Three Ring Stu­dios finds home

Dirt at site to be moved within 30 days

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

Driv­ing along High­way 142 across from the Or­chard Park Sub­di­vi­sion there is a slight change in the scenery of trees and shrubs off to the side of the road.

Fast for­ward a year, and the scenery will for­ever be al­tered as Tues­day, that stretch of road was iden­ti­fied as the fu­ture home of Three Ring Stu­dios.

The mas­sive, film, TV, mu­sic and video game pro­duc­tion site, which an­nounced in June, is a step closer to re­al­ity af­ter Ron­nie John­ston, Cov­ing­ton mayor, and Dave Bernd, vice pres­i­dent of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment with the Cov­ing­ton/ New­ton County Cham­ber of Com­merce, un­veiled a sign an­nounc­ing the ma­jor de­vel­op­ment.

On the of­fice of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment’s Face­book page, Bernd said “dirt will likely be moved within 30 days.”

Bernd told The News that plans are ex­pected to be sub­mit­ted by early next week. Cov­ing­ton City Plan­ner Scott Gaither and his team will then re­view the plans and is­sue per­mits, with con­struc­tion be­gin­ning shortly af­ter that.

In Fe­bru­ary a ca­reer expo for New­ton, Rock­dale, Wal­ton, Jasper and Mor­gan Coun­ties is planned to be held at New­ton Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy. Res­i­dents of those five coun­ties will be re­quired to show iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, and more than 20 ven­dors re­lated to the film in­dus­try are ex­pected to be in at­ten­dance, Bernd said.

Around 1,000 jobs with an av­er­age salary of $84,000 are ex­pected to be brought to the area by Three Ring Stu­dios.

“Over the next cou­ple of years, it will af­fect thou­sands of jobs in the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” Bernd said.

Those jobs could start sooner rather than later, as it is ex­pected that sev­eral site as­sets will be op­er­a­tional in the first half of 2017, ac­cord­ing to Bernd.

Ac­cord­ing to a De­vel­op­ment of Re­gional Im­pact form filled out through the state of Ge­or­gia, the es­ti­mated com­ple­tion date is De­cem­ber, 2017. The project is es­ti­mated to be val­ued at $110 mil­lion, and bring in an es­ti­mated $1.8 mil­lion in lo­cal tax rev­enues a year.

The stu­dio will be set up to lease to pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies, sim­i­lar to Pinewood Stu­dios in At­lanta, which cur­rently is leas­ing its fa­cil­i­ties to Marvel Stu­dios.

“This is the most unique busi­ness to lo­cate in Cov­ing­ton in our his­tory, and this one-of-a-kind stu­dio is go­ing to at­tract in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion to our town,” John­ston said. “This mas­sive, $100,000,000 in­vest­ment will be ac­com­pa­nied by thou­sands of job op­por­tu­ni­ties, and res­i­dents will have the first chance to se­cure those jobs dur­ing a ca­reer expo in Fe­bru­ary, 2017. Three Ring Stu­dios will be a life chang­ing op­por­tu­nity for thou­sands in Cov­ing­ton, and as a com­mu­nity we should all be very ex­cited Cov­ing­ton was se­lected for their site.”

Bryan Fazio The Cov­ing­ton News

A sign an­nounc­ing the fu­ture home of Three Ring Stu­dios on High­way 142 across from the Or­chard Park Sub­di­vi­sion is shown.

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