes just to the city, Forshee said.
Pinewood Studios, Forshee explained, will not finance films. Instead it will be a one-stop shop for filmmakers and production companies.
Pinewood is hoping to have the first part of its first phase open by January 2014 with five soundstages, four additional buildings and two workshops, Forshee said. The reason Pinewood hasn’t made an announcement yet is that it is waiting to confirm the rezoning for the property, a decision expected to be made at the March 28 meeting of the Fayette County Commission.
“They’re waiting for he dominos to fall,” Forshee said.
The county’s planning commission has already recommended approval of the rezoning.
Forshee said he has been working on the project, initially dubbed Project Stargate, for over a year. He was able to reel in Pinewood officials after a brief visit to Falcon Field Airport and a subsequent fly-over in a helicopter over the site that the Pinewood crew fell in love with, nestled in a pastoral farmland-style setting of rural Fayette County.
In other business, Forshee’s cohort, Emily Poole, reported on a new company coming to Peachtree City that is moving its distribution operations from north metro Atlanta and will have a headquarters here as well: Kiddy.
The German-based company manufactures car seats, strollers, baby carriers and the like and is looking to make a splash in the U.S. market, Poole said. What is exciting about Kiddy is that its German manager is thrilled about coming to the city and specifically wants to help recruit other German companies to come here, Forshee said.
“He wants to help be a spokesperson to bring more companies from Germany to Peachtree City,” Forshee said.
“They really love our community’s way of life,” Poole added. “That’s what the biggest draw is to them. We are really excited to have them.”
Calpis, which manufactures additives for animal feed, is expected to have its groundbreaking in May for its new campus as well, Poole added. Calpis will start with a minimum of 50 jobs, with lab-type positions that will pay very well, Forshee said.
Poole, who works as the business retention specialist for FCDA which is a position funded by the city, also reported that she has worked personally with more than two dozen businesses to resolve a number of problems. One common problem is telecommunications issues along with workforce challenges, Poole said.
“We can help with training resources and funding for third party trainers,” Poole said. “I can help facilitate either a training program or funding for those different things.”