FROM THE FRONT PAGE
He is hoping his confidential negotiations with people in the New Zealand and international film industry will soon bear fruit.
He’s a patient man. He started digging in 2009 and by 2010, the hole was nearly 9m deep, 58m wide and 60m long.
More than 120,000 cubic metre of earth has been removed and recycled into district developments and landscaping projects.
Now, the hole can accommodate a 18,198m2, five-storey high building.
Nine metres of the building will be underground and another nine metres will be above ground.
Rhodes is planning two studios and a wet tank within a staged, multipurpose building that will also provide space for museum displays, trade shows and events.
The engineering plans have been completed and Rhodes is ready to start stage one.
Rhodes says he is presently negotiating with a New Zealand film company about ‘‘a lot of props’’ and has also been talking with Disney about ‘‘a lot of vehicles’’ for another film.
Rhodes firmly believes the film industry regards the studio as a necessity. He has visited studios in Wellington and Henderson and has been to Paramount Studios overseas to talk with people.
‘‘From the perspective of the country, let alone the region, it’s got priority. Whereas I wanted to do it over a certain period of time, they now want to fast track it. It will employ hundreds of people.’’
‘‘This is part of the jigsaw. The missing piece of the puzzle [for the film industry]. We want to fill it. We started a long time ago. We are close, but not quite there. We have a lot of people behind the programme,’’ Rhodes said.
Big plans: National Transport and Toy Museum general manager Jason Rhodes mulls over plans for his proposed new building.